I blogged yesterday on the deal on reducing the number of councils to 11. It is interesting that initially the other parties apart from SF supported 15 councils, SF wanted 7 whilst it was unclear exactly what the DUP wanted thought they did not like 7. As such I suppose the 11 council model could be seen as a reasonable compromise achieved by the DUP.Indeed in the executive only the UUP opposed the compromise, with Alliance also doing opposing it from outside. In the new less friendly atmosphere up on the hill, however, one might have expected the DUP to draw a line in the sand, and demand at least 15 councils. That leaves aside another interesting fact: the Belfast Telegraph makes an interesting point here that had an agreement not been reached another set of council by elections would have occurred next year. Instead now elections can be postponed until 2011. Of course had there been council elections next year they were due to be held in May. I suspect in reality they would have en held at the same time as the next European elections. Having council elections at the same time as the European elections, however, would have helped the TUV with momentum and even if Jim Allister had lost his seat, would have potentially provided the TUV with a significant consolation prize. Instead the DUP may calculate if there are no council elections and if Jim Allister looses the European election it may damage the TUV allowing the DUP to write them off. Not that mere intra unionist party advantage would ever have motivated the DUP.