Elections 2022: Taking a look at voter turnout in East Londonderry

Voters across the UK will flock to the polls next week for this year’s round of elections.

A polling station sign in north London.
A polling station sign in north London.

Voters across the UK will flock to the polls next week for this year’s round of elections.

Thousands of seats will be contested on Thursday, May 5, when residents up and down the country will decide who they want to make important decisions on their behalf.

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In Northern Ireland, all 90 seats on the Stormont Assembly will be up for grabs, with those on the electoral roll in East Londonderry able to take part in the elections in just a few days' time.

We've taken a look at what turnout was like across East Londonderry when voters last headed to the polls to vote for their preferred MLAs.

Data from the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland shows that at the last Assembly elections in 2017, 67,392 people in the constituency were eligible to vote, with 41,873 of them returning valid ballot papers.

That equated to a valid voter turnout of 62.1%.

Of the votes cast, a total of 375 were rejected at the count – meaning the paper was not marked properly or was spoiled.

Including rejected votes, the turnout in East Londonderry that year was 62.7%, which was lower than the Northern Ireland average of 64.8%.

Polls suggest Sinn Féin is on course to emerge from the Stormont election as Northern Ireland’s biggest party, displacing the DUP from the position it has occupied for almost 20 years.

Sinn Féin recently unveiled its election manifesto, which vows to deal with issues such as surging living costs and spiralling health service waiting lists.

It includes a pledge to pay £230 to every household in the region to help mitigate some of the pressure of rising energy bills.

Another manifesto priority is securing a date for a border poll on unification.

The DUP has claimed Sinn Féin will be emboldened to press for a referendum if it becomes the largest party following the May 5 election.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has insisted a “divisive border poll” is the republican party’s sole focus, to the detriment of all other issues.