DUP successors to unionist power?

In an article in the print version of last night’s Belfast Telegraph, Noel McAdam asks some interesting questions about the real intentions of the DUP. He suggests that in some government circles in Dublin are muttering about the idea that a post Paisley DUP might be the only Unionist party able to make any deal stick.

He charts the party’s move from ‘no direct negotiations with enemies of Ulster’ to the suggestion that ‘an agreed honest broker could flit between them’. And he identifies the main internal movers:

“Robinson and Nigel Dodds have nimbly walked the tightrope of eshewing the institutions while working effectively within them. Opposition yet operation. It’s a dodge that has worked so far.”

However he goes on to note that unusually for a party used to a more comand and control structure there has been recent incidents of public rancour, which McAdam says is “being interpreted as showing that the powerbase has spread beyond the leader, though Paisley still has the final word”.