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'Northern Ireland is changing': Alliance Party's Kellie Armstrong reacts to seats doubling
7 May 2022, 18:24 | Updated: 7 May 2022, 18:31
Alliance Party Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly Kellie Armstrong has told LBC her party's "breakthrough" so far at the local elections show that the country is changing and focusing less on nationalism or unionism.
It comes as the Alliance Party has seen their seats so far double since 2017's local elections from 8 to 16.
A Sinn Fein victory has stoked fears of a united Ireland being on the cards within the next five years, as counting continues in Northern Ireland.
The republican party secured 29 per cent of first preference votes, compared with 21.3 per cent for the DUP, 13.5 per cent for Alliance, 11.2 per cent for the Ulster Unionists and 9.1 per cent for the SDLP.
Alliance Party Member for Strangford Kellie Armstrong told David Lammy: "Northern Ireland is changing. The diversity of Northern Ireland means that instead of having politics that concentrates on nationalism or unionism, people want us to work on the ground today and deliver with those grassroots issues.
"And that's about heating your home, it's about making sure your kids have good education, it's about the health service, and it's about the cost-of-living crisis.
"This election has shown a breakthrough for the centreground party alliance."
Ms Armstrong continued: "No more can nationalists and unionists say 'hold on alliances outside the room, we'll take decisions here about the executive without them'."
Ms Armstrong said the Good Friday Agreement needs to be "modernised for the new age in Northern Ireland".
"Why should my vote count for less compared to nationalists and unionists? Let's change that," she said.
"Let's have a voluntary coalition of the willing that want Northern Ireland to work."