Breaking Walls & Norms: A Report on the UK general election in Northern Ireland, 2019

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The 2019 UK general election had huge implications for Brexit, and in turn for Northern Ireland. The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was championing a renegotiated UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement that had been strongly opposed by all political parties in Northern Ireland, the part of the UK it would most effect. At the same, the region had been without a devolved government for nearly three years. Both factors led to unprecedented outcomes. The dominant parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin, both lost votes and seats, whilst the moderate Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP) and cross-community Alliance Party both made significant gains. The end result, for the first time in the history of Northern Ireland, was that unionist candidates formed a minority amongst the region’s elected representatives for Westminster. Notwithstanding the particular circumstances of the 2019 general election, social and political trends in Northern Ireland suggest that this is unlikely to be an electoral blip, but rather the beginning of a significant realignment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-330
Number of pages17
JournalIrish Political Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020


  • Northern Ireland
  • United Kingdom
  • Brexit
  • 2019 general election
  • Unionism
  • Nationalism
  • political parties


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