Local elections are scheduled to be held in Northern Ireland on Thursday 2 May 2019 – the same day as local elections taking place in England – contesting 462 seats in all. Local elections were last held in 2014.
Northern Ireland uses the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system to elect members of local councils and members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Voters rank candidates in order of preference by marking 1, 2, 3 ect to the names of candidates on a ballot paper and can rank as many or as few candidates as they like or just vote for one candidate. These are the second elections held on new boundaries, introduced in 2014.
It has been reported that Fianna Fáil and the Social Democratic and Labour Party are in talks of a joint campaign in time for the May 2019 local elections, with the possibility of the SDLP merging into Fianna Fáil. There is division within the membership of the SDLP as to the merits of this plan.
Sources and further reading:
Voting systems in Northern Ireland
2019 elections: Legal challenge to extend voter ID checks