What Might Have Been – Assembly Election ’16 With 5 Seats

What Might Have Been – Assembly Election ’16 With 5 Seats

In 2021, there will be 5 MLAs returned for each constituency instead of 6… what if that had happened this time? A look at the winners and losers in the new numbers game. What might have been…. When it comes time for the 2021 Assembly Election, each of the 18 constituencies in Northern Ireland will return only 5 MLAs to Stormont instead of the current 6. This is part of reforming our government to squander less and increase efficiency. Contained within the Stormont House Agreement was this target. In Northern Ireland we have 108 MLAs to a population (as of 2011 Census) of 1,811 million. This means that we have an MLA for every 16,768 citizens. In Scotland that figure is 1 representative per 41,046 citizens (129 seats, population of 5.295 million) and in Wales it’s even greater at 1 per 51,050 people (60 seats, population of 3.063 million). Yes, people may perhaps feel better represented because there are more individuals speaking out for local interests; it’s also easier to have a more diverse government if there are more seats available. However it’s generally accepted that in Northern Ireland, we have too many. Even after the 2021 changes from 6 to 5, we will still have 1 representative for every 20,000 or so citizens… The Alliance Party Proposal… In November 2015, Stewart Dickson of the Alliance Party proposed to the assembly that the associated cost savings of reducing MLAs could and should be taken in time for #AE16 instead of waiting 5 years until #AE21 (if Hashtags even exist by then…). Dickson suggested that the savings in that time...