First of all, my understanding of Brexit has mostly come from reading stackexchange, so I apologize if this is a weird question in anyway

I had the understanding that 10 MPs from the Northern Ireland party DUP was the main reason the current party is in power in the UK parliament. Whatever deal Theresa May came up with the EU, it had to be something that DUP would accept, other wise they would rescind their support and pull down the government. The DUP, from what I understand, is more concerned with there being a border between Northern Ireland and mainland UK, rather than a hard or soft Brexit. Please correct me if my understanding has been wrong up to this point.

Few days ago 21 MP's from the ruling party got expelled, which I believe means they retain their MP status but are now independents, and the party will probably not be giving them any tickets for the next election. The number of expelled MP's is much higher than the 10 DUP MP's who have supposedly been keeping the current party in government, and still it has lost it's majority.

Under these circumstances, how important is the DUP's support to the current government if they have already lost their majority anyway? Under the current situation, can the ruling party come up with new alliances without having to appease the DUP?

  • 4
    Alliances with who? Only the SNP is big enough to overcome the current Conservative seat deficit. No one is further away from the Conservative party ideologically than the SNP.
    – Jontia
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 9:33
  • @Jontia Nobody with enough MPs to matter for the purposes of this question is ideologically further from the Conservatives. But the Green Party of England and Wales (currently 1 MP) must surely be further ideologically from the Conservative Party.
    – owjburnham
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 10:35
  • @owjburnham Does the UK Green Party have any "ideology" beyond "we are Green"? It's hard to measure the distance between London and Thursday in any meaningful way!
    – alephzero
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 19:59
  • Greens are far closer to the Conservatives and Unionist party than the SNP. There's a wing of the conservatives that is quite close to Green politics. There is no wing of the Conservatives that favours the break up of the UK in any form.
    – James K
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 20:40
  • @JamesK Thing is, the GPEW and the Scottish Greens do favour the breakup of the UK, plus they're quite lefty. Whereas the SNP are non-unionist but sometimes quite conservative.
    – owjburnham
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


In theory, the government could try to form a new alliance. However, it's very unlikely that they will attempt it.

The only parties with enough seats to form an alliance with the Conservatives that would have a majority in the Commons are the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party, neither of whom would be remotely interested in assisting the Conservative Party under its current leadership (or, indeed, any likely leadership).

The value of maintaining the agreement with the DUP from now on is a matter of political opinion. The DUP have said that they'll want to re-negotiate the agreement if there's a new Queen's Speech, which is code for "they want more money." The Prime Minister wants a General Election, and will hope to achieve a majority without needing DUP support. If he has any sense, he'll leave the door to the DUP open in case he needs them again.

  • It might e worth addressing the part of the question in the title, is the link to the DUP worth maintaining? Though that is likely to be speculative I haven't heard any discussion since the DUP said a new Queen's Speech would require a renegotiation of their deal.
    – Jontia
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 11:21
  • 1
    @Jontia: added. Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 11:32
  • 2
    The last part is very important. The support of the DUP means nothing to Johnson now but he probably doesn't want to do something that will make them enemies in case he needs them after the next election which is likely to be very soon. While Johnson clearly thinks he will get a majority in the next election he isn't willing to bet that he won't need DUP support.
    – Eric Nolan
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 12:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .