We are now faced with the most polarised election results in a generation or more.
Ironically, as many commentators were identifying a more ideological, left/right, battle between Labour and the Conservatives, in Northern Ireland we took several large steps backwards into the past.
Over half a million people here have voted for one form or another of conservative nationalism. They have done so in preference to addressing unemployment, a failing health and social care system, child poverty, a crisis in housing, segregated education and, more importantly, the causes of those problems.
Politics of fear and division Sinn Fein and the DUP have fueled and then traded on the politics of fear, difference and division. Now, the possibility of DUP support for a Conservative minority government spells further regression with social policies the likely first casualty.
Given the mandate that both parties have received they now have a responsibility to re-instate the Executive and get the Assembly up and running without delay.
The reality of ‘the morning after the night before’ is that child poverty, unemployment, low paid jobs and zero hours contracts haven’t miraculously disappeared. Health education and housing all remain in crisis. Benefits remain cut, funding to youth services, arts and community groups remain reduced and thousands of low paid working people need to have their wages topped up by the state.
These are the realities, This is why working people, more than ever, need a Workers Party.