Political leaders in Northern Ireland cast their votes in an acrimonious election which is likely to see the DUP and Sinn Fein as the biggest winners. If they fail to form a power-sharing government in three weeks, rule will revert to London. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Northern Ireland went to the polls for the second time in a year on Thursday (March 2) to try to break a deadlock that could see devolved power revert to London for the first time in a decade. The election comes just as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union. The power-sharing government collapsed in January after Irish nationalists Sinn Fein withdrew support for the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party over its handling of a scandal around the abuse of heating subsidies. While no one predicts the impasse will bring a return to the violence that killed 3,600 people in the three decades before a 1998 peace deal, some are warning of a deterioration in community relations coupled with government paralysis as Brexit talks determine the province's political and economic future. If the two parties, as expected, remain the largest after votes are counted on Friday, they will have three weeks to form a power-sharing government to avoid devolved power returning to the British parliament at Westminster.