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Northern Ireland Assembly Elections: 2017

Published Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Northern Ireland Assembly elections on 2 March 2017 took place just 301 days from the previous elections. The resignation of the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, on 9 January 2017 set in train a sequence of statutory provisions that has led to an early election to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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The Northern Ireland Assembly elections on 2 March 2017 took place just 301 days since the previous elections. The resignation of the Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, on 9 January 2017 set in train a sequence of statutory provisions that has led to an early election to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The March 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly Elections were conducted with the Single Transferrable Vote system. 90 Members were elected, 5 for each of the 18 constituencies; previously 108 Members were elected.

The DUP remained the largest party in the Assembly with 28 MLAs (31.1% of seats) although they no longer have enough MLAs to unilaterally use a “petition of concern” (a blocking mechanism) in the Assembly.

Sinn Féin is the second largest party with 27 MLAs (30% of seats). The UUP lost their position as the third largest party in the Assembly (a position they had held since 2007) and was replaced by the SDLP. The Alliance party kept the same number of seats as they had in 2016 although their share of total seats increased.

27 women were elected to the Assembly; 30% of MLAs are women, the highest proportion ever.

The turnout was 64% (based on valid votes), higher than any previous Assembly election since 1998.

Northern Ireland Assembly elections 2017

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7920

Author: Noel Dempsey

Topics: Elections, Northern Ireland Assembly, Political parties

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