ASSESSMENTS

What Sinn Fein's Victory in Northern Ireland Means for Reunification, Brexit Tensions

MIN READMay 9, 2022 | 18:29 GMT

Michelle O'Neill (center, left) and Mary Lou McDonald -- the vice president and president, respectively, of the Irish political party Sinn Fein -- speak to reporters on May 07, 2022, after the results of Northern Ireland's legislative election were announced.

Michelle O'Neill (center, left) and Mary Lou McDonald -- the vice president and president, respectively, of the Irish political party Sinn Fein -- speak to reporters on May 07, 2022, after the results of Northern Ireland's legislative election were announced.

(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Sinn Fein's victory in Northern Ireland's legislative election will likely create a near-term political crisis and increase the debate over reunification with the Republic of Ireland, but a referendum on the issue is unlikely in the short-to-medium term. The election will also relaunch negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom over the Northern Ireland protocol, but a trade war between Brussels and London is still possible. Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland's largest republican party, received 29% of the vote and obtained 27 seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly in a legislative election on May 5. This is the first time the party has won a Northern Irish legislative election, which gives it the power to appoint the region's next First Minister. Meanwhile, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) received 21.3% of the vote and 25 seats, and will have the opportunity to appoint a Deputy First Minister. Notably, the centrist...

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