Elections will be held across the UK next week, he said The guard. Much attention has been focused on their potential impact on Boris Johnson’s leadership, but the most profound fallout from the May 5 election may actually be felt in Northern Ireland. All 90 members of the Stormont Assembly are elected by proportional representation and there is a good chance that Sinn Féin will emerge with the largest number of seats.
The current poll average puts their support at 24% versus 19% for the Democratic Unionist Party. This would give the party the right to nominate its deputy leader, Michelle O’Neill, as the new first minister. In practice, it doesn’t have to lead to a big change. In power-sharing, the two largest parties must govern together or not at all. But it would be a “historic moment” for Northern Ireland, which has been run by trade unionists for more than a century.
This could be the most significant election at Stormont in decades, Ailbhe Rea said im New statesman. There is now a “realistic prospect” that Ireland could have a Sinn Féin First Minister in the North as well as a Sinn Féin Taoiseach in the South, increasing the chance of a referendum on unification. But such a survey will not take place in the foreseeable future. Sinn Féin has built its support in the North by putting the issue of Irish unity “on the back burner” and instead focusing on voters’ everyday concerns such as health care and the cost of living.
Northern Ireland’s politicians will struggle to keep their campaign promises in the current political climate, Jude Webber said in the financial times. The DUP withdrew from the Stormont Executive in February consecutively over the post-Brexit trade deals known as the Northern Ireland Protocol. And it has refused to commit to nominating a deputy first minister if Sinn Féin comes first elections next week, which could cause the assembly to stop working. Months of “political paralysis” are likely to await.
To make matters worse, Downing Street chose this moment to propose it could introduce legislation giving the UK the power to unilaterally override key elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Bobby McDonagh said in The Irish Time. The move was “probably intended to increase the DUP’s chances in the elections,” but it was fundamentally unhelpful. Such a move would only “further unsettle the delicate situation in Northern Ireland by putting back to square one the real and inevitable challenges of dealing with the fallout from Brexit”.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/politics/956596/northern-ireland-election-sinn-fein-poised-victory Election in Northern Ireland: is Sinn Fein about to win?