As the start of the Election Cycle for the Assembly Governments approach, what role could the TUV play in the next Stormont Assembly?
Within the Power-Sharing Coalition system of the Northern Irish Assembly there is no Official Opposition but next year it could just get one in the form of the TUV. As the five largest parties are almost guaranteed at least one seat thanks to the d'hondt with the Alliance party being given the Justice Department to keep the peace it is doubtful that the TUV which is most likely to become the sixth largest party next year will either qualify nor want to take a seat within the power sharing agreement.
Like it or not any TUV MLAs will take an oppositional role to the Executive challenging them not only on the inclusion of what they view as Sinn Fein/IRA in the power sharing deal but also the system of forced coalition to begin with.
Another interesting aspect is that if the DUP remain the head of the Executive (in the respect of side) is that we could see a Unionist headed Coalition up against a small but vocal Unionist Opposition.
This is of course speculative, the TUV may collapse in the vote as they did during the general elections, perhaps being seen as too extreme to be introduced into the Stormont eco-system.