Explainer

# Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2022: How voting systems works

Voters will take to the polls on May 5 to decide the make-up of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

A total of 239 candidates are running in the 2022 election, it has been confirmed, with 90 being chosen for Stormont.

But how does voting work?

Members of Northern Ireland's legislative Assembly - or MLAs - are elected by the single transferable vote (STV) system.

It is different to Westminster's 'first-past-the-post' system which sees those with the biggest number of votes elected.

STV can be a complicated system which sees people vote, not by a 'x' but by numbering their preferences. That can mean that those with the most amount of votes may have to rely on transfers to get elected.

It is argued that the system produces a more representative system.

How does STV work?

1. People in each constituency vote for as many candidates as they wish in order of preference.

2. Each voting paper is checked to see if it has been correctly filled in and any spoiltpapers are removed from the count to give a total valid count.

3. A quota is calculated for each constituency using a formula. That is calculated by taking the total number of valid votes and dividing it by the number of seats available, plus one. And then adding another one.

4. Voting papers are sorted according to first preferences. Any candidate attaining or exceeding the quota is deemed to be elected.

5. Surplus votes from candidates who exceed the quota are then transferred at a fractional value to the remaining candidates according to next available preference.

- that fractional value is calculated by taking the surplus and dividing it by the total number of papers that were transferable - the result is calculated to two decimal places and the

remainder ignored)

6. Candidates with the least number of votes are excluded and their votes are also transferred according to next available preference.

7. This process continues until all available seats have been filled.

## Northern Ireland Assembly election candidates

### Belfast East (13)

• Andy Allen - Ulster Unionists

• Karl Bennett - PUP

• David Brooks - DUP

• Joanne Bunting - DUP

• Charlotte Carson - SDLP

• Hannah Kenny - People Before Profit

• Lauren Kerr - Ulster Unionists

• Naomi Long - Alliance Party

• Eoin MacNeill - The Workers Party

• Peter McReynolds - Alliance Party

• Mairead O’Donnell - Sinn Féin

• John Ross - TUV

• Brian Smyth - Green Party

### Belfast North (14)

• Phillip Brett - DUP

• Julie-Ann Corr-Johnston - Ulster Unionists

• Fiona Ferguson - People Before Profit

• Billy Hutchinson - PUP

• Gerry Kelly - Sinn Féin

• Lily Kerr - The Workers Party

• Brian Kingston - DUP

• Seán Mac NioCaill - Aontú

• Nichola Mallon - SDLP

• Nuala McAllister - Alliance Party

• Ron McDowell - TUV

• Carál Ní Chuilín - Sinn Féin

• Mal O’Hara - Green Party

• Stafford Ward - Independent

### Belfast South (14)

• Clare Bailey - Green Party

• Paula Bradshaw - Alliance Party

• Andrew Girvin - TUV

• Deirdre Hargey - Sinn Féin

• Paddy Lynn -The Workers Party

• Luke McCann - Aontú

• Stephen McCarthy - Ulster Unionists

• Neil Moore - Socialist Party (NI)

• Elly Odhiambo - Independent

• Matthew O’Toole - SDLP

• Edwin Poots - DUP

• Kate Nicholl - Alliance Party

• Sipho Sibanda - People Before Profit

• Elsie Trainor - SDLP

### Belfast West (17)

• Danny Baker - Sinn Féin

• Gerard Burns - Independent

• Gerry Carroll - People Before Profit

• Patrick Crossan - The Workers Party

• Paul Doherty - SDLP

• Jordan Doran - TUV

• Órlaithí Flynn - Sinn Féin

• Linsey Victoria Gibson - Ulster Unionists

• Gerard Herdman - Aontú

• Donnamarie Higgins - Alliance Party

• Declan Hill - Independent

• Stevie Maginn - Green Party

• Tony Mallon - Independent

• Frank McCoubrey - DUP

• Dan Murphy - Irish Republican Socialist Party

• Aisling Reilly - Sinn Féin

• Pat Sheehan - Sinn Féin

### East Antrim (10)

• Mark Francis Bailey - Green Party

• Roy Beggs - Ulster Unionists

• Norman Boyd - TUV

• Stewart Dickson - Alliance Party

• Danny Donnelly - Alliance Party

• David Hilditch - DUP

• Gordon Lyons - DUP

• Siobhán McAlister - SDLP

• Oliver McMullan - Sinn Féin

• John Stewart - Ulster Unionists

### East Londonderry (16)

• Jordan Armstrong - TUV

• Gemma Brolly - Aontú

• Mark Coulson - Green Party

• Caoimhe Archibald - Sinn Féin

• Cara Hunter - SDLP

• Chris McCaw - Alliance Party

• Kathleen McGurk - Sinn Féin

• Amy Louise Merron - People Before Profit

• Niall Murphy - Independent

• Stephanie Quigley - Independent

• Alan Robinson - DUP

• Billy Stewart - Independent

• Claire Sugden - Independent

• Russell Watton - PUP

• Darryl Wilson - Ulster Unionists

### Fermanagh and South Tyrone (16)

• Derek Backhouse - Independent

• Rosemary Barton - Ulster Unionists

• Matthew Beaumont - Alliance Party

• Paul Bell - DUP

• Emma DeSouza - Independent

• Jemma Dolan - Sinn Féin

• Alex Elliott - TUV

• Tom Elliott - Ulster Unionists

• Deborah Erskine - DUP

• Colm Gildernew - Sinn Féin

• Emmett Kilpatrick - People Before Profit

• Denise Mullen - Aontú

• Áine Murphy - Sinn Féin

• Donal O'Cofaigh - Cross-Community Labour Alternative

• Kellie Turtle - Green Party

### Foyle (14)

• Padraig Delargy - Sinn Féin

• Emmet Doyle - Aontú

• Mark H Durkan - SDLP

• Ciara Ferguson - Sinn Féin

• Rachael Ferguson - Alliance Party

• Gillian Hamilton - Green Party

• Shaun Harkin - People Before Profit

• Anne McCloskey - Independent

• Ryan McCready - Ulster Unionists

• Colly McLaughlin - Irish Republican Socialist Party

• Gary Middleton - DUP

• Elizabeth Neely - TUV

• Brian James Tierney - SDLP

### Lagan Valley (12)

• Robbie Butler - Ulster Unionists

• Pat Catney - SDLP

• Amanda Doherty - People Before Profit

• Sir Jeffrey Donaldson - DUP

• Sorcha Eastwood - Alliance Party

• Paul Givan - DUP

• David Honeyford - Alliance Party

• Gary Hynds - Independent

• Simon Lee - Green Party

• Gary McCleave - Sinn Féin

• Lorna Smyth - TUV

• Laura Turner - Ulster Unionists

### Mid Ulster (14)

• Keith Buchanan - DUP

• Linda Dillon - Sinn Féin

• Meta Graham - Ulster Unionists

• Claire Hackett - Alliance Party

• Alixandra Halliday - Aontú

• Patrick Haughey - Independent

• Sophia McFeely - People Before Profit

• Patsy McGlone - SDLP

• Glenn Moore - TUV

• Michelle O’Neill - Sinn Féin

• Conor Rafferty - The Resume Party (NI)

• Hugh Francis Scullion - The Workers Party

• Emma Sheerin - Sinn Féin

• Stefan Taylor - Green Party

### Newry and Armagh (12)

• Cathal Boylan - Sinn Féin

• Jackie Coade - Alliance Party

• Daniel Connolly - Aontú

• Nicola Grant - The Workers Party

• Ciara Henry - Green Party

• William G Irwin - DUP

• Liz Kimmins - Sinn Féin

• Gavin Malone - Independent

• Justin McNulty - SDLP

• Conor Murphy - Sinn Féin

• Keith Ratcliffe - TUV

• David Taylor - Ulster Unionists

### North Antrim (11)

• Jim Allister - TUV

• Matthew Armstrong - TUV

• Bethany Ferris - Ulster Unionists

• Paul Frew - DUP

• Philip McGuigan - Sinn Féin

• Patricia O’Lynn - Alliance Party

• Eugene Reid - SDLP

• Laird Shingleton - Independent

• Mervyn Storey - DUP

• Robin Swann - Ulster Unionists

• Paul Veronica - Green Party

### North Down (14)

• Chris Carter - Independent

• Alan Chambers - Ulster Unionists

• Stephen Gordon Dunne - DUP

• Alex Easton - Independent

• Connie Egan - Alliance Party

• Jennifer Mary Gilmour - DUP

• John Gordon - TUV

• Naomi McBurney - Ulster Unionists

• Thérèse McCartney - Sinn Féin

• Ray McKimm - Independent

• Andrew Muir - Alliance

• Matthew Robinson - Conservative and Unionist Party

• Deirdre Vaughan - SDLP

• Rachel Woods - Green Party

### South Antrim (12)

• Steve Aiken - Ulster Unionists

• Roisin Bennett - Aontú

• John Kenneth Blair - Alliance Party

• Pam Cameron - DUP

• Trevor Clarke - DUP

• Declan Kearney - Sinn Féin

• Mel Lucas - TUV

• Roisin Lynch - SDLP

• Jerry Maguire - People Before Profit

• Paul Michael - Ulster Unionists

• Andrew Moran - Independent

• Lesley Veronica - Green Party

### South Down (12)

• Patrick Brown - Alliance Party

• Patrick Clarke - Independent

• Sinéad Ennis - Sinn Féin

• Diane Forsythe - DUP

• Noeleen Lynch - Green Party

• Jill MacAuley - Ulster Unionists

• Cathy Mason - Sinn Féin

• Paul McCrory - People Before Profit

• Rosemary McGlone - Aontú

• Colin McGrath - SDLP

• Harold McKee - TUV

• Karen McKevitt - SDLP

### Strangford (12)

• Kellie Armstrong - Alliance Party

• Stephen Cooper - TUV

• Harry Harvey - DUP

• Conor Houston - SDLP

• Ben King - Independent

• Maurice McCartney - Green Party

• Nick Mathison - Alliance Party

• Róisé McGivern - Sinn Féin

• Michelle McIlveen - DUP

• Mike Nesbitt - Ulster Unionists

• Philip Smith - Ulster Unionists

• Peter Weir - DUP

### Upper Bann (12)

• Glenn Barr - Ulster Unionists

• Doug Beattie - Ulster Unionists

• Glenn Beattie - Heritage Party

• Jonathan Buckley - DUP

• Diane Dodds - DUP

• Darrin Foster - TUV

• Aidan Gribbin - Aontú

• Dolores Kelly - SDLP

• Lauren Kendall - Green Party

• Liam Mackle - Sinn Féin

• John O’Dowd - Sinn Féin

• Éoin Tennyson - Alliance Party

### West Tyrone (14)

• Nicola Brogan - Sinn Féin

• Barry Brown - Independent

• Tom Buchanan - DUP

• Trevor Clarke - TUV

• Stephen Donnelly - Alliance Party

• Amy Ferguson - Socialist Party (NI)

• Carol Gallagher - People Before Profit

• Paul Gags Gallagher - Independent

• Susan Glass - Green Party

• James Hope - Aontú

• Ian Marshall - Ulster Unionists

• Declan McAleer - Sinn Féin

• Daniel McCrossan - SDLP

• Maolíosa McHugh - Sinn Féin