The countdown is on: One week to go until the Assembly Election 202228 April 2022 - by Gráinne Walsh
With one week to go until the polls open, the candidates will be in a mad dash to complete their canvassing; the parties have their manifestos published; and the leaders will be preparing for the two set piece debates. More importantly for the parties, people will be making their minds up on who to vote for, what preference to give them, or whether they will be voting at all.
Following the return of the Assembly and Executive in January 2020 there were many commitments from the parties to complete before the end of the mandate. COVID-19 put many of those on hold, as the world scrambled to respond to the threat posed by the pandemic.
However, many significant achievements were made during the short period of the return, with 46 pieces of legislation making it through the process. Additionally significant strategies were published across a range of departments, and progress has been made on reforming issues within health, justice, housing and education. That MLAs were able to achieve this within just over two years against the backdrop of a global pandemic was a herculean effort, and shows what can be achieved when politics works.
A PR-STV election can throw up some interesting results, and with the finish line now in sight, getting the vote out and fighting for transfers will be key for the parties. These could help to determine a number of seats which are currently too close to call. With over 1.3 million registered voters, almost 120,000 more than the 2019 Westminster election, these new voters could sway results in a number of constituencies.
There will be many discussions and calculations going on in the backrooms of the parties (and at Stratagem!), with permutations and possibilities being worked out. This speculation will all be played out this time next week as the voters go to the polls, and as the results start to come in at the counts on Friday.
As we enter the final week of the campaign, there is still all to play for and the parties will be focused on trying to appeal to as much of the electorate as possible.
In any event, a new mandate is a new opportunity, and we would be happy to discuss what this means for you and your organisation - get in touch on email@example.com.