News

When is the Northern Ireland election 2022? NI Assembly vote date, latest polls and how to find candidates



Local elections are taking place in England, Scotland and Wales this week, but the most consequential vote is in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland will elect its new assembly this week – the body which runs the devolved nation.

The Northern Ireland Assembly is often referred to as Stormont, because of the parliament buildings’ location in the Stormont Estate area of Belfast.

It is a democratically elected body comprising 90 members, and makes key decisions for Northern Ireland that fall outside the remit of the UK Government.

Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has called the upcoming vote “the most important election in our history”.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

When is the Northern Ireland election?

The 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election will take place on the same day as the local elections across the UK – Thursday 5 May.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on the day of the election.

You can find the candidates in every constituency right here.

More from Northern Ireland

Who is eligible to vote?

You must be registered to vote to cast your ballot.

You can register to vote if you are:

  • A British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of a member state of the European Union
  • 17 or over (though you are only eligible to vote when you are 18 or over)

The deadline for registering to vote has already passed, as have the deadlines for postal votes and proxy votes.

You will need to show photo ID to vote. This can include your passport, driving licence, Electoral Identity Card or certain kinds of Translink Smartpass.

Why is this election important?

For the first time in Northern Ireland’s 100-year existence, a party that supports a united Ireland could become the largest party.

Sinn Fein is currently polling seven points ahead of the loyalist DUP.

Under the assembly’s power-sharing agreement, the two parties must govern together or not at all.

However, the DUP has said it would not provide a deputy to serve while Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill was First Minister.

Sinn Fein would not necessarily push for a border poll even if it did become the largest party, at least not at first, because the issue is considered very controversial.

The party has been careful not to campaign too hard on this issue, focusing more on the cost of living, healthcare and housing.

“Rising living costs and fuel and electricity price hikes are placing huge pressure on ordinary people,” the first section of Sinn Fein’s manifesto reads.

“Over a decade of Tory austerity has left workers, families, and public services less able to deal with crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic and now the spiralling cost of living.

“Boris Johnson has done little to support people through this crisis and while people continue to struggle, big corporations and energy companies’ profits soar.”

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald is also on course to become Taoiseach in the Republic of Ireland’s next general election.

The party has capitalised on younger voters growing up in times of relative peace, and garnered support with policies such as freezings rents.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

close