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Electoral Reform Society to launch major report on 2016 Northern Ireland election

13th February 2017
13 Feb 2017
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Forward Planning Note: Electoral Reform Society to launch major report on 2016 Northern Ireland election

Society to publish largest ever survey of Northern Ireland voters on how they ranked candidates and parties, focusing on how different communities vote.

‘The 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election: How Voters Used STV’ gathers data from thousands of respondents – over 4,000 – to create the largest database of voting patterns for NI.

  • Electoral Reform Society statement, 13th February 2017
  • Embargoed report and full PR to be sent on Wednesday 15th February, with findings embargoed for Thursday 16th February, 00:01.
  • Report launch event: March 23rd, central Belfast (details TBC)
  • Contact: Josiah Mortimer, Communications Officer - josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07717211630. www.electoral-reform.org.uk

The Electoral Reform Society will release a major report on the 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly election this Thursday (16th February 2017).

The report, ‘The 2016 Northern Ireland Assembly Election: How Voters Used STV’ commissioned IpsosMori to gather data from thousands of respondents – over 4,000 – to create the largest database of voting patterns for NI.

The launch follows debate this week about parties recommending their supporters give their second preference to other ‘blocs’ [1].

Nearly 2,500 filled out mock ballot papers reflecting how they voted in their constituencies – allowing for a highly rigorous look at how they expressed their preferences under the STV system – focusing on the different communities, including the extent to which unionists/nationalists vote for other blocs.  

The research and analysis was conducted by Prof John Coakley and Prof John Garry at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as Dr Neil Matthews at the University of Bristol and Prof James Tilley at the University of Oxford.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the ERS, said: ‘This research is the first of its kind, and contains some fascinating insights into voting habits in Northern Ireland – insights that go far beyond the usual analysis looking solely at the end results or just first preferences’.

This marks the first report on Northern Ireland by the ERS in several decades and will be formally launched next month at an event for journalists and politicians in central Belfast (details TBC – contact Josiah Mortimer to be added to the attendance list).

Distribution:

·        A full briefing/press release and embargoed digital version of the report will be sent out on Wednesday 15th February, with findings embargoed for Thursday 16th February, 00:01.

·        The report will be formally launched at an event in Belfast on March 23rd

For more information or to arrange an interview, comment piece or coverage in advance, contact Josiah Mortimer, ERS Communications Officer - josiah.mortimer@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07717211630.

Notes

[1] See here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38953929