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Understanding the D'Hondt Method: Its Use in the Northern Ireland Assembly

The D'Hondt method is a mathematical formula used worldwide in various electoral systems, including the Northern Ireland Assembly. But what exactly is it, and how does it work? In this article, we'll delve into the intricacies of the D'Hondt method and its application in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

What is d'Hondt and how do we use it at the Assembly?

What is the D'Hondt Method?

The D'Hondt method, named after Belgian mathematician Victor D'Hondt, is a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation. The method aims to proportionally distribute seats based on the number of votes each party receives.

The D'Hondt Method in the Northern Ireland Assembly

In the Northern Ireland Assembly, the D'Hondt method is used to distribute ministerial positions among parties. The process begins after the Assembly election, where parties are allocated seats based on their electoral performance.

Why is the D'Hondt Method Important?

The D'Hondt method ensures a fair and proportional distribution of power among parties. This is crucial in a diverse political landscape like Northern Ireland, where multiple parties compete for influence.


Understanding the D'Hondt method is key to comprehending the political workings of the Northern Ireland Assembly. By ensuring a proportional distribution of power, the D'Hondt method plays a vital role in maintaining a balanced and representative governance.

For more insights into the workings of the Northern Ireland Assembly, check out our other articles.


This video from the Northern Ireland Assembly's Education Service explains how D'Hondt is used:

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