Elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly are held every four years. The most recent elections were held on 5 May 2011.
In October 2010 the Northern Ireland Office Minister of State, Hugo Swire MP, announced that elections to the 26 councils were also to take place on 5 May 2011.
The Northern Ireland Assembly is made up of 108 Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). The voting system used is the single transferable vote system (STV). Six MLAs are elected in each of the 18 UK Parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland.
There are 26 local councils in Northern Ireland and 582 councillors. Each local council is responsible for providing a range of public services including waste management, sports and leisure facilities and tourism.
Elections in Northern Ireland are administered centrally by the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland who is both the returning officer and registration officer for all elections in Northern Ireland. You can find out more information on the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland’s website.
Instructions and guidance for combined polls on 5 May 2011
The Chief Counting Officer issued instructions for running the UK referendum on 5 May 2011. We also published guidance for those administering elections scheduled for the same day.
We also published the wording for all forms required by electoral administrators to enable people to cast their vote. Our materials include PDF examples and instructions on how forms should be designed.
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If you have any queries relating to the elections, please contact your nearest Electoral Commission office or your local Returning Officer. Visit our About my vote website for the contact details of your local authority.