Foyle (UK Parliament constituency)

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For other constituencies of the same name, see Foyle.

Coordinates: 55°01′34″N 7°23′46″W / 55.026°N 7.396°W / 55.026; -7.396

County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Foyle in Northern Ireland 1995 – 2008.
Districts of Northern Ireland Derry City Council
Electorate 68,565 (March 2011)
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of Parliament Mark Durkan (SDLP)
Number of members One
Created from Londonderry
European Parliament constituency Northern Ireland

Foyle is a parliamentary constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.


1983-1997: The District of Londonderry; and the District of Strabane wards of Artigarvan, Dunnamanagh, East, North, Slievekirk, South, and West.

1997-2010: The District of Derry.

2010-present: The District of Derry wards of Altnagelvin, Ballynashallog, Beechwood, Brandywell, Carn Hill, Caw, Clondermot, Creggan Central, Creggan South, Crevagh, Culmore, Ebrington, Eglinton, Enagh, Foyle Springs, Holly Mount, Kilfennan, Lisnagelvin, New Buildings, Pennyburn, Rosemount, Shantallow East, Shantallow West, Springtown, Strand, The Diamond, Victoria, and Westland.

The seat was created in boundary changes in 1983, as part of an expansion of Northern Ireland's constituencies from 12 to 17, and was predominantly made up from the old Londonderry constituency. From further revisions in 1995 (when it lost parts of the district of Strabane to the West Tyrone constituency), and until the 2008 revision, it covered exactly the same area as Derry city.

The River Foyle at night

The name comes from the River Foyle which the city lies on and is used to avoid the contentious names of Derry or Londonderry, as well as to cover the areas of County Tyrone that were originally in the constituency.

Prior to the 2010 general election the transfer of Claudy and Banagher wards to East Londonderry were approved through the passing of the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Constituencies Order[1] in 2008.


For the history of the equivalent constituency prior to 1983, see Londonderry.

The constituency is overwhelmingly nationalist and in many elections has often had the strongest vote for the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in the whole of Northern Ireland. Unionists of various parties routinely poll around 20%–25% in elections.

There had been much speculation that with the gradual retirement of John Hume from politics, the SDLP vote might collapse. In the 2003 Northern Ireland Assembly election, the SDLP lost 11.5% of the vote and were only narrowly ahead of Sinn Féin. Hume's retirement led to many questioning whether Mark Durkan, Hume's successor as leader, could hold onto the seat. However in the 2005 general election he did so. The decline in the Unionist vote suggests that some Unionist voters tactically voted for Durkan.

Durkan retained the seat in 2010. This seat also gave the Alliance Party their worst share of the vote in Northern Ireland, polling just 0.6% of the votes.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The Member of Parliament since the 2005 general election is Mark Durkan of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. He succeeded John Hume, also of the SDLP, who had represented the seat since its creation for the 1983 general election.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The constituency has elected the following members of parliament:

Parliament Years Member[2] Party
Londonderry (UK Parliament constituency) prior to 1983
48th 1983–1987     John Hume SDLP
49th 1987–1992
50th 1992–1997
51st 1997–2001
52nd 2001–2005
53rd 2005–2010     Mark Durkan
54th 2010–


General Election 2015: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Mark Durkan
Alliance David Hawthorne
Sinn Féin Gearóid Ó hEára
General Election 2010: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Mark Durkan[3] 16,922 44.7 −1.7
Sinn Féin Martina Anderson[4] 12,098 31.9 −1.4
DUP Maurice Devenney[5] 4,489 11.8 −2.2
People Before Profit Eamonn McCann[6] 2,936 7.7 N/A
UCU-NF David Harding[7] 1,221 3.2 +0.9
Alliance Keith McGrellis[8] 223 0.6% +0.6
Majority 4,824 12.7
Turnout 37,889 57.5 −12.5
SDLP hold Swing
General Election 2005: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Mark Durkan 21,119 46.3 -3.9
Sinn Féin Mitchel McLaughlin 15,162 33.2 +6.6
DUP William Hay 6,557 14.1 -0.8
Socialist Environmental Eamonn McCann 1,649 3.6 +3.6
UUP Earl Storey 1,091 2.4 -4.5
Rainbow Dream Ticket Ben Reel 31 0.1 +0.1
Majority 5,957 13.1 -10.5
Turnout 45,609 65.9 -3.0
SDLP hold Swing 5.3
General Election 2001: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP John Hume 24,538 50.2 -2.3
Sinn Féin Mitchel McLaughlin 12,988 26.6 +2.6
DUP William Hay 7,414 15.2 -6.4
UUP Andrew Davidson 3,360 6.9 N/A
Alliance Colm Kavanagh 579 1.2 -0.5
Majority 11,550 23.6
Turnout 48,879 68.9 -1.8
SDLP hold Swing
General Election 1997: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP John Hume 25,109 52.5 +1.0
Sinn Féin Mitchel McLaughlin 11,445 23.9 +6.3
DUP William Hay 10,290 21.5 -4.9
Alliance Helen-Marie Bell 817 1.7 -1.0
Natural Law Donn Brennan 154 0.3 -0.5
Majority 13,664
Turnout 70.7
SDLP hold Swing
General Election 1992: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP John Hume 26,710 51.5
DUP Gregory Campbell 13,705 26.4
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness 9,149 17.6
Alliance Lara McIlroy 1,390 2.7
Workers' Party Gordon McKenzie 514 1.0
Natural Law John Burns 422 0.8
Majority 13,005
Turnout 69.6
SDLP hold Swing
General Election 1987: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP John Hume 23,743 48.8
DUP Gregory Campbell 13,883 28.6
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness 8,707 17.9
Alliance Elizabeth Zammitt 1,276 2.6
Workers' Party Eamonn Melaugh 1,022 2.1
Majority 9,860 20.3
Turnout 69.0
SDLP hold Swing
General Election 1983: Foyle
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP John Hume 24,071 46.0 N/A
DUP Gregory Campbell 15,923 30.5 N/A
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness 10,607 20.3 N/A
Alliance Gerard O'Grady 1,108 2.1 N/A
Workers' Party Eamonn Melaugh 582 1.1 N/A
Majority 8,148 15.6 N/A
Turnout 52,291 77.6 N/A
SDLP win (new seat)

See also[edit]

  • Foyle and City of Londonderry were neighbouring constituencies in the Northern Ireland Parliament from 1929 to 1973.
  • Londonderry City was a borough constituency in the UK parliament from the Act of Union to 1922.