15 years on from the 2003 Assembly Election

Today marks 15 years since the DUP and Sinn Fein emerged as the largest parties, overtaking the SDLP and UUP at an Assembly level.

For your viewing pleasure I have taken some clips from the five main party manifestos.

DUP- It’s Time for a Fair Deal

Key points;

  • Reduce MLAs from 108 to 72
  • Abolish Civic Forum
  • Cut back North/South bodies
  • Reduce govt departments
  • Redefine equality agenda

Sinn Fein-Agenda For Government

Key Points

  • Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement
  • Creation of a Dept for Equality
  • Reform of police service
  • Ending academic selection
  • Irish Language Act
  • Green Paper on Irish Unity
  • Talks with Ulster Unionists
  • All Ireland Civic Forum

UUP-Manifesto 2003

Key Points

  • Keep academic selection
  • Ending 50/50 recruitment for PSNI
  • End to all paramilitarism
  • Completion of decommissioning
  • Oppose amnesty
  • Devolution of policing powers but only in certain circumstances
  • Community Relations Policy
  • A National Stadium

SDLP-Re shaping Government, Rebuilding Public Services

Key Points

  • Border Poll during the Assembly term
  • Expand North-South bodies
  • Resist attempts to re-open Good Friday Agreement
  • All Ireland Charter of Rights
  • End academic selection
  • Irish Language Act
  • Single Equality Bill

Alliance Party-Alliance Works

Key Points

  • Reduce the size of the Assembly
  • Introduce weighted majority for voting in Assembly
  • Abolition of Office of First Minister/Deputy First Minister
  • Voluntary power-sharing coalition
  • More checks on ministerial power
  • Change from D’Hondt for selecting Committee Chairs
  • Bill of Rights

The Results


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs