Newton Emerson: Why a Stormont deal remains likely

Sinn Féin and DUP supporters would have no option but to accept a new accord

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy at Stormont. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy at Stormont. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

A couple of days of optimism at the Stormont talks , followed by a return to deadlock, has raised an awkward question. Having made no obvious preparations to do so, how will Sinn Féin and the DUP sell a deal – which is still likely to happen – to their supporters?

The blunt line is that they will hardly need to – supporters of the two parties have nowhere else to go. No hardline rivals are waiting in the wings to capitalise on disaffection.

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