Poll returns most female MLAs in assembly's history

Orlaithi Flynn and Michelle O'Neill were among the 11 Sinn Féin female members elected. Picture by Hugh Russell.

The 2017 snap election ended with the highest number of female elected representatives since the formation of the Northern Ireland assembly, and with three of the elected women party leaders.

Of the 90 assembly members elected 27 are women - 30 per cent of MLAs - while the figure is down from the 30 elected in 2016, because of the reduced assembly it is an increase percentage wise.

The largest proportion of female MLAs came from within the ranks of Sinn Féin, 11 of the party's 27 elected candidates are female, including party leader Michelle O'Neill.

Orlaithi Flynn in west Belfast and Meagan Fearon in Newry and Armagh are also among the youngest assembly members.

Visit our Election Results Hub

Of the SDLP members elected after Thursday's vote, Sinead Bradley in south Down, Nichola Mallon in north Belfast and south Belfast representative Claire Hanna are three of the most outspoken members of the opposition. The return of party veteran Dolores Kelly in Upper Bann brought the figure to four out of 12.

The DUP have the second highest number of elected female representatives including leader Arlene Foster, but lost some high profile MLAs in the cull of ten members, including Emma Little Pengelly who had previously been put forward as a spokesperson for the party in media interviews. Former Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale also lost her seat.

The Ulster Unionist Party women fared badly. Jo-Anne Dobson, Jenny Palmer and Sandra Overend all failing to be reelected, leaving the party with just one female MLA, Rosemary Barton in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Alliance have three women elected out of their eight assembly members, including party Leader Naomi Long, Strangford's Kellie Armstrong and Paula Bradshaw in south Belfast.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long topped the poll in East Belfast.

The Green Party had Clare Bailey returned in East Belfast while former Justice Minister Clare Sugden was returned as an Independent in East Derry.

The increase means Stormont's female representation is considerably higher than the Dáil where just 22 per cent of TDs are female, 35 women out of 158.

However, less than the upper house where 32 per cent of senators are female. Of the 60 current members of the Seanad, 19 are women.

In Westminster 191 elected MPs are female, a figure of 29 per cent, including Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Visit our Election Results Hub



Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: