Down (UK Parliament constituency)

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Down
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
18011885
Replaced by East Down, North Down, South Down and West Down
19221950
Replaced by North Down and South Down
Created from East Down, Mid Down, North Down, South Down and West Down

Down was a UK Parliament constituency in Ireland. It was a two-member constituency and existed in two periods, 1801-1885 and 1922-1950.

Boundaries[edit]

1801-1885: The whole of County Down, excluding the Boroughs of Downpatrick and Newry.

1922-1950: The Administrative county of Down, that is the whole of County Down excluding the part in the City of Belfast.

Members of Parliament[edit]

1801–1885[edit]

Election First member First party Second member Second party
1801 Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh Tory Francis Savage
1802
1805 Hon. John Meade
1806
1807
May 1812 Hon. Robert Ward
October 1812 Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh Tory
1817 Lord Arthur Hill Whig
1818
1820
1821 Mathew Forde Tory
1826 Frederick Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh Conservative
1830
1831
1832
1835
1836 Earl of Hillsborough Conservative
1837
1841
1845 Lord Arthur Hill-Trevor Conservative
1847
1852 David Stewart Ker Conservative
1857 William Brownlow Forde Conservative
1859
1865
1868
1874 James Sharman Crawford Liberal
1878 Charles Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh Conservative
1880 Lord Arthur Hill Conservative
1884 Richard Ker Conservative
1885 constituency abolished: see East Down, West Down, South Down and North Down

1922–1950[edit]

Election First member First party Second member Second party
1922 David Reid Ulster Unionist Party John Morrow Simms Ulster Unionist Party
1931 Viscount Castlereagh Ulster Unionist Party
1939 James Little Ulster Unionist Party
1945 Independent Unionist Walter Smiles Ulster Unionist Party
1946 Charles Heron Mullan Ulster Unionist Party

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

Down by-election, 1946
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UUP Charles Heron Mullan 50,699 51.4 N/A
NI Labour Desmond Donnelly 28,846 29.3 N/A
Independent Unionist J. Hastings-Little 16,895 17.1 N/A
Independent Unionist James Brown 2,125 2.2 -16.9
Majority 21,853 22.2
Turnout 98,565
UUP gain from Independent Unionist Swing N/A
General Election 1945: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Unionist James Little 46,732 40.4 N/A
UUP Walter Smiles 24,148 20.9 N/A
UUP John Blakiston Houston 22,730 19.6 N/A
Independent Unionist James Brown 22,163 19.1 N/A
Turnout 39.8
Independent Unionist gain from UUP Swing N/A
UUP hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

At the Down by-election, 1939, James Little was elected unopposed as an Ulster Unionist. He subsequently left the party in the run-up to the 1945 general election in a dispute over re-selection.
General Election 1935: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UUP David Reid 66,324 43.5 N/A
UUP Robin Vane-Tempest-Stewart 58,777 46.4 N/A
Independent Republican Patrick O'Hagan 20,236 13.3 N/A
Turnout 56.7
UUP hold Swing N/A
UUP hold Swing N/A
At the 1931 general election, David Reid and Robin Vane-Tempest-Stewart were elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UUP David Reid 54,073 36.3 -10.2
UUP John Morrow Simms 53,943 36.2 -10.2
Ulster Liberal Robert Pollock 20,999 14.1 n/a
Ulster Liberal David Johnston 20,013 13.4 n/a
Turnout 58.5 -7.3
UUP hold Swing n/a
UUP hold Swing n/a
General Election 1924: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UUP David Reid 58,929 46.5 N/A
UUP John Morrow Simms 58,777 46.4 N/A
Sinn Féin Michael Murney 8,941 7.1 N/A
Turnout 65.8
UUP hold Swing N/A
UUP hold Swing N/A

At the 1922 and 1923 general elections, David Reid and John Morrow Simms were elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

By-election, 8 July 1885: Down[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Arthur Hill 5,097 52.0 −15.2
Liberal John Shaw Brown 4,696 48.0 +15.3
Majority 401 4.1 +4.0
Turnout 9,793 78.9 −7.6
Registered electors 12,412
Conservative hold Swing −15.3
By-election, 27 Nov 1884: Down (1 seat)[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Richard Ker 4,387 52.3 −14.9
Liberal Arthur Crawford 3,998 47.7 +15.0
Majority 389 4.6 +4.5
Turnout 8,385 67.6 −18.9 (est)
Registered electors 12,412
Conservative hold Swing −15.0
  • Caused by Vane-Tempest's succession to the peerage, becoming Marquis of Londonderry.
General Election 1880: Down (2 seats)[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Arthur Hill 5,873 34.4 −0.2
Conservative Charles Vane-Tempest 5,599 32.8 +0.6
Liberal John Crawford 5,579 32.7 −0.4
Majority 20 0.1 −1.4
Turnout 11,452 (est) 86.5 (est) +4.5
Registered electors 13,236
Conservative hold Swing +0.0
Conservative hold Swing +0.4

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

By-election, 17 May 1878: Down[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles Vane-Tempest 6,076 56.4 −10.4
Liberal William Drennan Andrews 4,701 43.6 +10.5
Majority 1,375 12.8 +11.3
Turnout 10,777 84.1 +2.1
Registered electors 12,814
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing −10.5
  • Sharman Crawford's death caused a by-election.
General Election 1874: Down[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edwin Hill-Trevor 5,029 34.6 N/A
Liberal James Sharman Crawford 4,814 33.1 N/A
Conservative William Brownlow Forde 4,683 32.2 N/A
Turnout 9,670 (est) 82.0 (est) N/A
Registered electors 11,797
Majority 215 1.5 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
Majority 131 0.9 N/A
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing N/A

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 1868: Down[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edwin Hill-Trevor Unopposed
Conservative William Brownlow Forde Unopposed
Registered electors 11,646
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
General Election 1865: Down[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edwin Hill-Trevor Unopposed
Conservative William Brownlow Forde Unopposed
Registered electors 11,435
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

At the 1859 general election, Edwin Hill, later known as Edwin Hill-Trevor, and William Brownlow Forde were returned unopposed.

General Election 1857: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edwin Hill 5839 N/A
Conservative William Brownlow Forde 5341 N/A
Whig David Stewart Ker 3735 N/A
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A

The Poll Books for part of County Down, showing how each elector voted in the 1857 general election are available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland under reference D/671/O/2/7-8.

General Election 1852: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edwin Hill 4654 N/A
Conservative David Stewart Ker 4117 N/A
Whig William Sharman Crawford 3113 N/A
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A

The Poll Books for part of County Down, showing how each elector voted in the 1852 general election are available in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland under reference D/671/O/2/5-6.

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

At the 1847 general election, Edwin Hill and Frederick Stewart were elected unopposed.

At the by-election on 3 June 1845 following Arthur Hill's succession as Marquess of Downshire, Edwin Hill was returned unopposed.

At the 1841 general election, Arthur Hill and Frederick Stewart were elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

At the 1837 general election, Arthur Hill and Frederick Stewart were elected unopposed.

At the by-election on 30 August 1836 following Arthur Hill's succession as Baron Sandys, Arthur Hill, Earl of Hillsborough was returned unopposed.

At the 1832 and 1835 general elections, Arthur Hill and Frederick Stewart were elected unopposed.

General Election 1831: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Arthur Hill 1671 N/A
Tory Frederick Stewart 1067 N/A
Radical William Sharman Crawford 917 N/A
General Election 1830: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Tory Frederick Stewart 930 N/A
Whig Arthur Hill 837 N/A
Tory Mathew Forde 766 N/A

Elections in the 1820s[edit]

At the by-election on 15 July 1829 following Frederick Stewart's appointment as a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, he was re-elected unopposed.

General Election 1826: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig Arthur Hill 667 N/A
Tory Frederick Stewart 665 N/A
Tory John Stewart 16 N/A

At the by-election on 9 May 1821 following Robert Stewart vacating his seat, Mathew Forde was returned unopposed.

Elections in the 1810s[edit]

At the 1818 and 1820 general elections, Arthur Hill and Robert Stewart were elected unopposed.

At the by-election on 26 February 1817 following the Hon. John Meade's appointment as consul general in Spain, Arthur Hill was returned unopposed.

General Election 1812: Down
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Tory Robert Stewart 55 N/A
Non Partisan John Meade 52 N/A
Non Partisan Eldred Pottinger 13 N/A

At the by-election on 30 May 1812 following Francis Savage's acceptance of the Chiltern Hundreds, Robert Ward was returned unopposed.

Elections in the 1800s[edit]

At the 1806 and 1807 general elections, Francis Savage and John Meade were elected unopposed.

Down by-election, 1805
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Non Partisan John Meade 1973 N/A
Tory Robert Stewart c. 1481 N/A

At the 1802 general election Francis Savage and Robert Stewart were elected unopposed.

At the creation of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1801, the sitting members of the Parliament of Ireland for County Down, Francis Savage and Robert Stewart, continued as MP's for the county.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Walker, B.M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714127.