NI party leaders clash in UTV election debates

UTV has hosted two debates as Northern Ireland’s political parties tackle key issues ahead of the March election.

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UTV’s Election Debate: Smaller parties go head-to-head

Watch UTV’s election debate with the leaders of three of Northern Ireland’s smaller political parties, hosted by Marc Mallett.

TUV leader Jim Allister, the Green Party's Steven Agnew, and People Before Profit's Eamonn McCann go head-to-head on key issues.

It comes as voters prepare to go the polls on 2 March.

  • Watch and then have your say by voting for the leader you think performed best

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UTV’s Election Debate: NI leaders go head-to-head

Watch UTV’s election debate with the leaders of Northern Ireland’s five biggest political parties, hosted by Marc Mallett.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill, the SDLP’s Colum Eastwood, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt and the Alliance Party's Naomi Long go head-to-head on key issues.

It comes as voters prepare to go the polls on 2 March.

  • Watch and then have your say by voting for the leader you think performed best

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UTV Election: Stormont’s future at stake

  • WATCH: The leaders on what happens post-election

With so many issues tangled up in the collapse of Stormont, whether any of the parties can form a partnership in government again remains a pressing question.

The party leaders themselves addressed that point during UTV’s election debate.

The DUP’s Arlene Foster is adamant she is not going anywhere, despite Sinn Féin’s calls for her to step aside to allow for the RHI investigation.

Michelle O’Neill agrees it is not her place to say who should lead the DUP – but insists it is for Sinn Féin to decide who they will or will not partner in government.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties are waiting in the wings – ready, they say, to step up if voters back change …

UTV Election: Brexit or bust?

  • WATCH: The leaders tackle the issue of Brexit

While Northern Ireland prepares for an election, the UK is still dealing with the fallout from the last time voters went to the polls – in the EU referendum which resulted in the decision to leave the EU.

The political parties are divided on the issue, with the DUP having backed the Leave campaign, while the others have expressed a concerns on a range of issues including the implications for the border.

But what can they do in the face of a UK-wide majority Brexit vote – especially one which was not backed by the majority in Northern Ireland?

With no devolved government in place, voters may wonder who can represent their views in any negotiations …

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