Newton Emerson: DUP set to appoint a Sinn Féin first minister

Unionism’s healthy internal revolution hands nationalists huge symbolic gain

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill, Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, refers to herself as “joint head of government”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill, Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister, refers to herself as “joint head of government”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Northern Ireland is still waiting for Edwin Poots to nominate a new DUP first minister but there seems little doubt the subsequent first minister will be nominated by Sinn Féin.

The unionist vote is now splitting across three unionist parties and Alliance, each polling between 11 and 16 per cent, with all trends clumping those figures closer together. Sinn Féin is steady on 25 per cent.

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