Political news

More women standing in council elections in Northern Ireland

More women are standing in next month's Northern Ireland council elections compared to 2014
Brendan Hughes

MORE women are standing in next month's Northern Ireland council elections compared to five years ago.

Of the 819 candidates, 226 are women (28 per cent) – an increase on the 209 (23 per cent) who stood in the north's last local government elections in 2014.

All of the main parties have increased their proportion of female candidates apart from the DUP, which is fielding fewer women this time.

The figures have been compiled through an analysis of nomination papers by politics website Slugger O'Toole.

The total of 819 candidates is a decrease of more than eight per cent on the 893 who sought election in 2014.

They will be competing for 462 council seats across the north's 11 councils.

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Of Stormont's five largest parties, Sinn Féin, Alliance and the UUP are running more candidates than in 2014, while the DUP and SDLP are running fewer.

In the Republic, which also holds local government elections next month, 31 per cent of candidates so far are female.

However some selection conventions are still to be held, the Irish Examiner reported.

The figure so far is an increase on 2014 when women made up 25 per cent of the names on the ballot paper.

The overall number of candidates in the Republic has also increased from 1,398 in 2014 to 1,438 this year.

The south has gender quotas for general elections which were first implemented in 2016, but there are no such regulations for local elections.

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