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Next Northern Ireland Assembly election

The next Northern Ireland Assembly election is due to be held on or before Thursday, 5 May 2022[3][needs update] to elect 90 members to the Northern Ireland Assembly. It will be the seventh assembly election since the assembly was established in 1998.

Next Northern Ireland Assembly election
← 2017 On or before 5 May 2022

All 90 seats to the Northern Ireland Assembly
46 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Arlene Foster Michelle O'Neill Colum Eastwood
Leader Arlene Foster Michelle O'Neill[n 1] Colum Eastwood
Party DUP Sinn Féin SDLP
Leader since 17 December 2015 23 January 2017[n 2] November 2015
Leader's seat Fermanagh & S. Tyrone Mid Ulster Foyle
Last election 28 seats, 28.1% 27 seats, 27.9% 12 seats, 11.9%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Robin Swann Naomi Long Clare Bailey
Leader Robin Swann Naomi Long Clare Bailey
Party UUP Alliance Green (NI)
Leader since 8 April 2017 26 October 2016 21 November 2018
Leader's seat North Antrim Belfast East Belfast South
Last election 10 seats, 12.9% 8 seats, 9.1% 2 seats, 2.3%

  Seventh party Eighth party
  Jim Allister Eamonn McCann
Leader Jim Allister Eamonn McCann [2]
Party TUV People Before Profit
Leader since 7 December 2007 N/A
Leader's seat North Antrim None[n 3]
Last election 1 seat, 2.6% 1 seat, 1.8%

First Minister and
deputy First Minister
before election


First Minister and
deputy First Minister


Eight parties had MLAs in the sixth assembly: the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) led by former First Minister Arlene Foster; Sinn Féin led by Michelle O'Neill, the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) led by Robin Swann, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), led by Colum Eastwood, Alliance, led by Naomi Long, the Greens led by Steven Agnew, People Before Profit (PBP) who have a collective leadership, and Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) led by Jim Allister.



In May 2013, Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, announced the next Assembly election would be postponed to May 2016, and would be held at fixed intervals of five years thereafter.[4] Section 7 of the Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 specifies that elections will be held on the first Thursday in May on the fifth calendar year following that in which its predecessor was elected,[5] which would be 5 May 2022. However, there are several circumstances in which the Assembly can be dissolved before the date scheduled by virtue of section 31(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

After the 2017 assembly election, Sinn Féin stated that it would not return to a power-sharing arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party without significant changes in the party's approach, including Foster not becoming First Minister until an investigation into the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal was complete.[6] A deadline of 27 March was set for the parties to form an executive. The deadline passed and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire gave the political parties more time to reach a coalition agreement.[7] Negotiations were paused over Easter.[8]

On 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May called for a general election to be held on the 8 June 2017. A new deadline to form an executive was set for 29 June.[9] The Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority and sought a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP to remain in government. The DUP and the Conservatives reached an agreement on 26 June.[10]

The deadline to form an executive passed with no resolution. Brokenshire then extended the negotiation time.[11] Brokenshire resigned as Northern Ireland secretary in January 2018 on medical grounds, and was succeeded by Karen Bradley.[12] As of 7 September 2019, no resolution has been formed. Under current legislation, an election must be called by Julian Smith (who succeeded Bradley on July 24) in August- though the government may seek to delay this.[13]

Opinion pollsEdit

Pollster/client(s) Date(s)
DUP Sinn Féin UUP SDLP Alliance TUV Green PBP Other Lead
23 May 2019 European Parliament election[14]
2 May 2019 Local elections in Northern Ireland[15]
21 Nov 2018 Clare Bailey officially becomes leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland[16]
LucidTalk/Northern Slant 23–26 Feb 2018 2,079 33.6% 32.4% 10.3% 8.6% 8.0% 2.3% 1.9% 1.7% 1.3% 1.2%
LucidTalk/GUE/NGL 1–4 Dec 2017 2,079 33.7% 32.8% 8.9% 8.6% 7.9% 1.1% 2.2% 1.1% 3.7% 0.9%
LucidTalk 8–11 Sep 2017 2,080 35.5% 31.2% 9.6% 9.4% 8.6% 1.3% 1.7% 1.5% 1.3% 4.3%
8 Apr 2017 Robin Swann officially becomes leader of the Ulster Unionist Party[17]
2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election 2 Mar 2017 28.1% 27.9% 12.9% 11.9% 9.1% 2.6% 2.3% 1.8% 3.6% 0.2%

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sinn Féin's leader is Mary Lou McDonald, but Michelle O'Neill is the leader of the party in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
  2. ^ Sinn Féin leader in the Northern Ireland Assembly.[1]
  3. ^ Eamonn McCann previously sat as an MLA for Foyle but failed to be re-elected in the 2017 Assembly Election.


  1. ^ "Michelle O'Neill named as NI replacement for McGuinness". RTÉ. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  2. ^ "View Registration - The Electoral Commission".
  3. ^ "Northern Ireland (Executive Formation and Exercise of Functions) Bill: Commons stages - News from Parliament". UK Parliament. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  4. ^ "Northern Ireland Assembly elections put back to 2016". BBC News Online. 10 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014". Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  6. ^ "'No revolt within DUP,' says Foster". 6 March 2017. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017 – via Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Kroet, Cynthia (27 March 2017). "No Snap Election in Northern Ireland After Talks Collapse". Politico. Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Stormont talks: Direct rule or election 'if no deal'". 12 April 2017 – via
  9. ^ "Stormont power-sharing talks deadline set for 29 June". 21 April 2017. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017 – via Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government". BBC News. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Stormont talks: Brokenshire to 'reflect' amid ongoing deadlock". 4 July 2017. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017 – via Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "European elections 2019: Polls take place across the UK". BBC News. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Northern Ireland local elections 2019". BBC News. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Clare Bailey selected as new leader of Green Party in NI". BBC News. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Ulster Unionist Party confirm Robin Swann as new leader". BBC News. 8 April 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2019.