Sinn Féin has emerged as the biggest winner in the North’s Assembly election after the party came to within one seat of matching the Democratic Unionist return of 28 seats. In a dramatic shake-up, unionists lost their long-enduring and highly symbolic overall majority in Stormont as the republican party came very close to securing more first preference votes than the DUP. Former first minister Arlene Foster is now likely to come under intense scrutiny after her party fell below the threshold of 30 MLAs required to trigger a contentious Stormont veto mechanism called the “petition of concern”. The mechanism effectively handed the DUP a veto on issues including moves to lift the ban on same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
Sinn Féin’s northern leader Michelle O’Neill said: “I think it’s a brilliant day for equality, I think it’s a great day for democracy.
“The vote has increased. I think that is because people knew that action needed to be taken, they have had their say, we now need to get down to the business of fixing what’s wrong and delivering for all citizens.”
With the final seat filled after 3am on Saturday, the DUP finished with 28 seats, Sinn Féin has 27 seats, SDLP 12 seats, UUP 10 and Alliance 8.
Full Article: NI Assembly election: DUP finish just one seat ahead of Sinn Féin.