Northern Ireland voters are to go to the polls twice in one day next year, it has been confirmed.
Elections to the 11 new 'super-councils' have been earmarked for the same day as the European Parliament race.
The date which has been pencilled in is Thursday, May 22 – although results for the new town hall amalgamated bodies may not emerge until the next week.
It is the first double-poll in three years – since council elections were held on the same day as the last Assembly poll in May 2011.
But the Assembly has been extended by an extra year, meaning MLAs will not have to face the electorate again until May 2016.
And, as revealed by the Belfast Telegraph, the 11 new local authorities will operate in shadow form for a year, with the current 26 councils existing in parallel.
The new super-councils will then be due to go live as the next Assembly also comes into being.
The double election date was confirmed by SDLP Environment Minister Alex Attwood, who is overseeing the council shake-up.