Welcome back to the Politics Made Simple part of my website, and for episode 9 of my series. I would like to apologise for not uploading this sooner — I’ve had such a busy couple of months that it has been possible for me to only upload small stories.
In my last Politics Made Simple blog, I outlined the issues that Northern Ireland’s public were likely to be voting on — which ended up being quite accurate — and have resulted in a massive political shift.
So for those of you who don’t follow much of Northern Ireland’s political news, there was an Assembly Election held on the 5th of May 2022. Following the election, Sinn Féin became Northern Ireland’s biggest political party — as the polls suggested — but without gaining any more seats than they had before, so it wasn’t as big of a serge as some were predicting it would have been. The DUP went from having 28 seats to 25 (-3) and Alliance gained 17 seats (+9).
So in other words, despite how much they hate each other, Sinn Féin and the DUP are still interested in carrying on their love/hate marriage, and despite how eager Alliance are to climb into bed with the Shinners, no one is likely to allow them to.
Turning now to the former star couple, the UUP secured only 9 seats (losing them 1 seat), and the SDLP secured only 8 (losing them 4 seats). But at least one of them can face the other and say “We may be unpopular, but we’re not as unpopular as you.”
However, there were 4 seats gained by other parties as well, with the Independents securing 2 seats, the TUV winning 1 and People Before Profit winning 1.
Although they did secure 1.9% and 1.5% of first preference votes, both the Green Party and Aontú failed to gain any seats.