Electoral system and turnout

The election was conducted using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system. 90 members were elected with five MLAs for each of the 18 constituencies.

There are 1,373,731 electors in Northern Ireland. Of these, 873,787 cast their vote. 11,078 ballots were invalid, because they had been spoilt, left blank or completed incorrectly. This meant the turnout (based on valid votes) was 62.8%.

Results of the 2022 election

Results summary

The election of 27 Sinn Féin MLAs marked the first occasion a nationalist party became the largest party in the Assembly. Sinn Féin received 29.0% of first preference votes, an increase of 1.1% points.

The DUP (the largest party at the last election) received 21.3% of first preference votes and won 25 seats. Its vote share declined by 6.7% points compared to the last election and it lost three seats.

The Alliance Party increased its vote share to 13.5% and won 17 seats, an increase of nine compared to the 2017 election. This was the party’s best-ever election result.

The UUP and SDLP lost one and four seats, respectively. This was the worst election result for both parties since power-sharing began in 1998. The TUV increased its vote share by 5.1% points but returned only one MLA. The People Before Profit Alliance held its single seat. The Green Party lost both its seats. Two independent unionist MLAs were elected.

What next?

The election results mean Sinn Féin will be eligible to nominate an MLA to the position of First Minister (FM) and the DUP will be eligible to nominate an MLA to the position of Deputy First Minister (DFM).

The Assembly can only sit and nominate the Northern Ireland Executive with the cooperation of the main political parties from both the unionist and nationalist communities. The DUP has already said it does not intend to support either the Assembly sitting or an Executive being nominated, due to concerns about the Northern Ireland protocol, so the Assembly will not function and a FM and DFM will not be appointed for the time being.

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