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In Northern Ireland, PR, and specifically STV, has been essential for delivering an accommodative regime for both Nationalist and Unionists, as it guarantees the representation of significant minorities and fosters power-sharing coalitions. Proportionality is essential for ensuring no significant groups are neglected by the electoral system and 84 percent people surveyed after the 2003 Northern Ireland elections supported power-sharing between communities.111 However there have been a number of difficulties in how the voting system has operated within the context of the peace process and, because STV closely reflects voter behaviour, it has returned polarised parties, making government formations inherently difficult. Compared to 2003 the 2007 election saw the largest proportion of votes shift from the two largely centre-based parties to concentrate between the two more polarised parties (DUP and Sinn Fein, with the DUP having an eight-seat 'majority').

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