Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party has been dealing with some volatile times as of late. Normally, the center-right party has held a reputation for stability.

The party has most recently been preparing for a third leader in the span of two calendar months, following the end of leader Arlene Foster's long tenure and the significantly shorter tenure of leader Edwin Poots. With hopes of a return to steadiness, the DUP turns to a familiar face to take the helm.

Donaldson set to become DUP leader and likely eventual first minister

Sir Jeffery Donaldson is now set to take over the Democratic Unionist Party.

Donaldson is currently a member of the national United Kingdom Parliament. Since 2019 has been the head of the party's delegation to that legislative body.

Former First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster announced her resignation earlier this year. In the past, Foster's role in the party seemed to be rock solid. But a variety of problems, internal and external, caused her to be toppled from the top of the DUP.

A vigorously contested leadership election ensued. And in the end, Donaldson was narrowly defeated by Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots. Poots has been a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for well over 20 years. Spending large swaths of that time as a powerful government minister.

But in somewhat of a surprise move, Poots bucked the norm and did not name himself the first minister. Instead, he said he would appoint another party member to the role. He ended up settling on his close political ally Paul Givan. But it seemed that almost nobody else other than Poots himself truly wanted Givan in the role.

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Givan would gain the necessary approval to take the role. But the damage from the swift backlash from the choice may have already been done. Already dealing with the fallout of a divisive leadership election, the situation became untenable among other issues.

Less than a full month after taking the job, Edwin Poots announce he was resigning as the DUP leader.

A consensus quickly formed that Jeffrey Donaldson would run uncontested for the leadership. In large part to avoid another bruising voting cycle.

He has said he plans to become the first minister

Donaldson's path to leadership of the party may have been cleared, but the path to the first minister, less so. Givan currently remains in the role, but Yahoo reports that that's likely to change soon. Even despite his pledge to fully support the new party leader. But even so, as it stands, Donaldson isn't actually technically eligible to hold the position.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson is a member of the U.K. Parliament, not the Northern Ireland Assembly. However, he was once a member of the latter for several years.

But to be the first minister of Northern Ireland, one must be a member of its Assembly.

As indicated by the BBC, there's likely a particular series of events to follow. An Assembly member from a safe DUP seat will likely resign. Donaldson would be the party's nominee to replace them. After his theoretical victory, he could then take his place as the first minister.

But a question quickly emerges - which constituency would he run in? It can be tricky to convince an officeholder in a safe seat to give up their job. An obvious first place to start would be a seat within Donaldson's U.K. Parliament Constituency of Lagan Valley. The region located near Belfast currently has two seats in the devolved Assembly.

They're held by --wait for it-- Paul Givan and Edwin Poots. Neither of them seems likely to be giving up their spot soon.

Donaldson is a former member of the Ulster Unionist Party

In his youth, Jeffery Donaldson attended Kilkeel High School near Northern Ireland's southeast coast. Followed by Castlereagh College in Belfast. He would serve in the British Army in the Ulster Defence Regiment, retiring as a corporal.

Donaldson began his political career with the Ulster Unionist Party. He was a staffer for MP Enoch Powell. Powell had once been U.K. health minister under Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

Donaldson was elected to an earlier version of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1985.

His predecessor, Raymond McCullough, had died while still in office. He was first elected to the U.K. Parliament in 1997. In 2003, Donaldson left the Ulster Unionist Party, and the following year, he joined the Democratic Unionist Party.

From 2003 to 2010, Donaldson was also a member of the devolved Assembly. In 2016, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.