Ulster Unionist Party leadership election, September 1995

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The September 1995 Ulster Unionist Party leadership election began on 28 August 1995 when James Molyneaux resigned as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party following a year of political setbacks for his party. Lee Reynolds, a Young Unionist had contested the leadership at the Ulster Unionist Council AGM in March 1995, receiving a small but significant number of votes. It was widely speculated that David Trimble was one of those behind Reynolds's candidature, although Trimble, his aides and Reynolds's supporters all denied this at the time and subsequently.[1]

The UUP has held a leadership election every March since at least the Ulster Unionist Council constitution was altered in 1973, however it is rarely contested.

Molyneaux's successor was elected by delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council met on 8 September 1995. After three rounds of voting the election was won by David Trimble.



At the meeting delegates to the Ulster Unionist Council voted in a succession of ballots until one candidate had an absolute majority.

Round 1[edit]

Votes were cast as follows

No candidate won an outright victory and Martin Smyth, as the lowest placed candidate, was eliminated.

Round 2[edit]

William Ross, as the lowest placed candidate, was eliminated. Ken Maginnis also withdrew.

Round 3[edit]

David Trimble was elected.[2]


  1. ^ Goodson, Dean Himself Alone: David Trimble and the ordeal of Unionism (London, Harper Perennial, 2004), page 127
  2. ^ Ibid, pages 146-155