Sinn Fein opens huge lead in Northern Ireland voting

·1-min read
Northern Ireland Assembly elections

BELFAST (Reuters) - Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein secured far more first-preference votes in elections to Northern Ireland's regional assembly than its rivals, indicating it was likely to win the election, broadcaster tallies showed.

Sinn Fein secured 29% of the vote compared to 21.3% by the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party, data collated by Britain's BBC and Ireland's RTE broadcasters showed after first-preference votes were counted in all 18 constituencies.

Under Northern Ireland's proportional representation voting system, the party that wins the most first-preference votes is not guaranteed of winning the most seats in the regional assembly but it is hard for a party to overcome a significant deficit.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Chris Reese)

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