Newry and Armagh (UK Parliament constituency)

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Newry and Armagh
County constituency
NewryArmaghConstituency.svg
Newry and Armagh shown within Northern Ireland
Created: 1983
MP: Conor Murphy
Party: Sinn Féin
Type: House of Commons
Districts: Armagh, Newry and Mourne
EP constituency: Northern Ireland

Newry and Armagh is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons.

Boundaries[edit]

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 Armagh constituency with the addition of Newry town from the old South Down constituency. In 1995, the Boundary Commission originally proposed to abolish the seat with the Armagh district joining most of Dungannon in a new 'Blackwater' constituency with the rest becoming part of a new Newry and Mourne constituency. This was strongly opposed during the local enquiries and the eventual boundary review left the seat unchanged. It contains the entirety of Armagh district and the Newry half of Newry and Mourne district.

Following the most recent review of parliamentary boundaries in Northern Ireland prior to the 2010 general election the commission originally proposed moving the eastern wards of Newry town to the South Down constituency. This was opposed at the local enquiries and the unchanged Newry and Armagh seat fought at the 2010 UK general election was formed from the following electoral areas:[1]

  • The entire Armagh government district
  • The ward of Ballybot, Bessbrook, Camlough, Creggan, Crossmaglen, Daisy Hill, Derrymore, Drumalane, Drumgullion, Fathom, Forkhill, Newtownhamilton, St Mary's, St Patrick's, Silver Bridge, Tullyhappy, and Windsor Hill, from Newry and Mourne district.

History[edit]

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

The constituency is overwhelmingly nationalist, though initially on its creation in 1983 Jim Nicholson of the Ulster Unionist Party won the seat due to the nationalist vote being divided between the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Féin. In 1986 Nicholson, along with all the other unionist MPs, resigned his seat in protest over the Anglo Irish Agreement and stood in a by-election to provide voters the opportunity to decide on it. However the nationalist parties contested the seat and Seamus Mallon of the SDLP gained sufficient votes to outpoll Nicholson and win the seat. Mallon held it until his retirement in 2005.

The unionist vote in the constituency has declined somewhat in recent years, with the shift being more marked as both the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party now stand. The main attention has been upon the rise of the Sinn Féin vote. In the 2001 they surged forward, cutting Mallon's majority drastically, as well as heavily outpolling the SDLP in the equivalent area local elections held on the same day. Then in the 2003 Assembly election Sinn Féin won three seats to the SDLP's one. Mallon stood down at the 2005 general election and, as widely predicted, the seat fell to Sinn Féin.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The Member of Parliament since the 2005 general election is Conor Murphy of Sinn Féin. He succeeded Seamus Mallon of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, who stood down at that election, having represented the seat since a by-election in 1986.

Election Member[2] Party
1983 Jim Nicholson Ulster Unionist
1986 by-election Seamus Mallon SDLP
2005 Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Newry and Armagh[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Sinn Féin Conor Murphy 18,857 42.0 +0.6
SDLP Dominic Bradley 10,526 23.4 −1.8
UCU-NF Danny Kennedy 8,558 19.1 +5.2
DUP William Irwin 5,764 12.8 −5.6
Independent Willie Frazer 656 1.5 +1.5
Alliance Andrew Muir 545 1.2 N/A
Majority 8,331 18.6 +2.4
Turnout 44,906 60.4 −9.6
Sinn Féin hold Swing +1.2
General Election 2005: Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Sinn Féin Conor Murphy 20,965 41.4 +10.5
SDLP Dominic Bradley 12,770 25.2 −12.2
DUP Paul Berry 9,311 18.4 −1.0
UUP Danny Kennedy 7,025 13.9 +1.6
Independent Gerry Markey 625 1.2 +1.2
Majority 8,195 16.2
Turnout 50,696 70.0 −6.8
Sinn Féin gain from SDLP Swing +11.3
General Election 2001: Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Seamus Mallon 20,784 37.4 −5.6
Sinn Féin Conor Murphy 17,209 30.9 +9.9
DUP Paul Berry 10,795 19.4 N/A
UUP Sylvia McRoberts 6,833 12.3 −21.5
Majority 3,575 6.4
Turnout 55,621 76.8 +1.3
SDLP hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Seamus Mallon 22,904 43.0 −6.3
UUP Danny Kennedy 18,015 33.8 −2.4
Sinn Féin Patrick D. McNamee 11,218 21.1 +8.6
Alliance Pete W.R. Whitcroft 1,015 1.9 +0.0
Natural Law David Evans 123 0.2 N/A
Majority 4,889 9.2
Turnout 53,275 75.4 −2.5
SDLP hold Swing −2.0

1997 Changes are compared to the 1992 notional results shown below.[4]

Notional 1992 UK General Election Result : Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP N/A 25,740 49.3 N/a
UUP N/A 18,930 36.3 N/A
Sinn Féin N/A 6,530 12.5 N/A
Alliance N/A 972 1.9 N/A
Majority 6,810 13.1 N/A
General Election 1992: Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Seamus Mallon 26,073 49.6 +1.5
UUP Jim Speers 18,982 36.1 −1.8
Sinn Féin Brendan P. Curran 6,547 12.5 +0.7
Alliance Eileen Bell 972 1.8 +0.5
Majority 7,091 13.5
Turnout 52,574 77.9 -1.3
SDLP hold Swing +1.7

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Seamus Mallon 25,137 48.1 +11.3
UUP Jim Nicholson 19,812 37.9 −2.1
Sinn Féin Jim McAllister 6,173 11.8 −9.1
Alliance William H. Jeffrey 664 1.3 N/A
Workers' Party Gerard O'Hanlon 482 0.9 −1.4
Majority 5,325 10.2 +6.9
Turnout 52,268 79.2 +3.2
SDLP gain from UUP Swing +6.7
Newry and Armagh by-election 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
SDLP Seamus Mallon 22,694 45.5 +3.7
UUP Jim Nicholson 20,111 40.3 +0.2
Sinn Féin Jim McAllister 6,609 13.2 −7.7
Workers' Party Patrick McCusker 515 1.0 −1.2
Majority 2,583 5.2
Turnout 49,929 76.9
SDLP gain from UUP Swing +4.2
General Election 1983: Newry and Armagh
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Jim Nicholson 18,988 40.0 N/A
SDLP Seamus Mallon 17,434 36.8 N/A
Sinn Féin Jim McAllister 9,928 20.9 N/A
Workers' Party Thomas O. Moore 1,070 2.3 N/A
Majority 1,554 3.3 N/A
Turnout 47,420 76.0 N/A
UUP win (new seat)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 54°14′52″N 6°36′06″W / 54.24778°N 6.60167°W / 54.24778; -6.60167