Cross-community vote

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Northern Ireland

A cross-community vote or cross-community support is a form of voting used in the Northern Ireland Assembly according to the provisions of the 1998 Belfast Agreement.[1] It requires the support of both main communities in Northern Ireland, in other words majority of unionists and the majority of nationalist members of the Assembly.[2] It is also used to a lesser extent at local government level.[citation needed]


Upon taking their seats members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are required to designate themselves as either "unionist", "nationalist" or "other". MLAs are free to designate themselves as they see fit, the only requirement being that no member may change his or her designation more than once during an Assembly session.[3]

A vote will not automatically require cross-community support. A "Petition of Concern" must first be presented to the Speaker by at least 30 of the 108 members. In a cross-community vote the majority of unionists and the majority of nationalist votes are required to pass a motion put to the Assembly.[4]


Designations 2011 2007 2003 1998
Unionist 56 54 59 58
Nationalist 43 44 42 42
Other 9 10 7 8

Note: These figures include the assumed designation of the Speaker who, having a non-partisan role, does not officially declare a designation.


List of current and previous assembly parties by designation.


NI Unionist
UK Unionist
United Unionist Coalition


Sinn Féin


Green (NI)
NI Women's Coalition

See also[edit]


External links[edit]