Belfast Central (Northern Ireland Parliament constituency)

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"Belfast Central" redirects here. For the train station, see Belfast Central railway station.

Coordinates: 54°35′49″N 5°55′52″W / 54.597°N 5.931°W / 54.597; -5.931

Belfast Central
Former Borough constituency
for the Parliament of Northern Ireland
Belfast Central (Northern Ireland Parliament constituency).svgBelfast (Northern Ireland Parliament constituencies).svg
Belfast Central shown within Belfast and Belfast shown within Northern Ireland
Former constituency
Created 1929
Abolished 1973
Election method First past the post

Belfast Central was a constituency of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.

Boundaries[edit]

Belfast Central was a borough constituency comprising part of central Belfast. It was created in 1929, when the House of Commons (Method of Voting and Redistribution of Seats) Act (Northern Ireland) 1929 introduced first-past-the-post elections throughout Northern Ireland.

Belfast Central was created by the division of Belfast West into four new constituencies. It survived unchanged, returning one member of Parliament, until the Parliament of Northern Ireland was temporarily suspended in 1972, and then formally abolished in 1973.[1]

The constituency consisted of inner city areas of Belfast equivalent to the modern areas of Unity, Brown Square, John Street and Lancaster Street. Residential redevelopment caused the electorate to fall sharply from 20,399 in 1929 to 6,384 in 1969. By the time of the dissolution of the Stormont Parliament, it had just over 2,500 voters.

The constituency is now part of Belfast North and Belfast West with most of the former seat now part of the New Lodge ward.

Politics[edit]

The constituency was one of the most staunchly nationalist in Belfast. It was initially held by Nationalist Party members, then later by a variety of labour movement activists and members of smaller nationalist parties.[1] In 1953, a split between three Labour candidates led to the Unionist candidate finishing just 576 votes behind the victor.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Year Name Party
1929 Joseph Devlin Nationalist
1934 Thomas Joseph Campbell Nationalist
1946 Frank Hanna NI Labour
1949 Independent Labour
1949 Irish Labour
1949 Independent Labour
1958 Ind. Labour Group
1965 John Joseph Brennan National Democratic
1969 Paddy Kennedy Republican Labour

Election results[edit]

The Ulster Banner
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Northern Ireland 1921–72
General Election 22 May 1929: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Nationalist Joseph Devlin 10,624 71.8 N/A
UUP David Cecil Lindsay 4,163 28.2 N/A
Majority 6,461 43.6 N/A
Turnout 72.5 N/A
Nationalist hold Swing N/A
General Election 30 November 1933: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Nationalist Joseph Devlin 7,411 61.4 -10.4
Irish Republican Patrick Thornbury 4,650 38.6 N/A
Majority 2,761 22.8 -20.8
Turnout 63.6 -7.9
Nationalist hold Swing N/A
Belfast Central by-election, 1934[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Nationalist Thomas Joseph Campbell 4,948 47.3 -14.1
NI Labour William McMullen 3,784 36.2 N/A
Anti-Partition Harry Diamond 1,518 14.5 N/A
Ulster Democratic William McKeaveney 214 2.0 N/A
Majority 1,164 11.1 -11.7
Turnout 55.7 N/A
Nationalist hold Swing N/A
General Election 9 February 1938: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Nationalist Thomas Joseph Campbell unopposed N/A N/A
Nationalist hold Swing N/A
General Election 14 June 1945: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Nationalist Thomas Joseph Campbell unopposed N/A N/A
Nationalist hold Swing N/A
Belfast Central by-election, 1946[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
NI Labour Frank Hanna 5,566 66.7 N/A
Socialist Republican Victor Halley 2,783 33.3 N/A
Majority 2,783 33.3 N/A
Turnout 52.4 N/A
NI Labour gain from Nationalist Swing N/A
General Election 10 February 1949: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Labour Frank Hanna unopposed N/A N/A
Independent Labour gain from Nationalist Swing N/A
General Election 22 October 1953: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Labour Frank Hanna 3,902 35.3 N/A
UUP Joseph Foster Cairns 3,326 30.0 N/A
Independent Irish Labour Timothy Joseph O'Sullivan 2,437 22.0 N/A
Irish Labour Jack Beattie 1,406 12.7 N/A
Majority 576 5.3 N/A
Turnout 69.9 N/A
Independent Labour hold Swing N/A
General Election 20 March 1958: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Ind. Labour Group Frank Hanna 4,683 46.8 -31.4
UUP William Craig 3,228 32.2 +2.2
Irish Labour Desmond Patrick Marrinan 2,105 56.9 +8.3
Majority 1,455 14.6 N/A
Turnout 71.6 +1.7
Ind. Labour Group gain from Independent Labour Swing
General Election 31 May 1962: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Ind. Labour Group Frank Hanna unopposed N/A N/A
Ind. Labour Group hold Swing N/A
General Election 25 November 1965: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Democratic John Joseph Brennan unopposed N/A N/A
National Democratic gain from Ind. Labour Group Swing N/A
General Election 24 February 1969: Belfast Central[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Labour Paddy Kennedy 2,032 56.9 N/A
National Democratic John Joseph Brennan 1,538 43.1 N/A
Majority 494 13.8 N/A
Turnout 3,570 58.3 N/A
Republican Labour hold Swing N/A

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b The Northern Ireland House of Commons, 1921-1972, Northern Ireland Elections
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Northern Ireland Parliamentary Elections Results: Boroughs: Belfast