I am trying to join two table's data into one resultset using UNION.The tables contain different column types... so I have been replacing a missing column from one table with the literal ''. However, MySQL doesn't like different column types in UNION statements and always uses the first statement as the basis for formatting the resultset. Replacing the first statement with a dummy statement (which includes columns from all tables, and no literals, and WHERE 1=0) seems to work ok... but is not that elegant.

Has anyone got any ideas on this issue?