Michael Brennan on the campaign trail: Northern elections result to hinge on bread and butter issues

Despite unionist calls for a change to the Northern Protocol and Sinn Féin pushing for a border poll, canvassers on the ground are finding voters more exercised about the cost of living

SDLP candidate Adam Gannon out canvassing ahead of the Assembly election on May 5: ‘I can count in single figures the number of times I’ve been asked about the protocol in the past few months, and I’ve spoken to thousands of people’. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Adam Gannon, an SDLP candidate, is about to begin his canvassing tour of a village in Fermanagh when he gets a phone call about more of his posters being torn down.

The vandalism has been a feature of the current Northern Assembly election campaign, where voters will elect 90 new members to the Stormont parliament across 18 five-seater constituencies on May 5.

Gannon, a 27-year-old science teacher, said the number of posters being taken down ...