Transferred votes in the March 2017 Assembly Election

Transferred votes are an extremely important part of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. In the 2017 Assembly Election, only 18 MLAs had a sufficient number of first preference votes to meet the quota and to be elected at the first count; the remaining 72 were elected at a later stage and required transferred votes. This post examines how votes were transferred between parties.

Reference volumes on political theory in the Assembly Library

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Election 2016: An analysis of results and transfers

Yesterday, we published a post which examined the 2016 Assembly election results in terms of candidates and voter turnout. This post, the second in the Election 2016 series, will focus on the results of that poll. The article is based on a more detailed report on Election 2016 by the Research and Information Service, which can be viewed here.

An image of the Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly: 108 seats were contested during the election in May 2016

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Election 2016: Candidates and voter turnout

The fifth Assembly election since the return of devolution in 1998 took place on 5 May 2016. The DUP consolidated its position as the largest party in Northern Ireland with the return of its 38 Members, with the UUP and Alliance also ending up with the same number of seats as before. The nationalist parties, however, experienced reverses, with the loss of two seats by the SDLP and one by Sinn Féin. In this post, the first of two articles on Election 2016, the focus is on the candidates and voter turnout. Tomorrow, a second post will look at the results. These posts are largely based on a more detailed and comprehensive election report which can be viewed here.

A polling station (Image: Paul Albertella under Creative Commons)
A polling station (Image: Paul Albertella under Creative Commons)

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Could responsibility for Assembly elections be devolved?

On 5 May voters went to the polls to elect 108 Members to the Northern Ireland Assembly. Elections in Northern Ireland are an excepted matter, meaning the UK Parliament is responsible for electoral law and policy. The timing of the election is a matter for the UK Parliament. The election is administered by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) with the support of his staff in the Electoral Office and the Electoral Commission will produce a report on the running of the election. This is not to say that the Assembly has not been willing to engage on the issue – the CEO and the Commission gave evidence to the OFMdFM Committee during the last mandate.

But with the Scottish Parliament already exercising more powers in this area and the likelihood of the National Assembly for Wales following suit, is there scope for transferring responsibility for Assembly elections?

A polling station sign.
A polling station sign.

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