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.