May 5 election unlikely to shake up Stormont, claims academic

Professor Peter Shirlow
Professor Peter Shirlow

A researcher on Northern Ireland’s elections has said he was not anticipating any major changes in the make-up of the next Assembly, claiming none of the four main parties were likely to make significant gains.

Dr Peter Shirlow said traditional parties were struggling to attract younger voters, claiming orange and green politics were increasingly irrelevant to their lives.

“Our largest political parties in Northern Ireland are not going anywhere electorally in terms of any significant growth in their voter base,” he said.

The Liverpool University academic also said he expected a low turnout.

“I think it will be ‘as you were’ in terms of the Assembly, but the interesting thing will be the number of non-voters,” he added.

See analysis of upcoming election from the News Letter’s political correspondent here.