The on-again off-again Assembly election is currently “off” unless it is turned back “on”

As Jayne McCormack reports for the BBC, the legal obligation to call another Assembly election if no Executive is formed will be put back for another year. But he will still have the power to call one earlier if he chooses.

Stormont election deadline delayed by a year – BBC News

With the opinion polling telling us that a new election now would achieve nothing – leaving the parties in a broadly similar position to now – it was obvious that another election would achieve nothing beyond trying the patience of the voters and spending £50 million of taxpayer money on a futile exercise.

Clearly this will prompt renewed calls for MLA’s pay to be stopped entirely. Personally I believe this would be a mistake. The brightest and best MLA’s from whichever parties could be forced out of politics altogether – especially if they have families to support. While those of more limited abilities, less well placed to find jobs elsewhere, would form the core of any future restored Assembly. Not many would argue that NI politics is bursting with talent – it would be self-defeating to make that situation worse.


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