The UNP: Dead or Alive?

Were the United National Party (UNP) and its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe really rejected by the people at the August 5 parliamentary election to the extent that the party was wiped out from all districts it contested?   

Had the two factions of the party led by Mr. Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa faced the election together, would not the UNP managed to win a few more seats than what the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) led by Premadasa had secured? Would not Mr. Wickremesinghe have fared better than Mr. Premadasa in terms of preferential votes, had both of them contested in the Colombo District under a united UNP?   

Then, what has happened? Is it that the UNP and Mr. Wickremesinghe been rejected, by the people, as has been indicated by the election results? It is strange. The UNPers seem to like him more than they like Mr. Premadasa, but they believe Mr. Wickremesinghe cannot win elections and therefore rallied round Mr. Premadasa.

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