Mr Ó Muilleoir goes to Stormont, Mr Maskey goes to the West.

From the Anderstown News Twitter feed tonight

The former Lord Mayor, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir will replace Alex Maskey as the Sinn Fein MLA for South Belfast, with Maskey moving over to West Belfast to take over from Sue Ramsey.

It is also reported that Ó Muilleoir will stand for the South Belfast seat in 2015, which will certainly put the seat at risk for the SDLP as Ó Muilleoir performed well in the Balmoral ward at the last local elections. Then, you also have the old ticking time bomb for the SDLP of can a party leader double job or lead the party from Westminster?

Either way at a time of critical economic debates for Sinn Fein, Ó Muilleoir will give the party some direction and add an experienced voice to a team that needs some big hitters to debate economic issues. If the party can place him in an economic committee to allow him to build up that critical experience, he will almost certainly end up in the Executive in the not too distant future.


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs