Elections on May 5…

THE Westminster and local government elections are to be held on the same day, Thursday, May 5.

A statement from the NIO said:

NIO Minister John Spellar, has announced that the date of future Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland will move from their present date of the third Wednesday in May, to the first Thursday in May.

In a Written Statement to Parliament Mr Spellar said;

“I am announcing that today an Order in Council has been laid to move the date of local elections in Northern Ireland on a permanent basis from the third Wednesday in May to the first Thursday in May. If this measure is accepted by Parliament and the Privy Council it will mean that the Northern Ireland local elections due on Wednesday 18 May 2005 will now take place on Thursday 5 May.

“This measure brings local election dates in Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

“The Government discussed this step in advance with both the Chief Electoral Officer of Northern Ireland and the Electoral Commission.”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I should have pointed out that it is speculation about the Westminster date, since this statement only really confirms the local elections date.

    However, if the Westminster election is NOT on May 5, I’ll eat my ballot paper.

  • Mick Fealty

    Even so, it was The Sun wot guessed it first!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Mick

    The news is actually about the local elections, which could have been on the 18th. The Sun story is about Westminster.

    The general election date mentioned in the Sun’s story, as I thought I had clarified in the first post, has yet to be officially announced.

    However, the parties have been working on the May 5 assumption long before the Sun published its guess, which remains speculation (that I think is on the money, BTW).

    What is concerning is that the government doesn’t seem to have consulted the parties about holding two elections on one day (maybe apart from the UUP, although Trimble is deluded if it thinks the two elections on one day will help him).

    A double election might be convenient for the electoral office, but is bad for democratic politics.

  • peteb

    Thank you, David Ford… ermm.. Gonzo 😉

  • Keith M

    “A double election might be convenient for the electoral office, but is bad for democratic politics.”. I disagree, having the local elections on the same day will boost the turnout and surely that is healthy. I’b be in favour of the American ways of having as many elections, local referendums etc on one day as possible. Low turnouts lead to some really flaky results. Remember Hartlepool?

  • Henry94

    In this case I’d throw in an Assembly election too.

  • beano

    “A double election might be convenient for the electoral office, but is bad for democratic politics.”
    Why? That’s quite a sweeping statement to make, could you please give some reasons?

    I’m going to try and cover the news at EverythingUlster.com, after which time I’ll probably use it as my own NI blog, I don’t know yet.

  • alex s

    If the election does not go ahead in May a lot of money has been wasted on billboards in Lagan Valley