West Tyrone (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of West Tyrone in Northern Ireland
|Major settlements||Omagh, Strabane|
|Member of Parliament||Órfhlaith Begley (Sinn Féin)|
|Created from||Mid Ulster|
Since the constituency's creation in 1997 it has consisted of the territory of the former Districts of Omagh and Strabane. There were major local government boundary changes in 2015, but the constituency boundaries remained unchanged.
The seat was created in a boundary review conducted in 1995 and was predominantly made out of the western half of the old Mid Ulster constituency – indeed it contains more of the old Mid Ulster than the current seat of that name. It also contains parts of the old Foyle constituency.
The seat is overwhelmingly nationalist, as evidenced by the election results in which nationalist parties have always won over 50% of the vote since the seat was created. However, the nationalist vote has traditionally been split between the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Sinn Féin, whilst the unionist parties have been more willing to make pacts to increase their chances of victory.
When the seat was created it was nominally held by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), based on mapping the 1992 general election results onto the new boundaries, but this was because the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) had not contested the equivalent area. In the 1996 Forum elections the UUP outpolled the DUP and it was agreed that the DUP would not contest the seat. As a result William Thompson of the UUP won in 1997 with a narrow majority over the SDLP, with Sinn Féin coming third on a large vote.
During the Parliament that followed, the Omagh bombing took place in the constituency, killing 29 people.
In the 2001 general election the SDLP and Sinn Féin both targeted the constituency heavily, in the hope that a shift in the vote from one nationalist party to the other would enable them to outpoll the Ulster Unionists. In the event Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty won.
In 1998 both Sinn Féin and the SDLP won two seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, with the UUP and DUP winning one each. However, there was much speculation that an increase in Sinn Féin's vote at the SDLP's expense would result in Sinn Féin taking a seat from its nationalist rival at the next assembly election. However, the election was complicated by the intervention of the independent candidate Dr. Kieran Deeny, campaigning on the sole issue of the retention of the hospital in Omagh. In a result that shocked commentators he took one of the SDLP's assembly seats.
Deeny stood again in the 2005 general election and asked most parties to withdraw to support him. Many local activists and voters appeared to agree with this, with some making their support public, but in the end the UUP, DUP and SDLP all fielded candidates. Doherty held the seat for Sinn Féin, but with Deeny polling strongly in second place.
Members of Parliament
The Member of Parliament since the 2017 general election was Barry McElduff of Sinn Féin. Between 2001 and 2017, the MP was Pat Doherty of Sinn Féin, and the MP between 1997 and 2001 was William Thompson of the Ulster Unionist Party.
|1997||William Thompson||Ulster Unionist|
|2001||Pat Doherty||Sinn Féin|
|2017||Barry McElduff||Sinn Féin|
|2018 by-election||Órfhlaith Begley||Sinn Féin|
Elections in the 2010s
|Sinn Féin||Órfhlaith Begley||16,544||40.2||−10.5|
|Green (NI)||Susan Glass||521||1.3||+0.3|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−2.9|
|Sinn Féin||Órfhlaith Begley||16,346||46.7||−4.0|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−0.5|
|Sinn Féin||Barry McElduff||22,060||50.7||+7.2|
|Green (NI)||Ciaran McClean||427||1.0||-1.0|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||-1.1|
|Sinn Féin||Pat Doherty||16,807||43.5||−4.9|
|Green (NI)||Ciaran McClean||780||2.0||New|
|CISTA||Barry Brown ||528||1.4||New|
|NI Conservatives||Claire-Louise Leyland||169||0.4||New|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−1.3|
|Sinn Féin||Pat Doherty||18,050||48.4||+9.5|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||+3.8|
Elections in the 2000s
|Sinn Féin||Pat Doherty||16,910||38.9||−1.9|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||-14.6|
|Sinn Féin||Pat Doherty||19,814||40.8||+9.9|
|UUP||William John Thompson||14,774||30.4||−4.2|
|Sinn Féin gain from UUP||Swing||-7.1|
Elections in the 1990s
|UUP||William John Thompson||16,003||34.6|
|Sinn Féin||Pat Doherty||14,280||30.9|
|Workers' Party||Thomas Anthony Owens||230||0.5|
|Natural Law||Robert Andrew Johnstone||91||0.2|
|UUP win (new seat)|
- List of parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland
- 2017 Election House Of Commons Library 2017 Election report
- A Vision Of Britain Through Time (Constituency elector numbers)
- Politics Resources
- McDonald, Henry (15 January 2018). "Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff resigns after Kingsmill row". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 2)
- "West Tyrone Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- "SF's Begley wins West Tyrone by-election". 4 May 2018 – via www.bbc.com.
- "Election of a Member of Parliament for the WEST TYRONE Constituency - Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll". Electoral Office of Northern Ireland. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "Election 2017 Results - Election Polling". www.electionpolling.co.uk.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland - EONI". www.eoni.org.uk.
- "Environmental activist to stand for Green Party in West Tyrone". The Ulster Herald. 18 December 2014.
- "Cannabis reform party announce West Tyrone election candidate". The Ulster Herald. 16 March 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF).
- "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.
- "Guardian electoral history". West Tyrone. Retrieved 6 August 2005.