ELI5: NI's role in picking Prime Minister

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Millie-3
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I'm not particularly political so if someone can ELI5 it would be much appreciated! Here's my current understanding. Mainland UK voted on which party they wanted to be represented by locally. The party that has the most seats can elect their leader as PM. But what about Northern Ireland? We had our local elections a while back and as far as I know there's no real alliances between the parties here and those in Westminister. Am I wrong/what am I missing?
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Airmed
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(Original post by Millie-3)
I'm not particularly political so if someone can ELI5 it would be much appreciated! Here's my current understanding. Mainland UK voted on which party they wanted to be represented by locally. The party that has the most seats can elect their leader as PM. But what about Northern Ireland? We had our local elections a while back and as far as I know there's no real alliances between the parties here and those in Westminister. Am I wrong/what am I missing?
The main parties don't have a footing in N.Ireland. Our parties are local, N.I and Irish ones: SDLP, UUP, DUP, Sinn Fein, Alliance etc. The Conservatives have ran in N.I but don't get elected.

Are you talking about the PM in Britain? That's usually just the leader of the largest party. N.I parties are never going to be the largest when it comes to Westminster as you know.

Also the elections we had recently in N.I was for our devolved government in Srprmont. We will have elections on the 8th June for the general election
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Connor27
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Airmed is right although a few NI Parties do link up quite well with mainland equivalents and generally vote with them in Westminster; for example:

UUP-Conservative (they even had an electoral pact in 2010)

SDLP-Labour

Alliance-Lib Dems

DUP-Conservatives (but nowhere near as close as the link between them and the UUP)
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Millie-3
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(Original post by Airmed)
The main parties don't have a footing in N.Ireland. Our parties are local, N.I and Irish ones: SDLP, UUP, DUP, Sinn Fein, Alliance etc. The Conservatives have ran in N.I but don't get elected.
So does that mean we don't get a say in who becomes PM because the main parties don't even run here? And the parties that do run here don't have a hope in high hell coz they don't run elsewhere?


Also the elections we had recently in N.I was for our devolved government in Srprmont. We will have elections on the 8th June for the general election
So what's happening on the 8th of June again? Who's voting and who's running?
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Millie-3
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(Original post by Connor27)
Airmed is right although a few NI Parties do link up quite well with mainland equivalents and generally vote with them in Westminster; for example:

UUP-Conservative (they even had an electoral pact in 2010)

SDLP-Labour

Alliance-Lib Dems

DUP-Conservatives (but nowhere near as close as the link between them and the UUP)
So basically if you want a Tory in power you vote UUP or DUP and if you want Labour you vote SDLP? Are they even true equivalents of each other in terms of policy? And what about SF?
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Doones
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(Original post by Millie-3)
So does that mean we don't get a say in who becomes PM because the main parties don't even run here?




So what's happening on the 8th of June again? Who's voting and who's running?
The party that gets a say in who will be Prime Minister is whoever wins the support of the majority of the House Of Commons.

June is not a presidential election. It's a party election, otherwise known as a General Election, to elect members of parliament. All parties are running although not necessarily in every individual constituency.

NI parties are standing too. As are Welsh and Scottish in those countries.

Have a look at https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote

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Doones
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(Original post by Millie-3)
So basically if you want a Tory in power you vote UUP or DUP and if you want Labour you vote SDLP? Are they even true equivalents of each other in terms of policy? And what about SF?
They aren't true equivalents but they are close enough for your purposes.

SF doesn't recognise the HoC so although they stand for election, they never actually take their seats.

They don't have an equivalent party in the HoC but Labour would be closest, especially as Corbyn has shown "support" for the PIRA in the past.

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Airmed
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(Original post by Connor27)
Airmed is right although a few NI Parties do link up quite well with mainland equivalents and generally vote with them in Westminster; for example:

UUP-Conservative (they even had an electoral pact in 2010)

SDLP-Labour

Alliance-Lib Dems

DUP-Conservatives (but nowhere near as close as the link between them and the UUP)
Which blew up in their face and does not really exist anymore since a NI Conservative party have existed since 2014
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Airmed
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(Original post by Millie-3)
So does that mean we don't get a say in who becomes PM because the main parties don't even run here? And the parties that do run here don't have a hope in high hell coz they don't run elsewhere?
The largest party becomes the PM. Do we really get a say? Not really. Reality is, the only things N.Ireland should worry about when it comes to Westminster is budget allocation and referendums (like the Brexit one we had). Stormont, our local devolved government, makes the most impact on our daily lives in terms of law making etc etc.

As for if they run here: NI Conservatives do exist. So does UKIP. But they make little ground in Northern Ireland due to how we view politics and our history and background. It's very tribal here, we vote for party and personality.

So what's happening on the 8th of June again? Who's voting and who's running?
General election, the entire UK is voting, including Northern Ireland.
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Millie-3
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Thanks for being so helpful so far but I think I'm just getting more questions if anything. So if SF doesn't accept HoC, how does this restrict their power (if at all)? And who takes their seats?
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Connor27
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(Original post by Millie-3)
Thanks for being so helpful so far but I think I'm just getting more questions if anything. So if SF doesn't accept HoC, how does this restrict their power (if at all)? And who takes their seats?
They take seats in the NI assembly which dictates a lot of policy in NI, just not the Westminster Parliament, as for who takes the seats, no one, they are just left unfilled and parliament sits with however many SF seats there are empty.
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Airmed
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(Original post by Millie-3)
Thanks for being so helpful so far but I think I'm just getting more questions if anything. So if SF doesn't accept HoC, how does this restrict their power (if at all)? And who takes their seats?
No one takes their seat. SF have been abstaining from Westminster for near about 100 years. They are a nationalist party who want an united Ireland and don't want to take the oath of allegiance to the Crown.

It doesn't restrict their power whatsoever as people know that if their constituency votes in a SF MP their MP won't debate in Westminster.
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Rakas21
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Generally speaking the DUP and UUP can be relied upon to do a deal with the Tories and vote with them so you do kind of get a say if you want a Tory government. Whether that will happen with a huge Tory majority is uncertain since May and Hammond seem less keen on devolution than Cameron and Osbourne were.

Since Corbyn is quite happy to betray the union you could also make a case for a vote for the SDLP to mean something as well since they'd back each other up on an independence referendum.

Generally speaking though i'd imagine that a lot of MP's don't much bother with NI as you guys are as divided within your union/nationalist camps as you are on the actual issue. Look how it has taken Scotland 3 years to revert to 2 party politics whereas in NI your winning party gets a vote share that would make the leader of the Tories and Labour cry with despair.
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L i b
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I think there's a bit of a disconnect here. The Prime Minister is not elected, he or she is appointed by the Queen. The Queen appoints on the basis that the Prime Minister is the person most able to hold the confidence of Parliament.

This distinction can be meaningful. When they came to Parliament, Ulster Unionist MPs used to take the Conservative whip. In effect, they were more or less Conservatives in terms of their parliamentary group. Between 1912 and 1965, the Conservatives didn't run candidates in Scotland - but the Unionist Party there also took the Conservative whip at Westminster. Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who was Prime Minister between 1963 and 1964 with a seat in Scotland, was ultimately a Unionist running a Conservative government.

An NI-only party, if it made such an alliance, could be just as instrumental in maintaining Parliamentary support for a Prime Minister. Even with a less formal arrangement, or just general support, a UK Government can hold on the back of Northern Ireland MPs. This happened with John Major, who technically lost his majority and whose government would quite likely otherwise have fallen without UUP support.

Hell, you could even have a Prime Minister from a Northern Ireland party running the UK: it's only politics, not the constitution, that makes that unlikely.
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ScottishBrexitor
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I honestly don't understand the point in voting for Sinn Fein. They don't take their seats thus a wasted vote. Why not vote SDLP or Alliance instead?
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Midlander
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The DUP used to hold the Tory whip but withdrew it after the Sunningdale agreement. In practice it matters little unless the Tories are just shy of a majority and need help getting over the line.


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