Fermanagh and South Tyrone (UK Parliament constituency)
|Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Fermanagh and South Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
|Districts of Northern Ireland||Fermanagh, Dungannon and South Tyrone|
|Electorate||69,413 (March 2011)|
|Member of parliament||Tom Elliott (UUP)|
|Number of members||One|
|Created from||Fermanagh and Tyrone|
|European Parliament constituency||Northern Ireland|
- 1 Boundaries
- 2 History
- 3 Members of Parliament
- 4 Elections
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
1983-1997: The District of Fermanagh, and the District of Dungannon.
1997-present: The District of Fermanagh, and the District of Dungannon wards of Augher, Aughnacloy, Ballygawley, Ballysaggart, Benburb, Caledon, Castlecaulfield, Clogher, Coolhill, Drumglass, Fivemiletown, Killyman, Killymeal, Moy, Moygashel, and Mullaghmore.
The seat was created in 1950 when the old Fermanagh and Tyrone two-member constituency was abolished as part of the final move to single-member seats. As the name implies, the seat includes all of County Fermanagh and the southern part of County Tyrone. Of the post-1973 districts, it contained all of Fermanagh, and Dungannon and South Tyrone. In boundary changes resulting from a review in 1995, however, a section of Dungannon and South Tyrone (then called Dungannon) district around the town of Coalisland was transferred to the Mid Ulster constituency.
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For the history of the constituency prior to 1950, see Fermanagh and Tyrone
Throughout the history of Fermanagh and South Tyrone, there has been a precarious balance between unionist and nationalist voters, though in recent years the nationalists have had a slight majority. Many elections have seen a candidate from one community triumph due to multiple candidates from the other community splitting the vote.
Perhaps because of this balance between the communities, Fermanagh and South Tyrone has repeatedly had the highest turn-out of any constituency in Northern Ireland.
In 1955, the constituency was won by Philip Clarke of Sinn Féin, but he was unseated on petition on the basis that his criminal conviction (for Irish Republican Army activity) made him ineligible. Instead, the seat was awarded to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) candidate.
In 1970, the seat was won by Frank McManus standing on the "Unity" ticket which sought to unite nationalist voters behind a single candidate. In the February 1974 general election, however, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) contested the seat, dividing the nationalist vote and allowing Harry West of the UUP to win with the support of the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party.
In the October 1974 general election a nationalist pact was agreed and Frank Maguire won, standing as an Independent Republican. He retained his seat in the 1979 general election, when both the unionist and nationalist votes were split, the former by the intervention of Ernest Baird, leader of the short-lived United Ulster Unionist Party, and the latter by Austin Currie, who defied the official SDLP decision to not contest the seat. Maguire died in early 1981.
The ensuing by-election took place amidst the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike. As part of the campaign for the five demands of the prisoners, the Provisional Irish Republican Army officer commanding in the Maze prison, Bobby Sands, was nominated as an Anti-H-Block/Armagh Political Prisoner candidate. Harry West stood for the UUP but no other candidates contested the by-election. On 9 April 1981, Sands won with 30,492 votes against 29,046 for West. 26 days later Sands died on hunger strike. Speedy legislation barred prisoners serving 12 months or longer from standing for Parliament, and so in the new by-election Sands' agent Owen Carron stood as a "Proxy Political Prisoner". The UUP nominated Ken Maginnis. The second by-election in August was also contested by the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, the Workers' Party Republican Clubs, a candidate standing on a label of General Amnesty and another as The Peace Lover. The turn-out was even higher, with most of the additional votes going to the additional parties standing, and Carron was elected. In the 1982 elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly, Carron headed up the Sinn Féin slate for the constituency and was elected.
Republicans suffered a reversal in the 1983 general election, when the SDLP contested the seat. Maginnis won and held the seat for the UUP for the next eighteen years until he retired. By this point boundary changes had resulted in a broad 50:50 balance between unionists and nationalists and it was expected that a single unionist candidate would hold the seat in the 2001 general election. James Cooper was nominated by the UUP. On this occasion, however, both the nationalist and unionist votes were to be split. Initially Maurice Morrow of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) was nominated to stand, with the DUP fiercely opposing the UUP's support for the Good Friday Agreement. Morrow, then withdrew in favour of Jim Dixon, a survivor of the Enniskillen bombing who stood as an Independent Unionist opposed to the Agreement. Tommy Gallagher of the SDLP ran but his intervention did not do enough damage to Sinn Féin as Dixon polled 6,843 votes, 6,790 in excess of the 53 vote lead that Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew had over Cooper. Subsequently, the result was challenged amid allegations that a polling station had been kept open by force for longer than the deadline, allowing more people to vote, but the courts – while conceding that this happened – did not uphold the challenge because it held that the votes cast after the legal closing time would not have affected the outcome.
Ahead of the 2005 general election, there was speculation that a single unionist candidate could retake the seat. The UUP and DUP, however, ran opposing candidates and in the event Gildernew held her seat. She kept the seat in 2010 by four votes over the Unionist candidate, Rodney Connor. Following the election, Connor lodged an election petition challenging the result based on a dispute about differences in the number of ballot papers recorded at polling stations and those subsequently recorded at the count centre. The petition was rejected after it was found that only three extra votes remained unnaccounted for. The judge ruled that "even if those votes were introduced in breach of the rules and if they had all been counted in favour of the first respondent their exclusion would still have given the first respondent (Ms Gildernew) a majority of one vote and the result would not have been affected."
In the Westminster election of May 2015 Sinn Féin's Michelle Gildernew lost the seat to the UUP's candidate Tom Elliott. Although Elliott was running for the UUP he was also being actively supported by the DUP, the Traditional Unionist Voice and UK Independence Party. The Conservative Party also refused to run a candidate in Fermanagh and South Tyrone despite running in 16 out of the other 17 constituencies. Just like in the February 1974 and June 1983 elections, faced with a single Unionist candidate, the SDLP refused to discuss a Nationalist pact with Sinn Féin and thus, the sitting Nationalist MP lost her seat.
Members of Parliament
Elections in the 2010s
|General Election 2015: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Michelle Gildernew||23,078||45.4||−0.1|
|Green (NI)||Tanya Jones||788||1.5||N/A|
|UUP gain from Sinn Féin||Swing||+23.3|
|General Election 2010: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Michelle Gildernew||21,304||45.5||+7.3|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−19.1|
Rodney Connor had the support of the Democratic Unionist Party and Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force Following the close result Connor lodged a petition against Gildernew alleging irregularities in the counting of the votes had affected the result. However the Court found that there were only three ballot papers which could not be accounted for, and even if they were all votes for Connor, Gildernew would have had a plurality of one. The election was therefore upheld.
Elections in the 2000s
|General Election 2005: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Michelle Gildernew||18,638||38.2||+4.1|
|SDLP||Thomas Joseph Gallagher||7,230||14.8||−3.9|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−12.4|
|General Election 2001: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Michelle Gildernew||17,739||34.1||+11.0|
|UUP||James Leslie Cooper||17,686||34.0||−17.5|
|SDLP||Thomas Joseph Gallagher||9,706||18.7||−4.2|
|Independent||William James Dixon||6,843||13.2||N/A|
|Sinn Féin gain from UUP||Swing||+14.2|
Elections in the 1990s
|General Election 1997: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Gerry McHugh||11,174||23.1||+4.0|
|SDLP||Thomas Joseph Gallagher||11,060||22.9||+0.0|
|Natural Law||Simeon Thomas Gillan||217||0.4||N/A|
|Notional 1992 UK General Election Result : Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|General Election 1992: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|SDLP||Thomas Joseph Gallagher||12,810||23.2||+4.1|
|Sinn Féin||Francie Molloy||12,604||22.9||−3.5|
|Independent Progressive Socialist||David Kettyles||1,094||2.0||N/A|
|Alliance||Eric Anton Herbert Bullick||950||1.7||+0.0|
|New Agenda||Gerry Cullen||747||1.4||N/A|
Elections in the 1980s
|General Election 1987: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Paul Edna Corrigan||14,623||26.4||−8.4|
|Workers' Party||David Kettyles||1,784||3.2||+2.1|
|Alliance||John Trevor Haslett||950||1.7||N/A|
|By-election 1986: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Owen Carron||15,278||27.2||−7.6|
|Workers' Party||David Kettyles||864||1.5||−0.4|
|General Election 1983: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Owen Carron||20,954||34.8|
|Workers' Party||David Kettyles||649||1.1|
|UUP gain from Anti H-Block||Swing|
Minor boundary changes took effect from the 1983 general election.
|By-election August 1981: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Anti H-Block||Owen Carron||31,278||49.1||−3.1|
|Republican Clubs||Tom Moore||1,132||1.8||N/A|
|General Amnesty||Martin Green||249||0.4||N/A|
|The Peace Lover||Simon Hall-Raleigh||90||0.1||N/A|
|Anti H-Block hold||Swing|
|By-election April 1981: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Anti H-Block||Bobby Sands||30,493||51.2||N/A|
|Anti H-Block gain from Independent Republican||Swing||N/A|
Elections in the 1970s
|General Election 1979: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Independent Republican||Meredith Francis Maguire||22,398||36.0||−15.8|
|Independent SDLP||Austin Currie||10,785||17.3||N/A|
|Alliance||Peter Newton Acheson||1,070||1.7||N/A|
|Independent Republican hold||Swing|
|General Election October 1974: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Independent Republican||Meredith Francis Maguire||32,795||51.8||N/A|
|Marxist-Leninist (Ireland)||Alan John Evans||185||0.3||N/A|
|Independent Republican gain from UUP||Swing||N/A|
|General Election February 1974: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Unity||Joseph Francis McManus||16,229||26.3||−24.8|
|Pro-Assembly Unionist||Hubert Irvin Brown||3,157||5.1||N/A|
|UUP gain from Unity||Swing|
|General Election 1970: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Unity gain from UUP||Swing|
Elections in the 1960s
|General Election 1966: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|UUP||James, Marquess of Hamilton||29,352||54.0||−1.1|
|Unity||James J. Donnelly||14,645||26.9||N/A|
|Independent Republican||Ruairí Ó Brádaigh||10,370||19.1||N/A|
|General Election 1964: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Independent Republican||Aloysius Mulloy||16,138||29.6||N/A|
|NI Labour||Baptist W. Gamble||2,339||4.3||N/A|
Elections in the 1950s
|General Election 1959: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|UUP||Lord Robert Grosvenor||32,080||81.4||+31.6|
|Sinn Féin||James Martin||7,348||18.6||−31.6|
|General Election 1955: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Sinn Féin||Philip Clarke||30,529||50.2||N/A|
|UUP||Lord Robert Grosvenor||30,268||49.8||+0.9|
|Sinn Féin gain from Irish Nationalist||Swing||N/A|
|General Election 1951: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|General Election 1950: Fermanagh and South Tyrone|
|Nationalist win (new seat)|
- Court told of UUP claim of polling irregularities The Free Library, 18 September 2001
- "SF's Gildernew retains her seat". BBC News. 7 May 2010.
- "Unionists launch election challenge, Belfast Newsletter, 28 May 2010, accessed 29 May 2010". Newsletter.co.uk. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "Fermanagh/South Tyrone election result challenge fails". BBC News. 22 October 2010.
- http://www.u.tv/News/2015/04/17/Conservatives-launch-NI-election-manifesto-35660. Missing or empty
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 4)[self-published source][better source needed]
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- http://www.eoni.org.uk/Elections/Election-results-and-statistics/Election-results-and-statistics-2003-onwards/Elections-2015/UK-Parliamentary-Election-Results/UK-Parliamentary-Election-Result-Belfast-East-(6) 23Aug15
- Statement of Persons Nominated Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
- "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Fermanagh & South Tyrone". BBC News.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- Statement of Persons Nominated Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
- "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Fermanagh & South Tyrone". BBC News.
- "Unionist 'unity' candidate agreed". BBC News. 9 April 2010.
- "Unionist dismay as election case falters". News Letter. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- General Election 1997 – Fermanagh and South Tyrone BBC News
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918 – 1949
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1950 – 1970
- Guardian Unlimited Politics (Election results from 1992 to the present)
- Political Science Resources (Election results from 1951 to the present)
- Fermanagh and South Tyrone ARK – Access Research Knowledge – (Election results 1983 – 1992)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F" [self-published source][better source needed]