NI assembly election: If you're not in, you can't win
Deadline day for contesting candidates
If your name isn’t in, you won’t have a chance to win, because nominations for candidates for the assembly election closed at 13:00 on Wednesday.
Last year, 276 people put themselves at the mercy of the voters, which was a significant increase on the 218 who stood in the 2011 assembly election.
But comparing those numbers with the figures this year would be like comparing apples and oranges, for a number of factors:
Firstly, the cut in the number of assembly seats from 108 to 90 will affect the amount of candidates the parties will feel it is worthwhile to stand.
And the short notice at which the election was called means parties have had little time to organise as they would for a poll during the typical election cycle, and that will be a particular challenge for smaller parties and independents.
Many eyes will be on the number of female candidates put forward by the parties, and all will be revealed when the official list of all the hopefuls is published by the Electoral Office later.
Fervent hope of executive resolution
Theresa May has said she “fervently” hopes that agreement will be reached between the political parties after the election to form an executive.
The prime minister also said the government would do “whatever is necessary” to implement recommendations from the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry report will be acted on.
She was responding to a question from Ulster Unionist MP Tom Elliott in the House of Commons, who asked if the report’s recommendations would be implemented if an executive is put together.
She said she would ensure the findings of the HIA report “are taken into account and acted upon”.
“I don’t want to see the benefits that have come of progress being undone,” she added.
Still making your mind up?
Not sure yet who’ll get your first preference vote? The BBC’s Spotlight is looking for you.
The programme will host a debate between the leaders of the five main political parties later this month.
Noel Thompson will chair the event, which will be broadcast on 28 February, just a couple of days before voters go to the polls.
To apply to be in the audience, drop Spotlight an email on [email protected]
BBC News NI’s Campaign Catch-up will keep you across the Northern Ireland Assembly election trail with a daily dose of the main stories, the minor ones and the lighter moments in the run up to polling day on Thursday 2 March.
Source: BBC News – Northern Ireland