Sinn Fein searching for soft coalition partners
By and large I had a good election. At the micro level, apart from Ivan Yates, I was the only pundit to categorically predict Nessa Childers would win a seat. At a macro level, Sinn Fein's success means I am no longer a lone voice crying wolf.
For years I have argued that the combination of a leaky consensus against armed nationalism, and public anger about austerity, would aid the rise of a nationalist-populist party like Sinn Fein. But now that the Sinn Fein wolf is within the fold I believe it offers a better target than when it was hiding in the woods.
First, the scale of Sinn Fein's success poses more problems for the party than a partial breakthrough would have done. From a party of protest they have become a potential partner in government. This is causing the first faint shadows of a future breach between Platonists and pragmatists to fall across the Project.