UK Snap Election brings a new Kingmaker

On March 2, 2017, snap elections were held in the little island nation of Northern Ireland (1.8 mil. people and the size of Connecticut) and Sinn Féin made a historic run, nearly winning the night, losing by one seat and .2% of the vote.
Calls came for Arlene Foster, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader to resign as her party had nearly lost the election and was now forced into a coalition to form a majority.
Here we are 99 days later and Arlene Foster’s once tottering party has joined the Conservative Party in Westminster to form the next UK Parliament. With the NI parties unable to come to a deal for a new government now the DUP will have the upper-hand in two governments.
As I write this the cabinet has not been announced so we don’t know the actual government makeup but you can bet the nationalist in NI are up in arms. Does this doom formation of a new NI Assembly, time will tell but certainly the unexpected twist of DUP power in Parliament adds a wrinkle no one saw coming.
The British election also removed UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and the SDLP from seats hollowed out the middle and left opposites in charge with little check on them or their policies.
Just four weeks ago when Prime Minister Theresa May called for snap elections, it looked like a Labour wipeout was possible. Polls showed the Tories up from 16-25 points and a 100+ seat majority was likely. Flash forward to today and a bruising campaign brought Labour to 261 seasts, 318 (8 shy of majority) for Conservatives, 35 for the Scottish Nationalist, down from 56 only 2 years ago, Lib Dems 12, DUP 10, Sinn Féin 7 (a new record) and 6 for other parties.
Where does this election leave the NI Assembly? Will the talks scheduled for Monday take place and bring the parties together.
We can only hope both sides see the light and come ready to make a deal and get the government up and running once again.

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