May 22, 2022, 20:13

    Sinn Fein sweeps to victory in Northern Ireland in ‘election of a generation’

    Sinn Fein sweeps to victory in Northern Ireland in ‘election of a generation’

    Sinn Fein has become the biggest party in Northern Ireland for the first time after it reached a record 27 seats at Stormont.

    The DUP was pushed into second place in the Northern Ireland Assembly election.

    Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald told reporters that it was "the election of a generation", later telling the BBC that it was "a moment of equality".

    Leader Michelle O'Neill, who is poised to become Northern Ireland's First Minister, said: "The people can't wait.

    "I will lead my team to Stormont on Monday. The people have told us during the course of this election that they expect us to work together. The people are right."

    She earlier described the election as a "defining moment for our politics and for our people".

    Michelle O'Neill said the election 'ushers in a new era'
    (

    Image:
    PA)

    Ms O'Neill said: "Today ushers in a new era which I believe presents us all with an opportunity to reimagine relationships in this society on the basis of fairness, on the basis of equality and on the basis of social justice."

    It means the DUP can now return a maximum of 25 seats, while the Alliance Party has 17 seats.

    The Ulster Unionist Party currently has nine, and the SDLP has seven.

    Sinn Fein scooped 29 per cent of first preference votes, while the DUP gathered 21 per cent.

    This leapfrogged the 2017 first preference results, where Sinn Fein gathered 27.9% and the DUP picked up 28.1%.

    Labour's shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle said his party could act as an "honest broker".

    Sinn Fein picked up 29 per cent of the first preference vote
    (

    Image:
    AFP via Getty Images)

    He said: "Congratulations to all the new assembly members and to Sinn Fein for earning the right to nominate a new first minister, it is healthy for Northern Ireland that parties from either community can nominate a first minister and shows the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement working.

    "Unionism will still have a strong voice within powersharing and calls for progress on the remaining issues of the protocol have been heard and should not prevent a return to the executive.

    "The Government must now prioritise practical solutions through negotiation with the EU and not chase headlines with empty threats.

    "The Labour party will always be an honest broker for Northern Ireland, and we stand ready to help Stormont deliver on the promise of these elections and get an executive up and running to help people with the cost-of-living crisis we are facing across the United Kingdom."

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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