Republican Parties Advance in Assembly Election – Monarchy Divides the Kingdom

Republican parties made strong advances in the recent Northern Ireland Assembly election.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP, both of which advocate a united Irish republic, increased their share of the vote. They now hold 39 seats out of a total of 90.

Sinn Féin won 27 seats and the SDLP 12.

The leading parties that support monarchy, the DUP and UUP, won only 38 seats, 28 going to the DUP and 10 to the UUP. Monarchy has been supported most strongly in Northern Ireland by the parties that support union with Great Britain rather than a united Ireland.

The election brought the republican Sinn Féin within striking distance of being the largest party in Northern Ireland. It won just one less seat than the monarchist DUP although before the election the DUP had a ten seat lead.

Two more seats went to monarchists with the victory of one TUV candidate and one unionist independent. That gave a total of 40 seats to avowedly monarchist candidates.

In addition to Sinn Féin and the SDLP, the People Before Profit Alliance can also be considered to be republican. It won one seat bringing the republican total to 40 also.

The Northern Ireland Green Party won two seats. It does not have a specifically republican platform. But it is a branch of the Irish Green Party which suggests sympathy for a united Irish republic.

The Alliance Party, which wants to bridge the traditional sectarian divisions in Northern Ireland, took 8 seats.

Monarchists and apologists for monarchy claim that the feudal institution unites the country. The results of this election are more evidence that it does not.

Key.

SDLP – Social Democratic & Labour Party
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
UUP – Ulster Unionist Party
TUV- Traditional Unionist Voice