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.

Continue reading “Could responsibility for Assembly elections be devolved?”