Election 2022: The unionist overall vote stays ahead of the nationalist total, albeit narrowly

The unionist share of the vote in Northern Ireland has stayed above 40%, despite polls that showed it might fall as low as mid 30s.

By Ben Lowry
Friday, 6th May 2022, 8:31 pm
Updated Friday, 6th May 2022, 8:49 pm

• Scroll down to see vote totals:

Some surveys of public opinion prior to Thursday’s election even suggested that the combined nationalist vote would over-take unionism.

While this did not in fact happen, the vote lead of the three main unionist parties over the two main nationalist ones was narrow, at 40.1% to 38.1% — a 2% margin. (DUP, UUP, TUV combined got 346,080 votes, while Sinn Féin, SDLP combined got 328,625).

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Counting for the Stormont election at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast. Across Northern Ireland, the DUP, UUP, TUV combined got 346,080 first preference votes, while Sinn Féin, SDLP combined got 328,625. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

And while the combined share of the unionist first preference ballots won by the main unionist parties has remained in the 40s, it was down on their 2016 Stormont vote share of 45.2% and on their 2017 vote share of 43.6%.

The share of vote won by the two main nationalist parties has edged up from 36% in 2016 to 38.1% this time, albeit this is a drop from 39.8% in 2017.

However, both the unionist and nationalist totals can be boosted by including smaller parties.

The nationalist total is 351,200, or 39.6% of the total, if Aontú are included and 40.7% if People Before Profit, who get most of their votes in largely nationalist constituencies, are added in.

The unionist total rises to 363,157 or 42.1% if various smaller parties or independents are included, such as the PUP, Claire Sugden and Alex Easton.

Northern Ireland vote totals and vote share:

Sinn Féin 250,388 29.0% +1.1%

DUP 184,002 21.3% -6.7%

Alliance 116,681 13.5% +4.5%

UUP 96,390 11.2% -1.7%

SDLP 78,237 9.1% -2.9%

TUV 65,788 7.6% +5.1%

Green 16,433 1.9% -0.4%

Aontú 12,777 1.5% +1.5%

People Before Profit 9,798 1.1% -0.6%

Others 32,209 3.7%