Northern Ireland: high turnout drives Sinn Fein vote as Greens stay #Awake4Bailey

Jay Jacobs
March 7, 2017

Stormont's snap election has significantly altered the make-up of Northern Ireland's devolved Assembly, with nationalism making major strides at the expense of unionists.

Writing in yesterday's Sunday Life, Mrs Foster said she was determined to remain as party chief and lead the DUP into talks with Sinn Fein.

The republicans came within one seat of the Democratic Unionist Party and have - for the first time - prevented the unionists having a majority at Stormont.

A confident Sinn Féin, a chastened DUP, an SDLP now the third largest party, the ten leaderless Ulster Unionists following Mike Nesbitt's resignation, an Alliance under energetic leader Naomi Long.

The sources said that just because this was Sinn Féin's position, the DUP shouldn't automatically oppose it.

The U.K. may have to reimpose direct rule on the region if the two biggest parties can not agree to enter government together again.

In essence, the election is two contests, with Catholics mostly voting for parties which want a united, independent Ireland and Protestant voters largely supporting pro-U.K. unionist parties.

The government in Northern Ireland collapsed after a power-sharing agreement between the DUP and Sinn Féin broke down.

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The DUP won 28 of the 90 seats while Sinn Fein won 27, narrowing the 10-seat advantage the DUP secured in a 2016 election.

However, it is unclear if power sharing between local parties will resume after Thursday's election, or if a period of direct rule from London beckons.

He said the failure of more reasonable middle-ground politicians to achieve any breakthrough demonstrated "that this society is now more polarized than ever".

In the Brexit referendum, Northern Ireland voted by 55 percent for the UK to remain in the bloc, but across the entire kingdom, 52 percent voted to leave.

Speaking as the party gathered at Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings, Mr Adams said he had no confidence in Mr Brokenshire to chair post-election negotiations.

Sinn Fein is insisting that DUP leader Arlene Foster step aside before it will consider re-entering government.

Earlier: Voters go to the polls in Northern Ireland today for the second time in less than a year. But while the election result cannot change the legal reality of Brexit, it can and probably will change the arguments around it.

"Northern Ireland must be included in that, as well as Iraq".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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