Strangford (UK Parliament constituency)

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For other constituencies of the same name, see Strangford (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 54°29′02″N 5°37′05″W / 54.484°N 5.618°W / 54.484; -5.618

Strangford
County constituency
StrangfordConstituency.svg
Strangford shown within Northern Ireland
Created: 1983
MP: Jim Shannon
Party: Democratic Unionist
Type: House of Commons
Districts: Ards, Castlereagh, Down
EP constituency: Northern Ireland

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

Boundaries[edit]

The seat was created after boundary changes in 1983, as part of an expansion of Northern Ireland's constituencies from 12 to 17, and was predominantly made up from parts of North Down. At its creation the constituency was formed from the local government district of Ards, and the Castlereagh districts of Beechill, Fourwinds, Hillfoot, Lower Braniel, Minnowburn, Moneyreagh, Newtownbreda, and Upper Braniel.[1]

In 1995, the Commission controversially recommended abolishing the constituency and dividing it between North Down and new constituencies of Mid Down, and Castlereagh and Newtownards. This was successfully opposed in local enquiries and from the 1997 general election it was made up of parts of the districts of Ards, Castlereagh and Down.

Despite the name the seat does not currently contain the town of Strangford which is instead a part of South Down.

For the 2010 general election the electoral wards which make up the constituency are:[2]

  • Ballygowan, Ballyrainey, Ballywalter, Bradshaw's Brae, Carrowdore, Central, Comber East, Comber North, Comber West, Glen, Gregstown, Killinchy, Kircubbin, Lisbane, Loughries, Movilla, Portaferry, Portavogie, Scrabo and Whitespots, from the Ards district.
  • From the Down district; Ballymaglave, Ballynahinch East, Derryboy, Killyleagh, Kilmore and Saintfield
  • The Moneyreagh ward from Castlereagh district

History[edit]

For the history of the equivalent constituencies prior to 1950 please see Down (UK Parliament constituency) and from 1950 until 1983, please see North Down.

The constituency has been represented by Unionist candidates since it was formed. There have not been significant votes for parties outside the traditional unionist block, although as the Alliance has saved its deposit in every election.

The main interest in elections has been the contest between the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party. Until 2001 the UUP were clearly ahead of the DUP in the Westminster elections, but elections to regional assemblies and local government were much closer. In 2001 the sitting MP John Taylor stood down and the contest to succeed him was fierce. The seat was won by Iris Robinson for the Democratic Unionist Party and the subsequent 2003 assembly election saw the DUP increase their vote further.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The first Member of Parliament for the seat was John Taylor of the Ulster Unionist Party. After the 2001 general election, he was succeeded by Iris Robinson (the wife of Peter Robinson) of the Democratic Unionist Party. Robinson resigned in January 2010 after a scandal involving financial dealings.[3] However, no by-election was held, as the next general election was held in May.

Election Member[4] Party
1983 John Taylor Ulster Unionist
2001 Iris Robinson Democratic Unionist*
2010 Jim Shannon Democratic Unionist

* Note: Iris Robinson left the DUP shortly before taking Chiltern Hundreds to leave the Commons

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2010: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP Jim Shannon 14,926 45.9 -8.8
UCU-NF Mike Nesbitt 9,050 27.8 +2.6
Alliance Deborah Girvan 2,828 8.7 +0.5
SDLP Claire Hanna 2,164 6.7 -1.8
TUV Terry Williams 1,814 5.6 +5.6
Sinn Féin Michael Coogan 1,161 3.6 -0.1
Green (NI) Barbara Haig 562 1.7 +1.7
Majority 5,876 18.1
Turnout 32.505 53.7 -3.4
DUP hold Swing

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2005: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP Iris Robinson 20,921 56.5 +13.7
UUP Gareth McGimpsey 7,872 21.3 -19.0
Alliance Kieran McCarthy 3,332 9.0 +2.3
SDLP Joe Boyle 2,496 6.7 +0.6
Conservative Terry Dick 1,462 3.9 N/A
Sinn Féin Dermot Kennedy 949 2.6 +0.4
Majority 13,049 35.2
Turnout 37,032 53.6 -6.3
DUP hold Swing +16.4
General Election 2001: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP Iris Robinson 18,532 42.8 +12.6
UUP David McNarry 17,422 40.3 -4.0
Alliance Kieran McCarthy 2,902 6.7 -6.4
SDLP Danny McCarthy 2,646 6.1 -0.6
Sinn Féin Liam Johnston 930 2.2 +0.9
NI Unionist Cedric Wilson 822 1.9 N/A
Majority 1,110 2.5
Turnout 43,254 59.9 +0.4
DUP gain from UUP Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1997: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP John Taylor 18,431 44.3 +0.7
DUP Iris Robinson 12,579 30.2 +6.5
Alliance Kieran McCarthy 5,467 13.1 −3.8
SDLP Peter O'Reilly 2,775 6.7 N/A
Conservative Gilbert Chalk 1,743 4.2 −10.9
Sinn Féin Garret O'Fachtna 503 1.2 N/A
Natural Law Sarah Mullins 121 0.3 −0.4
Majority 5,852 14.1 −5.8
Turnout 41,619 59.5 −5.5
UUP hold Swing
Notional 1992 Election Result: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP N/A 20,473 49.0 N/A
DUP N/A 8,295 19.9 N/A
Alliance N/A 6,736 16.1 N/A
Conservative N/A 5,945 14.2 N/A
Others N/A 295 0.7 N/A
Majority 12,178 29.2 N/A
General Election 1992: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP John Taylor 19,517 43.6
DUP Sammy Wilson 10,606 23.7
Alliance Kieran McCarthy 7,585 16.9
Conservative Stephen Eyre 6,782 15.1 N/A
Natural Law David Shaw 295 0.7 N/A
Majority 8,911 19.9
Turnout 44,785 65.0
UUP hold Swing

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1987: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP John Taylor 28,199 75.9
Alliance Addie Morrow 7,553 20.3
Workers' Party Imelda Hynds 1,385 3.7 N/A
Majority 20,646 55.6
Turnout 37,137 57.6
UUP hold Swing
Strangford by-election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP John Taylor 32,627 94.2
"For the Anglo-Irish Agreement" "Peter Barry" 1,993 5.8
Majority 30,634 88.5
Turnout 34,620 55.0
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1983: Strangford
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP John Taylor 19,086 48.8 N/A
DUP Simpson Gibson 11,716 30.0 N/A
Alliance Addie Morrow 6,171 15.8 N/A
SDLP James Curry 1,713 4.4 N/A
Independent Labour Samuel Heath 430 1.1 N/A
Majority 7,370 18.8 N/A
Turnout 39,116 64.9 N/A
UUP hold Swing N/A

References[edit]