West Tyrone (UK Parliament constituency)

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

Coordinates: 54°31′19″N 7°30′00″W / 54.522°N 7.500°W / 54.522; -7.500

West Tyrone
County constituency
WestTyroneConstituency.svg
West Tyrone shown within Northern Ireland
Created: 1997
MP: Pat Doherty
Party: Sinn Féin
Type: House of Commons
Districts: Omagh, Strabane
EP constituency: Northern Ireland

West Tyrone is a county constituency in Northern Ireland, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post voting system.

Boundaries[edit]

The District of Omagh; and the District of Strabane.

The seat was created in a boundary review conducted in 1995 and was predominantly made out of the western half of the old Mid Ulster constituency – indeed it contains more of the old Mid Ulster than the current seat of that name. It also contains parts of the old Foyle constituency and now shares exactly the same boundaries as the districts of Omagh and Strabane.

Although the Boundary Commission altered several Northern Ireland constituencies for the 2010 general election, West Tyrone was left unchanged.

History[edit]

For the history of the equivalent seat prior to 1997, see Mid Ulster.

The seat is overwhelmingly nationalist, as evidenced by the election results in which nationalist parties have always won over 50% of the vote since the seat was created. However, the nationalist vote has traditionally been split between the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin, whilst the unionist parties have been more willing to make pacts to increase their chances of victory.

When the seat was created it was nominally held by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), based on mapping the 1992 general election results onto the new boundaries, but this was because the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had not contested the equivalent area. In the 1996 Forum elections the UUP outpolled the DUP and it was agreed that the DUP would not contest the seat. As a result William Thompson of the UUP won in 1997 with a narrow majority over the SDLP, with Sinn Féin coming third on a large vote.

In the 2001 general election the SDLP and Sinn Féin both targeted the constituency heavily, in the hope that a shift in the vote from one nationalist party to the other would enable them to outpoll the Ulster Unionists. In the event Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty won.

In 1998 both Sinn Féin and the SDLP won two seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, with the UUP and DUP winning one each. However, there was much speculation that an increase in Sinn Féin's vote at the SDLP's expense would result in Sinn Féin taking a seat from its nationalist rival at the next assembly election. However, the election was complicated by the intervention of the independent candidate Dr. Kieran Deeny, campaigning on the sole issue of the retention of the hospital in Omagh. In a result that shocked commentators he took one of the SDLP's assembly seats.

Deeny stood again in the 2005 general election and asked most parties to withdraw to support him. Many local activists and voters appeared to agree with this, with some making their support public, but in the end the UUP, DUP and SDLP all fielded candidates. Doherty held the seat for Sinn Féin, but with Deeny polling strongly in second place.

Members of Parliament[edit]

The Member of Parliament since the 2001 general election is Pat Doherty of Sinn Féin. Between 1997 and 2001 the MP was William Thompson of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Election Member[1] Party
1997 William Thompson Ulster Unionist
2001 Pat Doherty Sinn Féin

Elections[edit]

General Election 2010: West Tyrone[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 18,050 48.4 +9.5
DUP Tom Buchanan 7,365 19.8 +2.0
UCU-NF Ross Hussey 5,281 14.2 N/A
SDLP Joe Byrne 5,212 14.0 +4.9
Alliance Michael Bower 859 2.3 N/A
Independent Ciaran McClean 508 1.4 N/A
Majority 10,685 28.7
Turnout 37,275 61.0 -14.2
Sinn Féin hold Swing +3.8
General Election 2005: Tyrone West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 16,910 38.9 -1.9
Independent Kieran Deeny 11,905 27.4 N/A
DUP Tom Buchanan 7,742 17.8 N/A
SDLP Eugene McMenamin 3,949 9.1 -19.6
UUP Derek Hussey 2,981 6.9 -23.5
Majority 5,005 11.5
Turnout 43,487 72.1 -7.8
Sinn Féin hold Swing
General Election 2001: Tyrone West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 19,814 40.8 +10.0
UUP William Thompson 14,774 30.4 -4.1
SDLP Brid Rodgers 13,942 28.7 -3.3
Majority 5,040 10.4
Turnout 48,530 79.9 +0.3
Sinn Féin gain from UUP Swing
General Election 1997: Tyrone West
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP William Thompson 16,003 34.6 N/A
SDLP Joe Byrne 14,842 32.1 +1.1
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 14,280 30.9 +9.9
Alliance Ann Gormley 829 1.8 -2.9
Workers' Party Tommy Owens 230 0.5 N/A
Natural Law Robert Johnstone 91 0.2 N/A
Majority 1,161 N/A
Turnout 79.6 N/A
UUP win (new seat)

Notional 1992 result[edit]

The projected result of what the result would have been if West Tyrone had existed for the 1992 election is shown below.

Notional 1992 UK General Election Result : West Tyrone
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP N/A 15,738 38.8 N/a
SDLP N/A 12,590 31.0 N/A
Sinn Féin N/A 8,102 20.0 N/A
Others N/A 2282 5.6 N/A
Alliance N/A 1900 4.7 N/A
Majority 3,158 7.8 N/A

[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]