Mark Devenport has a fair go at marking out the complex political territory as it now ‘appears’.In particular, he detects a particularly nasty dilemma for the SDLP when he points out that:
However, it will be nationalists, specifically the SDLP, who can decide whether the new assembly has any life beyond simply voting for a first and deputy first minister. That is because they control just over 40% of the nationalist vote, the amount required to secure cross-community consent for a debate. Whether the SDLP gives the assembly a lease of life without an executive remains very much open to question.
In effect, he argues that the SDLP is the only party ouside the big two with enough political capital to play a move in the next step of the game. The question put another way might read, can they afford to spend it?