Yes, Jim Allister is a pre-St Andrew’s Agreement DUPper. He is not a sympathy vote, or a protest vote, or some other epithet describing transience/impermanence. He represents the DUP as it looked in 2006. His voters are committed people who helped ensure the Doc topped the Euro poll but whom the Doc failed to take with him into power-sharing. But…
… let’s not build him up too high. I know plenty of UUP people who were so peeved by Diane’s awful campaign that the voted tactically, Allister 1, Nicholson 2… Dodds 6/7.
Okay, so the DUP campaign allowed Allister to play hard on DUP hypocrisy (the flip side to that being his ‘integrity’ & ‘principle’), but it also had the effect of inflating Allister’s vote from Unionists voting tactically to shut that woman up (in the immortal words of Jim Fitzpatrick). So perhaps Allister’s big poll really is unfeasibly large.