1920 Belfast Corporation election

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1920 Belfast Corporation election

← 1914 16 January 1920 1925 →

All 60 seats to Belfast Corporation
31 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
 
Leader William Coates David Robb Campbell
Party UUP Belfast Labour
Seats won 35 12
Seat change Decrease17 Increase12

1920 Belfast Corporation election (most voted party by electoral area).svg
Map showing the area of Belfast Corporation

Council control after election

Irish Unionist

An election to Belfast Corporation took place in January 1920 as part of that year's Irish local elections. The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1919 had seen elections for local government in Ireland change to a more proportional system. As a result, Unionist dominance of the Belfast council was somewhat undermined, and the party lost 15 seats. In contrast Labour, Sinn Féin, and Nationalist representation grew, resulting in a more politically and socially representative council.[1]

147 candidates stood for the sixty seats on the council. The sixty seats were in nine new wards, identical to the parliamentary constituencies.[2] In advance of the election, the Irish Times stated that it expected the Unionists to lose between five and eight seats, to be picked up by the Labour and Nationalist candidates, with Sinn Féin having a chance of taking one or two seats.[3]

The result in the Falls was controversial; over twenty candidates stood, creating the most complex election by single-transferable vote to date; and 764 votes were disallowed due to spoiled ballot papers. 300 of these lacked an official mark; this was because the printing press marking them had ceased adding it near the end of the run, but this error was not noticed until the election count took place.[4][5]

After the election Sir William Coates, 1st Baronet was elected by the new council as Lord Mayor of Belfast.

Following the partition of Ireland the Northern Irish Government restored the older, and less representative ward based electoral system.[1]

Results by party[edit]

Party Candidates Seats ± First Pref. votes[6] FPv% ±%
UUP 56 29 -17 40,907 45.95
Labour Unionist 6 4,699 5.28
Belfast Labour 37 10 +10 12,768 14.34
Nationalist 40 5 -3 10,758 12.08
Sinn Féin 10 5 +5 7,120 8.00
Independent Unionist 2 4,167 4.68
Independent Labour 2 3,007 3.37
Independent 1 4,467 5.02
NAUL 0 1,138 1.28
Totals 60 89,031 100%

Councillors[5][7][edit]

Pottinger[edit]

Pottinger - 6 seats[8]
Party Candidate FPv% Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8 Count 9 Count 10
UUP Julia McMordie 1,968
UUP David Anderson 1,698
UUP W. J. McGowan - - - - - 1,140 1,485
Labour Unionist John F. Gordon - - - - - - 1,054 1,329
Nationalist Archibald Savage - - - - - - - - - 1,152
Belfast Labour J. S. L. McKeague - - - - - - - - - 1,050
Belfast Labour James Duff - - - - - - - - 1,002 Eliminated
Nationalist James Smith - - - - - - - 643 Eliminated
UUP John S. Shaw J.P. - - - - - - Eliminated
UUP John Stanley Johnston - - - - - Eliminated
NAUL James Johnston - - - - Eliminated
Independent Nationalist James Feenan - - - Eliminated
Independent Zimri Stewart - - - Eliminated
Belfast Labour Alexander Stewart - - - Eliminated
Electorate: 13,474   Valid: 8,379   Spoilt: 267   Quota: 1,198   Turnout: 8,646

Ormeau[edit]

Ormeau - 6 seats[8]
Party Candidate FPv% Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8 Count 9 Count 10
UUP Dr J. D. Williamson 12.45 1,037 1,055 1,090 1,143 1,302
UUP J. W. T. Watters 12.40 1,033 1,044 1,098 1,137 1,366
UUP John Campbell White (Lord Mayor) 11.74 978 991 1,022 1,051 1,191
UUP William Frederick Coates 11.35 945 957 1,020 1,055 1,162 1,307
Belfast Labour James Baird 9.63 802 815 826 876 890 - - - 1,082 1,259
Nationalist J. P. O'Kane 9.25 770 771 773 778 779 - - - 783 Eliminated
Belfast Labour David Robb Campbell 8.80 733 743 748 782 792 - - - 1,150 1,498
UUP W. J. Price 6.75 562 578 632 703 Eliminated
Independent Unionist Alexander McConnell 5.82 485 659 688 762 791 - - Eliminated
Independent Robert Pierce 4.45 371 393 424 Eliminated
Labour Unionist William Lorimer 3.71 309 319 Eliminated
Independent Unionist Emily S. Montgomery 3.63 302 Eliminated
Electorate: 13,264   Valid: 8,328   Spoilt: 150   Quota: 1,190   Turnout: 8,478

Duncairn[edit]

Duncairn - 7 seats[8]
Party Candidate FPv% Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8 Count 9 Count 10
Independent Unionist J. Barron 2,238
UUP S. F. Mercier J.P. 1,386
UUP T. E. Alexander 1,353
Nationalist Patrick Dempsey J.P. 848 - - - - - - 1,262
Belfast Labour J. S. Lawther 711 - - - - - - 1,248
Labour Unionist J. Bradbury 692 - - - - - - - - 1,285
Irish Islander P. Griffith 542
UUP E. J. Elliott 500 - - - - - - - - 1,124
[[|N/A]] T. English J.P. 446
UUP John Tyrrell J.P. 430
Belfast Labour R. McClung 331 - - - - 422
UUP Robert Dunlop J.P. 270
Independent R. S. McBurnie 118
Workers J. Polkinghorne 80
Electorate: 15,259   Valid: 9,945   Spoilt: 248   Quota: 1,244   Turnout: 10,193

Cromac[edit]

Crawford McCullough (Unionist)
James McKirnan (Nationalist)
T. McConnell (Unionist)
T. J. Kennedy (Independent Unionist)
H. Riddell (Unionist)
Lennox (Labour Unionist)
Jameson (Unionist)

Shankill[edit]

Shankill - 8 seats[9][10]
Party Candidate FPv% Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8 Count 9 Count 10 Count 11 Count 12 Count 13 Count 14
Belfast Labour Sam Kyle 2,082
UUP Hugh Murphy 1,585
Independent Unionist Tommy Henderson 1,210 - - - - 1,380
UUP Florence F. Clark 906 - - - - - - - - - 1,368
UUP William George Turner 988 - - - - - - - - - 1,340
Sinn Féin Michael Carolan 918 - - - - - - - - - - 1,406
UUP W. C. Bickerstaff 848 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1,104
UUP R. Andrews 794
Irish Nationalist H. Martin 789
Belfast Labour Dawson Gordon 543 - - - - - - - - - 1,363
Labour Unionist R. Weir 340
Labour Unionist J. A. Turkington 293
UUP Edwin Squire 227
Independent Unionist T. McClughin 183
Independent Unionist J. Burns 159
Trade Unionist T. Jenkinson 108
Belfast Labour R. McWillians 84
Trade Unionist Zimri Stewart 0
Electorate: 17,629   Valid: 12,057   Spoilt: 239   Quota: 1,340   Turnout: 12,296

St Anne's[edit]

Alexander Boyd (Independent Labour)
G. M. Donaldson (Labour)
J. A. Doran (Unionist)
Alexander Hopkins (Unionist)
James Johnston (Unionist)
Hugh McLaurin (Unionist)

Victoria[edit]

John Harkin (Nationalist)
James Augustine Duff (Unionist)
Frank Workman (Unionist)
T. Kennedy (Labour)
Thompson Donald (Labour Unionist)
Joseph Cosgrove (SF)
D. Jones (Unionist)

Woodvale[edit]

Joseph Davison (Unionist)
John Graham (Unionist)
Clarke Scott (Labour)
A. Hodgens (Unionist)
W. Macartney (Unionist)
W. Addis (Labour)

Falls[edit]

Falls - 6 seats[8]
Party Candidate FPv% Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4 Count 5 Count 6 Count 7 Count 8 Count 9 Count 10 Count 11 Count 12 Count 13 Count 14
Nationalist Richard Byrne 16.87 1,655
Nationalist Oswald Jamison 14.91 1,463
UUP Henry McKeag 13.34 1,309 1,311 - - - - - 1,316 1,323 1,328 1,342 1,366
Sinn Féin Denis McCullough 1,034 - - +57 - - - - - 1,173 1,228 1,464
Sinn Féin Demot Barnes 781 - - +36 - - - - - 901 941 1,086 1,139
Belfast Labour James Boyle 577 - - - - - +52 - 684 809 849 - - Eliminated
Belfast Labour Denis Houston 527 - - - - - - - 667 874 929 - - Elected
Sinn Féin James McEntee 435 - - - - - - - - - 571
Independent Jeremiah McCavanagh 369 - - - - - - 435 487 498
Belfast Labour Hugh Gorman 339 - - - - - - - 412
Nationalist Constantine O'Neill 250 277 - - - - - 397
Nationalist Michael McKeown 240 323 351 - - - - 542 740 - 785 856
Belfast Labour Daniel McRandall 209 - - - - 226
Sinn Féin Francis McCurry 168 - - - 175
Nationalist Felix Kane Jr. 146 218 228 - - - 254
Nationalist James Rodgers 145 - - 173
Sinn Féin Joseph Connolly 100 - 102 Eliminated
Sinn Féin Edward Trodden 38 - 38 Eliminated
Independent Nationalist Michael Cunningham 23 - 24 Eliminated
Independent Zimri Stewart 3 - 3 Eliminated
Electorate: 13,139   Valid: 9,811   Spoilt: 764   Quota: 1,402   Turnout: 10,575

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Laffan, Michael (1999). The Resurrection of Ireland: The Sinn Féin Party, 1916–1923. Cambridge University Press. p. 327.
  2. ^ "Provincial nominations", Irish Times, 6 January 1920, p.6
  3. ^ "Parties and the elections: interesting figures", Irish Times, 15 January 1920, p.5
  4. ^ "Municipal elections: the Belfast count", 20 January 1920
  5. ^ a b "Returns in the provinces: Belfast Labour's big stride", Irish Times, 19 January 1920
  6. ^ p.139
  7. ^ "Interesting contests", Irish Times, 17 January 1920
  8. ^ a b c d Belfast News-Letter - Saturday 17 January 1920
  9. ^ Belfast News-Letter - Monday 19 January 1920
  10. ^ Belfast Telegraph - Monday 19 January 1920


Preceded by
1914 Belfast Corporation election
Belfast Corporation elections Succeeded by
1925 Belfast Corporation election