Northern Ireland

The tables below show the results of elections to the devolved legislatures of Northern Ireland.

House of Commons of Northern Ireland

The House of Commons of Northern Ireland was the lower house of the ‘Home Rule’ Parliament of Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1973. It was directly elected, first by the Single Transferable Vote (1921 and 1925) and then by first-past-the-post (1929-69). Across those 52 years of Home Rule, the conservative Ulster Unionist Party won every single election with a landslide majority and always formed the government.

Note: in every election between 1925 and 1969, a significant number of MPs in the House of Commons (mostly Unionists) were elected unopposed. In 1933, for instance, 27 of the 36 Unionists were elected unopposed. Thus, the popular vote did not reflect the balance of opinion in Northern Ireland. To account for this, I have included estimates based on the average vote of each party within the seats it did contest.

Assemblies, Conventions and Forums

In 1972, the Parliament was suspended, and in 1973 it was abolished. The UK government held elections to a series of failed assemblies and conventions throughout the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in the successful 1996 forum which led to the Good Friday Agreement.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Following the Good Friday agreement, a new arrangement was reached in which nationalist and unionist communities would share power. The Northern Ireland Assembly, elected by STV, was the basis for this power-sharing arrangement. With some amendments, this Assembly is the institution that continues to exist today. Each government since 1998 has thus been composed of both unionists and nationalists, governing Northern Ireland together on an equal basis.

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