Newry and Armagh by-election, 1986

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The 1986 by-election in Newry and Armagh was caused by the resignation of incumbent Member of Parliament Jim Nicholson.

Nicholson, along with all sitting Unionist MPs, resigned their Westminster seats in December 1985, to highlight their opposition to the Anglo-Irish Agreement and to use the resultant by-elections to campaign on the issue.

The poll was held on 23 January 1986, and was unusual for a by-election in the turnout being higher than for the preceding General Election, however Nicholson was not re-elected, losing his seat to the nationalist SDLP candidate Seamus Mallon. Nicholson also failed to recapture the seat at the following general election.

Newry and Armagh by-election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP Seamus Mallon 22,694 45.5 +3.7
UUP Jim Nicholson 20,111 40.3 +0.2
Sinn Féin Jim McAllister 6,609 13.2 −7.7
Workers' Party Patrick McCusker 515 1.0 −1.2
Majority 2,583 5.2
Turnout 49,929 76.9
SDLP gain from UUP Swing +4.2

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