Deal is 17 months away at least

Barry White’s prediction of when a deal will take place is as good as any. Not this year, he reckons, and probably no brought forward election, as had been rumoured before. In which case, the elections in Northern Ireland and the Republic may come into rough synchrony, and allow Sinn Fein to benchmark the extent of their political progress to date north and wouth. Which could free them to cut a deal that’s finally acceptable to their old adversaries in the DUP.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty