The answer to the question above is we don’t know, but Secretary of State Julian Smith is still trying.
In tweets on Friday night, he described positive discussions and constructive meetings with the leaders of the political parties here; and that they were talking about Stormont and other current issues.
Some of the conversations were brief. One of the longer meetings was on Friday night, when Smith travelled to Derry to talk with the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood in his home city.
So, is there going to be another attempt to fix the broken Stormont; are they looking for another of those narrow windows through which they hope new light might shine?
Sunday marks 1000 days without devolution and, if nothing happens before January 2020, then this place will have been without an Assembly and Executive for three years.
“HE’S THE BEST TORY WE’VE HAD HERE IN A LONG TIME”
When I speak to politicians here, there is a good word for Julian Smith.
You’ll hear that he is much more engaged, he’s not a Boris cheerleader, he’s intelligent, he gets it, he cares and that he is genuinely sound.
“He wants to do something, but there’s not much space to work in,” one source commented. “He’s the best Tory we’ve had here in a long time.”
Wanting to do something and being able to do something are, of course, two very different things.
On Wednesday, Smith tweeted: “Very clear message from church leaders tonight – they want Stormont back, and now.”
Why the urgency and why now?
If the Executive has not been restored by October 21, then abortion law will change here; but, after 1000 days without devolution, how realistic is a Stormont deal before then?
“I don’t see it. I don’t see Brexit being sufficiently tied down,” is the response I hear from one party leader.
That said, the Secretary of State is clearly still trying to get something done and it is suggested that will continue over the coming days; but, in this moment of Brexit turmoil, this has the feel of something very last minute. Another source commented: “There’s no structure to this.”
No structure, but he believes there might be an attempt “to use all the pressure around Brexit and abortion” to push the parties into something.
In the here-and-now, the widely held view is that it is the DUP that is under most pressure.
Another source, with whom I spoke, sees another game in play: “We are being conditioned,” he said.
For what, I asked: “For unionism being thrown under the bus on Brexit,” he replied.
“THE WHOLE BREXIT THING IS VERY MUCH UP IN THE AIR”
On Friday, some hours before the Secretary of State’s tweets on his discussions and meetings with the party leaders, a source had given me his read-out on the current state-of-play: no talks process, no intensive engagement and that it is highly unlikely that Stormont would be restored before a Brexit deal.
In a week of twists and turns, there is still no certainty about this, and we are in one of those political moments when parties are expecting an election. Add to this, the publication next week of News Letter Political Editor Sam McBride’s book on RHI.
Given all of this, how do you put Stormont together again?
In the panic of now, perhaps the more relevant and important questions are: Should it be rebuilt again? Is this the right time?
There is no point in a Stormont now, if it is a return to the Stormont that was.