ARINS Podcast 23: Northern Ireland's Local Elections: Looking at a new political landscape01 June 2023
In this month’s ARINS podcast, host Rory Montgomery is joined by Philip McGuinness, lecturer in the Department of Computing Science and Mathematics at Dundalk Institute of Technology, to discuss the results of the local elections in Northern Ireland held on 18 May 2023.
In the elections to eleven councils across Northern Ireland the nationalist bloc gained a majority of the vote in both Belfast and L/Derry for the first time with Sinn Fein winning a larger than expected victory finding itself the largest party in six of the eleven councils with a 39 seat increase to 144 of 462 seats. The DUP retained its 122 council seats, and asserted a mandate to pursue its conditions to return to Stormont. The Alliance Party won 14 seats taking its total to 67 seats promising delivery over drama. The results demonstrate that the local electoral landscape in Northern Ireland is changing. The geographical shorthand of east and west of the river Bann no longer fits. While discussions about demographic changes and a diminishing unionist base go some way to explain the differential turnout between nationalists and unionists, McGuinness can better help us navigate our way through these local election result findings and follow-on political puzzles.
Philip McGuinness is a lecturer in the Department of Computing Science and Mathematics at Dundalk Institute of Technology. He studied at Athlone RTC, Trinity College Dublin, and Queen's University Belfast. His commentaries on Irish culture and politics have been published in the Times Literary Supplement, Irish Studies Review, Fortnight and the Irish dailies. He co-edited John Toland's Christianity Not Mysterious: Text, Associated Works and Critical Essays with Alan Harrison and Richard Kearney. He writes regularly about Northern Ireland politics on Sluggerotoole.
About the series
This podcast series provides evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate facing the island of Ireland, north and south. Host Rory Montgomery, MRIA, talks to authors of articles on topics such as cross border health co-operation; the need to regulate social media in referendums, education, cultural affairs and constitutional questions and the imperative for good data and the need to carry out impartial research. New episodes are released on the first Thursday of every month and can be found on our SoundCloud channel or any podcast platform.
About the project
ARINS: Analysing and Researching Ireland North and South brings together experts to provide evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate facing the island of Ireland, north and south. The project publishes, facilitates and disseminates research on the challenges and opportunities presented to the island in a post-Brexit context, with the intention of contributing to an informed public discourse. More information can be found at www.arinsproject.com.
ARINS is a joint project of The Royal Irish Academy, an all-island body, and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs.
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