Published Monday, 02 April 2012
There he was standing with Tom Elliott greeting the Fermanagh delegates as they left their buses and headed for the hall.
He looked the winner and he was.
''The membership wanted change and someone who would be a good media operator. He was the obvious choice along with his wife they look like the golden couple,'' said one peer.
Outside the hall the hacks could hear the applause for the Nesbitt and John McCallister speeches.
By the time we entered the hall for the formal result, it was a formality.
Mr McCallister, sitting with his wife Jane and his two day old son Harry, acknowledged he had lost.
''Mike has won it ,'' he said, although the extent of the victory might have been something of a surprise.
But after the celebrations, it was clear Mike Nesbitt has an enormous task.
He ran a policy-free campaign but his appeal to delegates was obvious.
It also puts him in a strong position as he re-shuffles his party.
The DUP will watch with interest.
Unionist unity and opposition are off the table for the time being.
But new policies will be needed if the UUP are to reverse fortunes.
And it will take more than staying 24 hours with one of our poorer families.
Mike Nesbitt is currently in a strong position within his party.
However, things can change quickly.....
Just ask Tom Elliott!
© UTV News