NOT so long ago they were a united front launching the Unionist Forum to bring working and middle class Protestants together.
And they even came to together to put up a unity candidate in Nigel Lutton to oppose Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy in the Mid Ulster Westminster by-election.
Now the leaders of Northern Ireland’s two main unionist parties have drifted apart in a battle for the hearts and minds of voters.
The parties’ leaders are at political loggerheads over the proposed Maze conflict centre has intensified.
The DUP’s Peter Robinson and the UUP’s Mike Nesbitt have gone to war on each other in an exchange of open letters.
In his letter Mike Nesbitt, whose party backs the ‘Raze The Maze’ campaign, asked why the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre has to be built on the site of the former top security prison in Co Antrim.
In response, Peter Robinson accused Mr Nesbitt of trying to re-write history.
Mr Nesbitt also questioned the DUP’s claim that the party would not allow the centre to become a terrorist shrine.
He claimed that, as a result of freedom of information requests, his party has discovered the Sinn Fein education minister, John O’Dowd, intends his department will have online material linked to the centre.
The UUP leader said he had no confidence this material would be used in a purely educational, non-biased manner.
In his reply, Mr Robinson accused Mr Nesbitt of trying to obscure the Ulster Unionists’ past involvement in placing the centre at the Maze when they chaired the Maze Consultation Panel.
And he claimed that, in his previous role as a victims’ commissioner, Mike Nesbitt was consulted about the plan and raised no objection.
The DUP leader alleges Mr Nesbitt is now seeking to exploit the fears of victims for party political purposes.
The UUP, the TUV and UKIP have formed a united battle front to oppose the peace centre at the Maze.
They have gathered over 10,000 signatures, with the help of an online petition, and are hosting a series of rallies across Northern Ireland to oppose the plans.
Recently, the RUC George Cross Widows Association also came out publicly to oppose the Maze plans.