The Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2011

Neil Matthews

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    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Following the first full term of regional government in the province since 1972, the Northern Ireland Assembly election held on 5 May 2011 saw the continuation of several trends. Foremost, the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin bolstered further their positions as leaders of their respective communities, with the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Ulster Unionist Party losing yet more ground. Building on their decision to enter power-sharing government together in 2007, the two largest parties framed themselves as the progressive choice for voters. As this was the first Assembly election since St Andrews (2006), much of the campaign dialogue centred on the prospect of a Sinn Féin First Minister, a concern highlighted by both unionist parties. The campaign also focused on ‘normal’ socio-economic political issues and possible institutional reform. The absence of inter-party conflict led to the campaign being perceived as the most mundane in living memory, with fears of a record low turnout realised.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalIrish Political Studies
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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