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
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.