Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1998
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Percentage of seats gained by each of the party.|
The first elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly were held on 25 June 1998. Six members were elected by Single Transferable Vote from each of Northern Ireland's eighteen Westminster Parliamentary constituencies, giving a total of 108 MLAs, or Members of the Legislative Assembly.
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The result was (first preference votes only):
|Sinn Féin||Gerry Adams||18||16.7%||142,858||17.65%||4|
|UK Unionist||Robert McCartney||5||4.6%||36,541||4.52%||6|
|Progressive Unionist||Hugh Smyth||2||1.9%||20,634||2.55%||8|
|NI Women's Coalition||Monica McWilliams||2||1.9%||13,019||1.61%||9|
|Ulster Democratic||Gary McMichael||0||8,651||1.07%||10|
|Labour Party NI||Malachi Curran||0||2,729||0.34%||11|
|Workers' Party||Tom French||0||1,989||0.25%||12|
|Ulster Independence||Hugh Ross||0||1,227||0.15%||17|
|Natural Law||James Anderson||0||832||0.10%||18|
|Socialist Party||Joe Higgins||0||789||0.10%||19|
All parties with over 500 votes listed. Electorate: 1,178,556; Turnout: 823,565 (69.88%); Spoiled votes: 13,248; Valid: 810,317.
- ¹ Independent candidates were ranked 14, 15 and 16; other independents won fewer than 500 votes.
Although the SDLP won the most first preference votes, the Ulster Unionists won the most seats in the Assembly. This has been attributed to several reasons, including:
- Slightly different turnouts across the province, with the result that in the more staunchly unionist east fewer votes were required to elect an MLA than in the SDLP's heartlands in the west.
- The Ulster Unionists proved better at "vote balancing" whereby in the rounds of transfers their candidates were less likely to be eliminated earlier on.
- The Ulster Unionists proved better at attracting transfers from other parties (and due to the vote balancing mentioned above, were more likely to be in a position to benefit from this)