Northern Ireland Assembly election 2017 Odds
It seems as if the fires of Nationalism and Populism know no borders when it comes to the sheer levels of disruption, good, bad, and undefined, that are wracking nearly every nation in the West.
Even in little isolated Northern Ireland, considered a rather sleepy sideshow territory since the peace negotiations of a couple of decades ago, one can observe political upheaval in the works in regards to the next Assembly Elections (to be held on the 2nd of March this year).
For one who is not a citizen of Northern Ireland or the adjacent lands, the political lingo and factional disputes may be extremely difficult to understand.
But essentially what we're looking at is a fight encompassing Unionists loyal to Great Britain, and Nationalists who wish to join with their Irish brethren to the South (an ongoing battle since the days of independence), although now we see the effects of Brexit and social/cultural disputes also swinging to the forefront of the electoral struggle.
The largest party in power in the area are the Democratic Unionists, who are beyond a shadow of a doubt the most traditionalist members of the Assembly, and ardent foes of Irish Nationalists Sinn Fein, who oddly enough tend to vote and legislate much further to the Left on social issues than their opponents and allies.
At the end of the day, one expects the Election to mainly involve these two groups, although internal struggles and scandals within Sinn Fein may result in a weaker than average showing when all is set and done.
Therefore, polling and predictions have proven to be less than satisfactory, although the most logical outcome would be the continued maintenance of the status quo, with the Unionists remaining the party with the highest number of seats in the Assembly, and Sinn Fein trailing just a little behind.
Other parties will likely maintain some representation, but not at levels strong enough to directly influence policy and affairs on a region-wide basis.
Paddy Power has odds at Northern Ireland Assembly election 2017.