#LE23: What are the parties saying?

17 May 2023 - by Gráinne Walsh

With our social media full of candidates giving canvassing updates, and posters decorating lampposts across Northern Ireland, we’re now a day out from the election.

With changes at the last election in 2019, it will be interesting to see if some of those first-time Councillors – such as the Greens and People Before Profit in Belfast will return for a second term. Will the Alliance surge continue and how will both the SDLP and UUP fare? Will Sinn Féin and the DUP remain the dominant parties? What impact will retirements have as well as internal party dynamics?

Whilst the running of D’Hondt will select positions of responsibility for the council term, the relationships between the Councillors will be the biggest indicator of the effectiveness and atmosphere throughout the next mandate.

We know that this is a time of change for many local authorities as they recover and renew from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they are doing so at a time of inflation, increased public expectations and locally, a very difficult political and budgetary context.

While many councils used the unparallel changes of COVID-19 to rethink their strategies, partnership approaches, and engagement with people, communities and businesses, the challenge now is to maintain these ambitions and support democratically elected members who are operating in a very difficult context.

They will be responding to the immediate political pressures that shape politics here - the ongoing challenges about the reformation of the Executive and Assembly within the broader context of the constitutional debate, while wanting to respond to constituents’ needs, stakeholder interests and deliver on their own and their party ambitions. 

But what is it that the parties have committed to doing? We have collated a list of all the main party manifestos that have been published.

Alliance: Local Government Manifesto

Aontú: Local Government Manifesto

DUP: Local Government Manifesto

Green Party: Local Government Manifesto

People before Profit: Local Government Manifesto

Sinn Féin: Local Government Manifesto

TUV: Local Government Manifesto

UUP: Local Government Manifesto

Are your organisation’s priorities reflected in the party manifestos? Contact us at ideas@stratagem-ni.com to discuss how we can help you prepare for the new mandate.