Will the (good old) St Andrews Agreement come to Arlene’s rescue?

I’m not on social media (for the purposes of the job and the time that’s in Slugger’s the single exception) for this week. Out in solidarity with a younger member of the family who is doing it through school.

It’s liberating to be relieved of the urge to share or express an opinion every passing piece of flotsam or jetsam (however fleeting) as it goes past. But I thought this was a good question from Alex Kane to fetch out of the ‘living stream’ for further consideration.

I’m not sure what the answer will be, but…


  • Casual Observer

    TBH we’ve had a SF FM for 10 years. Perception is everything.

  • St Andrews stitch up to save the day. It’s the only card DUP has. But it’s (sadly) a very good one among the electorate.

  • Colm Heaney

    Doubt SF will go back into power sharing without the title being changed so they’re probably going to get one anyway

  • Kevin Breslin

    Saint Andrew’s is dead due to the bad faith between the two main parties here.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    I think if Stevie Nolan keeps this drip feed #RHI exposure of abuse every morning from now to election we may see more of the DUP Fold wishing not to stand in the forthcoming elections and as you might say “get themselves out of THE HEAT” Arlene is in big trouble out here in the sticks !

  • Mike the First

    The St Andrews Agreement did NOT provide for the largest party in the Assembly to supply the FM.

    That was a change that was made in the Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006 – reportedly at the behest of SF and with the collusion of the DUP.

    The St Andrews Agreement stated that the FM would be nominated by the largest party in the largest designation.

  • Mike the First

    Anyway, joint FM (in title as well as in operation) would resolve this nonsense…

  • mickfealty

    It would, if you could prize it from the cold dead hands of the DUP…

  • Neil

    It’s such a sideshow. It would be good if no single party could initiate a PoC, 30 seats or no 30 seats. So the DUP could still use it with any other party’s support but wouldn’t be able to do so on their own. That would assist in removing it’s use to avoid accountability.

    The FM/DFM thing is only interesting (for myself at any rate) because of the perception that the DUP would rather walk away than serve in a joint office with the meaningless word “deputy” attached to the job title.

  • Damien C Conway

    Forgive me ignorance, not that I have much faith in them after Trump and Brexit, who does political polling in NI?

  • Nevin

    ‘Cold dead hands’ is an unfortunate choice of wording, Mick, in the context of our more recent insurrection.

  • WindowLean

    On Alex Kane’s point, there is nothing in this word that would trump Unionist concerns about a SF First Minister. Robbed by a Prod vs Led by a Taig?? Robbed by a Prod all day long.

  • Neil

    Lucid Talk

  • MainlandUlsterman

    and Ipsos MORI

  • Nevin

    Sam McBride continues to dig but AFAIK neither he nor Stephen has looked at the structural issues which IMO have led to too loose governance.

  • ted hagan

    A rather simple query, perhaps daft as well and a bit off topic.
    But who is running Northern Ireland at the moment. Is it Brokenshire and is it effectively direct rule? I suspect the answer is yes but I’m not sure.

  • Nevin
  • ted hagan

    Probably, though perhaps Paisley Jnr is positioning himself for the alternative.
    Bertie Ahern’s famous malapropism about ‘smoke and daggers’ comes to mind.

  • ted hagan

    Of course, thanks.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    There are a couple but Lucid Talk was the most accurate on three last contests, 2015 GE, 2016 AE and 2016 Brexit vote. Although some people do not like Lucid Talk because they have a tracker poll showing support for Irish Unity rising substantially.

  • Westie tyrone

    unionist voters are like sheep ,they will BAH all day long ,but on the 2 march ,they will flock too the polls for the dup .

  • mickfealty

    LucidTalk. First of three out on Sunday evening, I think. Worth following on Twitter.

  • ruhah

    Occasional DUP voters, least in East Antrim, are livid about RHI and shades of truth being offered by duppers. Having invested one’s franchise in the DUP, only to have one’s fingers burnt by scandal after scandal, isn’t a pleasant feeling for the moral set who dipped their toes in dup waters.

    So, from our context, Michelle O’Neil was a smart move by Sinn Fein. MON is perceived to be a more acceptable first minister than the likes of Connor Murphy. In other words, for that occasional voter, with fixed moral principles, the thought goes… let them have it and stays at home or votes uup in protest.

    It is lamentable to hear the hardcore DUP folk speak of the danger of SF as the largest party, when trying to whip up voting appetite with the coffee shop and churchy folk. All we want to hear is the truth, a ‘mea culpa’, someone’s head to roll and it’ll never happen again.

  • Katyusha

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why DUP MLA’s haven’t been declaring themselves as independent unionists. Mabe the cycle has gone on too far at this stage, but I’d bet they’d rather not be bombarded with the RHI stick on the doorsteps. The party is a liability at this point.

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Not as accurate as Lucid talk 😉

    sorry, couldn’t resist given our previous chats 0-;

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Listening to the Nolan show this morning it would appear now that Arlene apparently knew of Mr McCormick’s claims regarding the DUP Spads interference in the scheme before she made her speech in the Assembly and didn’t divulge that gem to the house. Whoops ! I doubt anything can save her now, not even Johnnie Bell talking at the floor through his hands again. Thank Fluck Marty pulled out of the joint statement at the last minute.

  • Reader

    Anthony O’Shea: Although some people do not like Lucid Talk because they have a tracker poll showing support for Irish Unity rising substantially.
    Is that the “tracker” poll where the question was changed between surveys?

  • Anthony O’Shea

    Thats the poll you don’t like?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    NI Assembly 2016 Results DUP 200K Other Unionists 140K

  • grumpy oul man

    what would you be referring to?