Northern Ireland Likely to Elect Power-sharing Government
Preliminary election results from Northern Ireland show voters preferring a power-sharing government. Long divided by violence between nationalists and Unionists, Catholics and Protestants, a survey of first choices shows that voters want a compromise government willing to work on bread-and-butter issues.
Voter turnout was, on average, about 60 percent. It approached 70 percent in some precincts.
Northern Ireland has used choice voting to elect its Assembly - sometimes under suspension - since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Choice voting been used to to elect local officials since 1973, where it has been credited with reducing tensions between Protestants and Catholics by ensuring a fuller representation of the spectrum of opinion within each constiuency. Before that, it was used for Northern Ireland House of Commons elections from 1898 to 1953."