Upper Bann (UK Parliament constituency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other constituencies of the same name, see Upper Bann (disambiguation).
Upper Bann
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of Upper Bann in Northern Ireland.
Districts of Northern Ireland Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon
Electorate 77,905 (March 2011)
Current constituency
Created 1983
Member of parliament David Simpson (DUP)
Number of members One
Created from Armagh
European Parliament constituency Northern Ireland

Upper Bann is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current Member of Parliament for Upper Bann is David Simpson.[1]


1983-1997: The District of Craigavon; and the District of Banbridge wards of Ballydown, Central, Edenderry, Gilford, Lawrencetown, Loughbrickland, and Seapatrick.

1997-present: The District of Craigavon; and the District of Banbridge wards of Ballydown, Banbridge West, Edenderry, Fort, Gilford, Lawrencetown, Loughbrickland, Seapatrick, and The Cut.

The seat was created in boundary changes in 1983, as part of an expansion of Northern Ireland's constituencies from 12 to 17, and was predominantly made up from parts of Armagh and South Down. It was barely changed in further revisions in 1995 and covers the entirety of the district of Craigavon as well as part of Banbridge.

In 2005, the Boundary Commission published provisional recommendations for modifying the boundaries of constituencies in Northern Ireland. It proposed transferring two small parts of Upper Bann to South Down and Lagan Valley. Following public consultation, the Commission revised its proposals which were finally passed through Parliament by means of the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Constituencies Order.[2]


For the history of the equivalent constituencies prior to 1950 please see Armagh (UK Parliament constituency) and Down (UK Parliament constituency) and from 1950 until 1983, please see also South Down.

The constituency has a unionist majority, though the combined votes for nationalist parties have reached around 35% in elections. The Ulster Unionist Party has traditionally been dominant though it has been supplanted by the Democratic Unionist Party in recent years. The constituency contains Portadown and Drumcree, key locations for the Orange Order and elections to both local councils and the Northern Ireland Assembly have seen independent candidates standing on issues related to Orange Order parades performing well.

In 1990 the sitting MP, Harold McCusker, died and the subsequent by-election was noticeable as for the first time since the early 1970s two major UK political parties stood in a Northern Ireland parliamentary election, the Conservatives and the rump of the Social Democratic Party. However the result was disappointing for the Conservatives, whilst the SDP polled a mere 154 votes. In that by-election David Trimble was elected and five years later he became leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. Trimble's leadership came in for much criticism from the rival Democratic Unionist Party and they strongly targeted the area.

In the 2001 general election there was a strong rumour that the DUP leader Ian Paisley would contest the seat himself, in the hope of unseating Trimble, but in the event he stayed in his North Antrim constituency and the DUP instead nominated David Simpson. The campaign was amongst the most bitter in the entire province, with Trimble coming in for fierce personal attacks. He benefitted, however, from the decision of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland not to contest the seat themselves but instead support them. When the results were counted Simpson was initially ahead and many believed he had won, but Trimble pulled ahead to hold the seat on a narrow majority of 2058.

In the subsequent 2003 assembly election the DUP were only 386 votes behind the UUP. Then in the 2005 general election Trimble was defeated by Simpson. Simpson retained his seat in the 2010 general election, although the UUP vote has remained fairly static. The nationalist vote has continued to grow which could make this seat a possible battleground between nationalists and unionists.[3]

Members of Parliament[edit]

The current Member of Parliament, since the 2005 general election, is David Simpson of the Democratic Unionist Party. In that election he defeated David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, who had held the seat since a 1990 by-election.

Election Member Party
1983 Harold McCusker Ulster Unionist
1990 by-election David Trimble Ulster Unionist
2005 David Simpson Democratic Unionist


General Election 2015: Upper Bann
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP David Simpson 15,430 32.7 -1.2
UUP Jo-Anne Dobson 13,166 27.9 +2.2
Sinn Féin Catherine Seeley 11,593 24.6 -0.2
SDLP Dolores Kelly 4,238 9.0 -3.8
Alliance Peter Lavery 1,780 3.8 0.8
CISTA Martin Kelly 460 1.0 N/A
Workers' Party Damien Harte 351 0.7 N/A
NI Conservatives Amandeep Singh Bhogal 201 0.4 N/A
Majority 2,264 4.8 -3.3
Turnout 47,219 59.0 3.7
DUP hold Swing
General Election 2010: Upper Bann[4][5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP David Simpson 14,000 33.8 -3.8
UCU-NF Harry Hamilton 10,639 25.7 +0.2
Sinn Féin John O'Dowd 10,237 24.7 +3.7
SDLP Dolores Kelly 5,276 12.8 -0.2
Alliance Brendan Heading 1,231 3.0 +0.8
Majority 3,361 8.1 -4.1
Turnout 41,383 55.3 -5.9
DUP hold Swing
General Election 2005: Upper Bann[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
DUP David Simpson 16,679 37.6 +8.1
UUP David Trimble 11,281 25.5 -8.0
Sinn Féin John O'Dowd 9,305 21.0 -0.1
SDLP Dolores Kelly 5,747 13.0 -1.9
Alliance Alan Castle 955 2.2 +2.2
Workers' Party Tom French 355 0.8 -0.2
Majority 5,398 12.2
Turnout 44,322 61.2 -9.1
DUP gain from UUP Swing +8.1
General Election 2001: Upper Bann[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP David Trimble 17,095 33.5 -10.1
DUP David Simpson 15,037 29.5 +18.0
Sinn Féin Dara O'Hagan 10,771 21.1 +9.0
SDLP Dolores Kelly 7,607 14.9 -9.3
Workers' Party Tom French 527 1.0 -0.1
Majority 2,058 4.0
Turnout 51,037 70.3 +2.4
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1997: Upper Bann[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP David Trimble 20,836 43.6
SDLP Brid Rodgers 11,584 24.2
Sinn Féin Bernadette O'Hagan 5,773 12.1
DUP Mervyn Carrick 5,482 11.5
Alliance William Ramsay 3,017 6.3
Workers' Party Tom French 554 1.2
Conservative Brian Price 433 0.9
Natural Law Jack Lyons 108 0.2
Majority 9,252
Turnout 47,787 67.88
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1992: Upper Bann
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP David Trimble 26,824 59.0
SDLP Brid Rodgers 10,661 23.4
Sinn Féin Brendan Curran 2,777 6.1
Alliance William Ramsay 2,541 5.6
Conservative Collette Jones 1,556 3.4
Workers' Party Tom French 1,120 2.5
Majority 16,163
Turnout 67.4
UUP hold Swing
Upper Bann by-election, 1990
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP David Trimble 20,547 58.0 -3.5
SDLP Brid Rodgers 6,698 18.9 -1.6
Sinn Féin Sheena Campbell 2,033 5.7 -1.7
Ulster Independence Hugh Ross 1,534 4.3 N/A
Workers' Party Tom French 1,083 3.1 -1.6
Conservative Colette Jones 1,038 3.0 N/A
Alliance William Ramsay 948 2.7 -3.2
Ulster Democratic Gary McMichael 600 1.7 N/A
Green Peter Doran 576 1.6 N/A
Independent Labour Erskine Holmes 235 0.6 N/A
Social Democrat Alistair Dunn 154 0.4 N/A
Majority 13,849
Turnout 53.4
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1987: Upper Bann
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Harold McCusker 25,137 61.5 4.6
SDLP Brid Rodgers 8,676 20.5 3.7
Sinn Féin Brendan Patrick Curran 3,126 7.4 -2.0
Alliance Fionnuala Cook 2,487 5.9 N/A
Workers' Party Tom French 2,004 4.7 -0.8
Majority 16,461
Turnout 66.0 -6.0
UUP hold Swing
Upper Bann by-election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Harold McCusker 29,311
Workers' Party Tom French 6,978
Majority 22,333
Turnout 36,861 57.9
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1983: Upper Bann
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Harold McCusker 24,888 56.9 N/A
SDLP James McDonald 7,807 17.9 N/A
DUP Jim Wells 4,547 10.4 N/A
Sinn Féin Brendan Curran 4,110 9.4 N/A
Workers' Party Tom French 2,392 5.5 N/A
Majority 17,081 41.0 N/A
Turnout 41,644 72.0 N/A
UUP win (new seat)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°25′18″N 6°23′46″W / 54.42167°N 6.39611°W / 54.42167; -6.39611