Queen's University Belfast | School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy Contact Us
























NI Assembly Election, 7 March 2007

The long awaited elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly took place on March 7, 2007. 18 women were elected out of a total of 108 seats, the same number as elected in the 2003 Assembly election. Sinn Fein with eight women MLAs had the most women elected. The SDLP has four women MLAs, the DUP has three women MLAs, Alliance has two women MLAs and the PUP has one woman MLA. There were no women elected for the UUP. The list of successful female MLAs and elected women as a proportion of party seats can be viewed here.

Several women MLAs elected in last Assembly election did not stand in this election. Of those who did stand for election again, only one, Diane Dodds of the DUP lost her seat. A list of former women MLAs for NI can be found here.

Of those women who were re-elected, two thirds increased their share of the vote. In South Down, Fermanagh and South Tyrone and Strangford constituencies women took the highest share of the votes: Catriona Ruane (SF) took 13.7% of the vote in South Down; Arlene Foster (DUP) took 15.4% of the vote in Fermanagh & South Tyrone; Iris Robinson (DUP) took 16.4% of the vote in Strangford.

In the run-up to the election, the SDLP nominated the most women candidates with 14 out of their 35 candidates being women. This also translated into the largest percentage of women candidates (40%), followed closely by the Alliance Party fielding 7 (39%) women from a total of 18. A full breakdown and analysis of women candidates can be viewed here.

Despite the fact that a law enabling parties to use positive discrimination to faciliate the nomination of women has been in place for several years, it is not being adequately employed by parties in Northern Ireland, with the consequent result that women are under-represented in the Assembly. In fact there were less women candidates for this election than for the 1998 and 2003 Assembly elections. The table belows compares Assembly candidates by gender between the 2003 and 2007 elections.

Table 1: NI Assembly candidates by gender, 2003 and 2007

Party Election Women Men Women % % change on 2003
APNI 2007
2003
7
8
11
13
39
38
+1
DUP 2007
2003
6
4
40
36
13
10
+3
SDLP 2007
2003
14
6
21
30
40
17
+23
SF 2007
2003
9
12
28
26
24
32
-8
UUP 2007
2003
1
4
37
39
3
9
-6
Other 2007
2003
10
15
73
64
12
19
-7
Total 2007
2003
47
49
210
207
18
19
-1

Return to top.

     


Home | Elections | Latest News | Observatory | Research | About Us | Links


Copyright © Centre for Advancement of Women in Politics 2001
19-21 University Square, Queen's University Belfast, N. Ireland, BT7 1PA