Last modified on May 7, 2023, at 01:30

Democratic Unionist Party

Democratic Unionist Party
Party leader Jeffrey Donaldson
Parliamentary leader
Founded 1971
Political ideology Conservatism
Political position Centre-right to right-wing
International affiliation
Color(s) Red, white and blue

The Democratic Unionist Party is the largest political party in Northern Ireland. The leader as of 2023 is Jeffrey Donaldson.


Doctor the Reverend Ian Paisley MP

The DUP was founded in 1971 by Protestant minister Ian Paisley.[1] It had its roots in the Protestant Unionist Party.[2] The party strongly opposed Roman Catholicism, and it strongly supported UK unionism (as opposed to Irish nationalism) and social conservative policies.[2][3]

In 2010, the Labour Party unsuccessfully tried to agree to a governing alliance with the DUP, even though the Labour Party criticized the Conservative Party when they did the same thing seven years later.[4]

After Theresa May's Conservative Party lost its majority in the House of Commons, resulting in a hung parliament,[5] she chose to begin talks with the DUP to form a coalition government.[6] In the same election, the DUP gained 10 seats, a record for the party.[1] Because of its increased notability after the election and its conservative, right-wing positions, the DUP quickly became very well-known and unpopular among leftists.[7] The DUP's leader in 2017 was Arlene Foster.[8] The two parties signed the agreement[9] on June 26, 2017.[10][11][12]

The DUP had an influential role in the Brexit talks between the UK and EU.[13]


The DUP is politically right-wing, socially conservative, and stands for maintenance of the union between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Due to its conservative positions, much fake news has been circulated about the DUP and the party's positions.[2]

Social issues

On social issues, the DUP opposes abortion and same-sex "marriage".[14][15] It has repeatedly blocked attempts to legalize homosexual "marriage" in Northern Ireland.[15] The DUP supports the reinstatement of the death penalty in the U.K.[16] It does not accept climate change as absolute fact.[2][15][16] Numerous young Earth creationists are counted among the senior membership of the DUP, and some have called for the teaching of creation alongside evolution in schools.[14][15][16]


The DUP is a Euroskeptic party. Regarding Brexit, it strongly supported Brexit during the referendum campaign,[2][17] and was the only major Northern Ireland party to do so.[15] However, it supports a "soft Brexit" due to its opposition to a "hard border" with Ireland.[14][18] Some DUP members closely aligned themselves with conservative pro-Brexit activist and former UKIP president Nigel Farage on the issue.[2]

Fiscal issues

The DUP supports an increase in public spending.[16] It supports reducing the corporate tax from 19% to 12.5%, which is much lower than that advocated by the Conservative Party.[14]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gilchrist, Karen (June 9, 2017). May’s Conservatives strike a deal with the DUP, but who are they?. CNBC. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Kassam, Raheem (June 9, 2017). The Silver Lining? A Tory-DUP Alliance Will Remind the Tories What Conservatism Is Supposed to Look Like. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. Who is the DUP? A brief history of UK parliament’s new kingmaker. RT. June 9, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. Hale, Virginia (June 12, 2017). Leaked Hillary Clinton Emails Show Labour Begged DUP for Pact in 2010. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  5. UK election: Theresa May to ask queen permission to form government despite losing majority. Fox News. June 9, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  6. Hope, Christopher (June 9, 2017). Exclusive: Conservatives and DUP start talks to agree 'programme for government' within days. The Telegraph. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  7. Hannan, Dan (June 19, 2017). Pro-life, pro-Brexit, pro-UK: How Northern Ireland's DUP became the enemy of the Left. Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  8. Sawer, Patrick (June 9, 2017). Arlene Foster: DUP leader emerges as the kingmaker, but who is she? The Telegraph. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  9. Tory-DUP deal: The agreement in full. The Telegraph. June 26, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  10. Montgomery, Jack (June 26, 2017). DUP Triumphant: Tories Forced to Protect Pensions Triple Lock and Commit to Armed Forces Covenant. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  11. Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government. BBC News. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  12. Kirka, Danica; Katz, Gregory (June 26, 2017). UK's May makes deal she needs to govern, but critics abound. Fox News (from the Associated Press). Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  13. Small Northern Irish party plays big role in Brexit talks. Associated Press. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Baker, Neal (June 9, 2017). Who are the DUP, how many MPs do they have and what policies are in the Democratic Unionist Party manifesto? The Sun. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Pasha-Robinson, Lucy (June 9, 2017). Why is the DUP so controversial? The party's stances on abortion, gay marriage and climate change explained. The Independent. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Horton, Helena (June 9, 2017). 7 things you didn't know about the DUP. The Telegraph. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  17. DUP confirms it will campaign for Brexit in Leave/Remain referendum. Belfast Telegraph. February 20, 2016. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  18. Hughes, Laura (June 9, 2017). Who are the DUP and will they demand a soft Brexit to prop up the Tories?. The Telegraph. Retrieved June 9, 2017.

External links