Will we now get a second Assembly election?

It’s very likely. We have a drifting budget and a UK government that will very shortly be going into Purdah. Simply put, there’s no time for negotiations anymore. It’s hard to argue with Colum Eastwood’s statement about Mrs May’s disdain for NI in:

…calling a snap Westminster election in the middle of intense efforts to restore power sharing government to Northern Ireland.

I’d question how intense those efforts have been, or their likelihood of success. But the truth is now that there’s a short corridor of time left for either a resolution domestically or the Secretary of State calling an Assembly election for the same day.

If it’s the second, it will ensure that something happens in the NI space whilst he’s fighting to recover Ted Heath’s old seat in South London that he doesn’t need to manage. It will come with caveats: ie, either sort out a government or choose to bring down powersharing.

If, as is generally expected, this is going to be a bad day for Labour, an overall majority of anywhere between65-75 seats will likely mean an end to any serious obligation that the Tories owe the DUP in terms of narrow Commons votes.

In the Assembly, survival will be the name of the game for the smaller parties with SF and the DUP looking to love squeeze (“can’t let themuns beat us”) their rivals to within an inch of their political lives.

  • the keep

    The only problem with your argument about reconciliation is the fact that it was bogus we are seeing the real SF now warts and all.

  • the keep

    You didn’t complain when a SF minister cut the aid to the bands but that is different isn’t it?

  • file

    Yeah he got caught – does not mean others were not at it as well. But I’m talking about institutionalised (ie civil service) infrastructional sectarianism which, among other cock-ups, built the platform at Great Victoria Street train station too short to accommodate the Belfast-Dublin train. And which has great roads flowing to all points Protestant and a cattle track and a meandering, hug the coast train line between Belfast and Derry (too may non-right-thinking people in Derry, you see).

  • Jag

    ” Enda Kenny and Theresa May: discussed Northern Ireland, with the Taoiseach saying “a return to direct rule should not be contemplated” .

    reports the abysmal Irish Times today about the telephone call between Enda and Theresa yesterday evening. It doesn’t say if “a return to direct rule should not be contemplated” was an agreed position between the two, if Enda said it before, during or after the conversation, and if it was said by Enda what the response from Theresa was. However, at a minimum, it seems to be Enda’s position, but what value does that have? As co-guarantor of the peace treaty, the Irish govt position should be significant, but recent history shows a casual, fence-sitting, hands-off approach by Dublin.

  • Granni Trixie

    I myself don’t see the point on returning to Stormont unless there are reforms and change in behaviours.

  • Ray Lawlor

    Are you absolutely sure I didn’t complain?

  • Granni Trixie

    As intended you misrepresent Alliance (duh,what’s new). DF tried to get through a bill which exclusively applied to women who were told their unborn had FFA. Aside from that, Alliance has a cOnscience vote policy on abortion as there is no internal consensus on this moral more than politician issue. I can’t see that position changing in my lifetime.

  • Mark Petticrew

    Possibly there was a bit of that at work too, but I don’t think there can be any doubt that Sinn Féin’s newfound assertiveness after pulling the plug was a pertinent factor in energising a considerable number of nationalist voters who’d become Stormont-weary in recent years.

  • Starviking

    I’m sure that’s a big factor too. I guess we’ll see the lay of the land soon enough!

  • file

    Except for the medical opinion that FFA does not exist?

  • file

    So support the Sinn Féin stance then?

  • Nordie Northsider

    It was a joke about mixed metaphors, Johnny.