The demise of Paisley junior has indeed been pretty sudden. Fair_deals take below agreeing with Suzanne Breens suggestion that this is the DUP responding decisively to the Dromore by election is interesting though Jim Allister has noted on his own web site, that although accelerated by, this is not solely due, to Dromore. Clearly Paisley junior had become a distraction as he himself noted in his resignation speech.Some have again seen the hand of Peter Robinson (none more poetically than our own Darth Rumsfeld) in all this preparing the way for Paisley seniors departure. The obvious lack of support given to Paisley junior by the likes of Gregory Campbell could indeed imply that this was a group knifing demanded by Robinson (et tu Brute?) Certainly this may represent a significant attempt by Robinson to put a stop to the recent problems, further isolate Paisley senior and yes, also make a positive change after Dromore. Had the DUP wanted to ensure no one drew Dromore parallels they could have finished Paisley juniors ministerial career earlier or indeed left it a while. However, to do it now means that it is part of the response to the election. Such a major move as dumping Paisley junior after what was only a council by election has the whiff of panic about it and may also be seen as the gaining of a little more momentum by the TUV. In addition getting rid of junior will not reduce seniors love in with McGuinness which is, I submit, an even bigger problem.
I have suggested before that Robinson has made one mistake after another in his handling of Jim Allisters defection, the TUV and Dromore and it is possible that this is yet another error. One of the reasons for this litany of errors is that Robinson never factored into his analysis being attacked by a competent opponent from his right flank least of all a competent opponent who he helped create.
So this may be a decisive response to Dromore and a way to damage Paisley senior. Alternatively it may be another error; the unionist electorate and the DUP itself will be the judges of that. If, however, they decide the latter then Robinson should start to worry and he should remember that politically wounded (quite possibly fatally) as Paisley senior is; he might yet with his last act drive the stake into Robinson. The stage could be set for an end beyond even a Shakespearian tragedy. The closest I can think of is Hamlet. I do not know if Robinson is a fan of literature but maybe he should remember Hamlet who kills the King Claudius but having been wounded by a poisoned sword himself dies; leaving Fortinbras to claim the throne. (Dodds?)