2017/8 NI Party Conference dates

The spring elections upset the expected pattern of party conferences earlier in the year, so the sequencing is a little unpredictable as we head into the autumn party conference season.

If you have any information on the dates, times and locations of the missing conferences, please get in touch by email to alaninbelfast AT gmail DOT com and I’ll keep the post up to date.

I’ll also update it with links to Slugger’s conference coverage after each event.


  • Saturday 30 September – Green Party NI – Clayton Hotel Belfast [conference report]
  • Saturday 7 October – PUP – Park Avenue Hotel, East Belfast – changed to be closed conference for members only and no media
  • Saturday 21 October – UUP – Armagh City Hotel [conference report]
  • 4 November – Alliance ‘Autumn conference’ – Everglades Hotel, Derry
  • 11 November – TUV – speech by leader in Royal Hotel, Cookstown (moving full conference to Spring)
  • ?? November – UKIP – ??
  • Friday 17 – Saturday 18 November – Sinn Féin – RDS, Dublin (conference report)
  • Saturday 25 November – DUP – La Mon Hotel (conference preview and report)


  • ?? – Workers Party – Belfast
  • Spring – SDLP – ??
  • Spring – TUV – ??
  • 24 March – Alliance – Stormont Hotel, Belfast

Also relevant are the test dates for AQE (Saturdays 11 November, 25 November and 2 December) and GL Assessment (Saturday 18 November + supplementary test on 10 December).


  • Jag

    Thanks Alan,

    I see the Tories will have their conference between 1-4 October in Manchester. Can’t believe May has survived two months already since the disastrous 10 Jun election. If the Tories are looking for theme music to accompany this year’s conference, can I suggest.

  • Nordie Northsider

    “Green Party tba’ Is that short for a Telephone Box in Ards?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Fianna Fáil’s Ard Feis is 13th-15th of October … given they probably have more “northern members” than UKIP you may as well include them.

  • Roger

    Is FF Registered as a political party in UKNI. I thought it was…

  • The Saint

    Ah here we go with the pet names again snookums!!

  • Kevin Breslin

    Likewise, but it’s also the case that even when conferences are not held in “the North of Ireland” (say SF/PBP/WP etc.) they still would make the list.

  • Jag

    Yes, FF was registered as a political party in N Ireland on 10 December 2007, nearly 10 years ago. It’s one of the 398 parties registered in the UK (FG isn’t nor are Social Democrats)

    FF says it will be fielding candidates in N Ireland from 2019, which is just 16 months away; the Euro and local elections should be in May 2019.

  • wild turkey


    outstanding comment and link !

    i have tried, and usually failed ,to put a link into the occasional comments i post on Slugger.

    Question? How doya get it to work?


  • Roger

    I suppose it could be called a pet name….it’s actually an initialism….United Kingdom Northern Ireland.
    It could have been Northern Ireland United Kingdom, but UKNI has a better ring to it and I think is clearer than NIUK…It emphasises the actual status of the place, a region of a particular state. Its status is often ignored here and I felt this the initialism was a step in the right way.

  • Roger

    Is there a separate register for UKNI or is it an UK wide register with no separate registers for the different 3 jurisdictions/4 parts?

  • Roger

    No idea why a conference in Donegal would be classified any differently to one in Kerry…

  • The Saint

    pet name, make up, fantasy what ever your having yourself, if it makes you happy.

  • Roger

    Initialism. I didn’t really make it up …

  • Jag

    The electoral commission website is UK-wide, but it does designate the registration of parties between GB and NI, and FF is NI-registered. So, seems there is indeed a separate register. Maybe the electoral commission knows something! #Brexit

  • Jag

    All I can WT is, if you want to put a link in a comment, you copy (highlight the specific link you want copied, and press Ctrl-C) and paste (at the point in your comment where you want the link, press Ctrl-V) the link.

  • Kevin Breslin

    They could be classified differently by other means, I think we agree that parties that have registered to be able to stand for the geographical region represented by Stormont should make the list.

    I would guess the SDLP conference will probably be on the same or similar dates as Fianna Fáil given they are in the same month.

  • Roger

    FF is a UKNI (or UK registered – I don’t know clearly if there is separate registration for UKNI or if its an all-UK registration) registered party and should be on the list; agreed.

  • mjh

    They’re leaving it late.

    I reckon if they fail to have a big formal NI launch (relaunch?) this autumn that they are not coming. Well,certainly not if they want to have any degree of success.

  • Jag

    Looks like the Shinners have the big hall at the RDS this year; is last year’s venue, the National Conference Centre not big enough. Truth be told, the Shinners are now twice as big as the DUP on an all-Ireland basis (4 MEPs v 1 for the DUP, 23 TDs, 7 senators, around 150 councillors in the Republic to add to the 100+ in N Ireland, and of course they’re neck-and-neck for MLAs, and 7-10 for MPs).

  • Use HTML. Slugger accepts a subset of HTML, including a href etc.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Even the Social Democrats could fill out the National Conference Centre.