Part of the difficulties that UCUNF ran into was the legislation governing our elections had not considered/allowed for alliances between or joint endorsement of candidates by parties. Now it seems the Tories are going to legislate to allow for it. The justification is problems that Labour and Co-operative Party candidates face but the suspicion is that it is more to do with keeping the option of Coalition government candidates open. However, it would likely solve the 'local' difficulties as well.
Each attempt to clarify what the relationship between the UUP and Conservatives usually falls flat because the next day someone says something different. Overall the attempt seems to be put greater distance between them the closer we get to election day but still claim a relationship exists so that distance can be narrowed after the election. Has the relationship descended to the level of a couple conning the social? Telling people they are separated when they really aren't to try and gain extra benefit.