NI Assembly election 2022: All eyes on five seater Foyle as 14 candidates confirmed

A total of 14 candidates are to stand in the Foyle constituency in the forthcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election while potential voters are advised that the deadline for registering is fast approaching.

Voters will head to polling stations across the constituency on Thursday, May 5th, 2022 with the count set to get underway the following morning.

The Derry candidates include former elected and co-opted MLAs, former Assembly candidates and new candidates, representing various parties, with one independent candidate standing.

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The candidates are presented here in alphabetical order by their surnames as they are listed by the Electoral Office.

Foyle 2022 Assembly election candidates in alphabetical order: Top row left to right - Padraig Delargy (Sinn Féin), Emmet Doyle (Aontú); Mark H Durkan (SDLP); Ciara Ferguson (Sinn Féin); Rachael Ferguson (Alliance Party); Gillian Hamilton (Green Party); and Shaun Harkin (People Before Profit). Bottom row left to right: - Anne McCloskey (Independent); Ryan McCready (UUP); Colly McLaughlin (IRSP); Sinéad McLaughlin (SDLP); Gary Middleton (DUP); Elizabeth Neely (TUV) and Brian Tierney (SDLP).

There are five seats allocated for the Foyle constituency.

During the previous Assembly, the breakdown was one DUP seat, two SDLP seats and two Sinn Féin seats.

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Two of the five people elected MLAs elected back in 2017 are standing again. They are: Mark H Durkan for the SDLP and Gary Middleton for the DUP.

Three others who were co-opted during the course of the last Assembly election are also standing. They are Ciara Ferguson and Padraig Delargy for Sinn Féin and Sinéad McLaughlin for the SDLP.

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The count will commence the morning after the ballot. File picture Photo by Freddie Parkinson / Press Eye.

The last Assembly election saw Sinn Féin overtake the SDLP to become the largest party by share of vote in Foyle, with Elisha McCallion (SF) topping the poll and SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood coming in in second place.

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The SDLP regained ground in the Westminster election in 2019 with Colum Eastwood becoming Foyle MP, defeating the sitting MP Elisha McCallion who had won the seat two years earlier for Sinn Féin in a victory over Mr Eastwood’s predecessor Mark Durkan (Snr).

The SDLP has designs on a third Foyle seat with Derry & Strabane Councillor Brian Tierney also standing in Foyle, while Sinn Féin are bidding to retain their two seats in an election which could see their party leader Michelle O’Neill become the First Minister of Northern Ireland if indeed her party becomes the largest across the north.

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The DUP’s Gary Middleton will also be bidding to retain the seat he has held.

The three parties who have held seats at the Assembly table will face challenges from a diverse range of candidates with political and community activist profiles locally, including sitting Derry & Strabane Councillors Aontú candidate Emmet Doyle, Alliance Party candidate Rachael Ferguson, People Before Profit candidate Shaun Harkin and UUP candidate Ryan McCready as well as former Derry & Strabane Councillor, Independent candidate Dr Anne McCloskey, IRSP candidate Colly McLaughlin, Green Party candidate Gillian Hamilton and TUV candidate Elizabeth Neely.

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In the last Assembly election in Foyle, the electorate eligible to vote was 69,718.

The number of votes cast was 45,317 - a turnout of around 65%.

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The quota to be deemed elected stood at 7,437 votes.

The deadline for registering to vote at the NI Assembly Election on May 5 is fast approaching. The deadline is midnight on Thursday, April 14.

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If you are required to send in registration evidence documents they must be received by midnight on 25 April.