Sunday, February 5, 2017

Quick update on Northern Ireland

I have an election projection

I've left the rough numbers up, written by hand.

According to this projection, the DUP would take 23 seats, while SF would take 22.

The UUP would take 18, the SDLP 13, and the Alliance 8.

PBP would keep their 2, and the Greens would take 2. TUV would keep their 1, as would Claire Sugden, the Independent.

This is based on the latest poll in NI - keep in mind polls are very rare in NI and it's likely this will be the only poll of the election.

What's important to note here is that the DUP and SF, in this projection, would have only half the seats. In short, the two parties are at risk of falling below a majority. It's possible that the current government; DUP+SF+Sugden, could fall below the halfway point, effectively meaning they will require support from other MLAs, and, in short, meaning the government has lost the election and a new one must be formed.

Almost all of this is due to the drop in the DUP.

The Good Friday Agreement spells out the way a "cross community" vote works.
Section 5 D if you are interested.

There are two ways to reach the cross community bar. The first is a simple majority of nationalists as well as a simple majority of unionists, the second is 60% of the entire assembly, plus at least 40% of nationalists and at least 40% of unionists.

The UUP would have 40% of unionist members.
However, appointing a First Minister would still go to the DUP according to legislation
One "good" thing about NI being under 'direct rule' is that should the other 4 parties agree to change this section, the government in Westminster can do it for them. (This act, is, after all, an act passed by Westminster)

In short, this both has the potential for chaos, and for a long-term solution that is more stable than the current agreements would allow for.

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