In brief

Sinn Féin leads opinion polls two months ahead of Northern Ireland election

Unionist parties still projected to emerge as largest bloc

Michelle O'Neill.
Michelle O'Neill. Author: Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin leads opinions polls two months before the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election with 23.2% of projected votes, while the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), stands in second place on 19.4%. The Alliance Party (APNI, liberal) is predicted to get 15.6%, just ahead the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) with 14%.

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP, Irish nationalist) with 9.9%, the Traditionalist Unionist Voice (TUV, a DUP right-wing split) with 6.4%, the Green Party with 6.3% and People Before Profit (PBP, anti-capitalist) with 2.3% would follow.

As regards blocs, Irish nationalist parties would get 33% of the votes, while UK unionists would stand at 41%. Parties not officially designating themselves as nationalist or unionist (APNI, Green, and PBP) would reach 23%.

These results, if they were to translate —not necessarily, but likely— into a Sinn Féin majority would lead to Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill becoming first minister, along with DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson as deputy first minister, in accordance with Northern Ireland’s consociational system.

This would be the first time that Sinn Féin would fill the post of first minister. It should be noted that the first minister and the deputy first minister have equal political power in Northern Ireland, the latter not being subordinated to the former.

Northern Ireland is holding an election after first minister Paul Givan (DUP) resigned last month in disagreement with the Northern Ireland Protocol. Agreed between the EU and the UK, the protocol which has created a de facto custom between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK since 2021.