2016 Assembly Elections - Key Dates

In the run up to the 2016 Assembly Elections there are a number of key dates organisations should be aware of to plan their work and ensure they are abiding by the rules set out by the Lobbying Act.

The first key date has already occured - the regulated period (as laid out in the Lobbying Act) began on the 5th January 2016. From this date the rules for non-party campaigners set out in the Lobbying Act apply to all groups spending and campaigning. We have an overiew - Lobbying Act 10 Things to Know - available here. Electoral Commission guidance for the 2016 elections is available here. 

The Northern Ireland Assembly will enter the period known as 'purdah,' or 'the pre-election period' on the 29th March. On this date MLAs and Ministers no longer hold their positions and as such no policy decisions will be made. From this date MLAs will have access to their email, but only to read mail sent to them - they cannot reply from this address.

NICVA will host the voluntary and community sector hustings on the 11th April. Candidates from the five main parties will be in attendance to answer questions relevant to our sector from NICVA members. You can register to attend this event here. 

Your local electoral office must have your completed electoral registeration form by the 20th April to ensure that you are registered to vote. You can access this form here

The elections will take place on Thursday 5th May, with votes not being counted until the morning of the 6th May beginning at 8am (this is likely to run into Saturday 7th May).

The first session of the new Assembly is due to take place on Monday 9th May and run until summer recess which will start on the 2nd July. 

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