We Deserve the Right to Stand!

The Labour Party has thousands of members in Northern Ireland who pay fees and campaign for a Labour government, as well as almost 40,000 trade unionists in NI who pay the political levy.

Yet NI is the only region in the UK in which members are denied the right to stand candidates in local, devolved or general elections.

Who Are We?

The Labour Party in Northern Ireland (LPNI) has a sizeable membership that is representative of NI society. We are a staunchly cross-community, anti-sectarian party and our members identify as British, Irish, Unionist, Nationalist and none of the above. We’re proud to offer a political home to disabled members, people of colour and members of the LGBTQ+ community who are too often unheard in politics. We’re the only party in the north of Ireland officially affiliated to the Trade Union movement.

Parties in Northern Ireland are not split on the grounds of left/right politics as understood in most of the world. Our members are tired of the same old sectarian headcount based on national identity. We don’t feel represented by the other Northern Irish parties on issues such as reproductive rights, equal marriage and economic policy and we want the opportunity to vote for Labour values and Labour candidates.

Our members have been organised by the Labour Party into one Northern Ireland wide CLP covering 18 parliamentary constituencies. We take part in all internal party elections, have a representative on the National Policy Forum and send delegates to party conference and women’s conference. We pay full membership fees and we campaign across the UK to elect a Labour government.

Despite all of this, the Labour Party NEC continues to refuse us the right to stand Labour Party candidates in NI at elections for local council, Stormont or Westminster.

What Do We Want?

All we ask is to be treated like all other Labour Party members.

We want the opportunity to vote Labour in Northern Ireland.

We call on the NEC to work with us to establish a way of organising, similar to Scotland and Wales, which will allow CLP’s and branches in Northern Ireland to field Labour candidates in all local, devolved and national elections.

We need your support to make that happen.

 3 reasons to support our   Right To Stand





For NI People

Northern Ireland is an increasingly heterogeneous and cosmopolitan society. Recent surveys showed 39% of people identify as neither unionist nor nationalist, rising to 55% among 25 – 34 year olds.

NI has one of the highest rates of economic deprivation in the UK and still lags behind the rest of the UK in civil rights issues, such as reproductive healthcare, due to the obstinance of some political parties. 

A significant part of the electorate is currently left unrepresented. People in NI need a cross-community, left of centre party. In the absence of Labour candidates, party members and voters more widely are forced to either vote for a party that doesn’t represent us or disenfranchised entirely.

Brexit also has major implications for NI. The absence of electoral representation has meant Labour members and supporters in NI are voiceless in our own future while negotiations happen over our heads and by parties that don’t represent their views.





For Trade Unions

Northern Ireland has a long and proud history of trade union activity and has one of the highest densities of union membership of anywhere in the UK.

There are over 240,000 trade union members in NI, most of whom are members of trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party.

Labour is the only union-affiliated political party in NI. Almost 40,000 local members pay the political levy to the Labour Party yet do not receive political representation in devolved government.





For Labour

There is a dissatisfaction with the socio-economic status quo and a significant appetite for a cross-community, progressive politics that isn’t being answered by the sectarian headcount parties. This presents a huge opportunity for Labour to fill that vacuum and address the needs of people in NI.  

In fact, the Conservative Party contends local, devolved and general elections in NI, so it’s only sensible that Labour would contest the Tories in every region and nation if it wishes to form the next government. The Labour Party cannot meaningfully present itself as a UK-wide party of government unless it seeks a mandate from each region of the UK.

In 2017 the UK only had a Conservative government due to support from 10 DUP MP. Labour candidates in NI could have prevented this by offering voters a cross-community, left of centre politics that’s absent in NI.