West Tyrone (UK Parliament constituency)

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Coordinates: 54°31′19″N 7°30′00″W / 54.522°N 7.500°W / 54.522; -7.500

West Tyrone
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of West Tyrone in Northern Ireland
Current constituency
Created1997
Member of ParliamentÓrfhlaith Begley (Sinn Féin)
Created fromMid Ulster
Overlaps
European Parliament constituencyNorthern Ireland

West Tyrone is a county constituency in Northern Ireland, represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post voting system.

Boundaries[edit]

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.

Although the Boundary Commission altered several Northern Ireland constituencies for the 2010 general election, West Tyrone was left unchanged.

History[edit]

For the history of the equivalent seat prior to 1997, see Mid Ulster.

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.

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[edit]

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.

On 15 January 2018, McElduff announced his resignation as MP following a video he posted on Twitter that appeared to mock victims of the Kingsmill massacre.[1]

Election Member[2] Party
1997 William Thompson Ulster Unionist
2001 Pat Doherty Sinn Féin
2017 Barry McElduff Sinn Féin
2018 Independent
2018 by-election Órfhlaith Begley Sinn Féin

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General election 2019: West Tyrone
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Órfhlaith Begley
Alliance Stephen Donnelly
SDLP Daniel McCrossan
2018 West Tyrone by-election[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Órfhlaith Begley 16,346 46.7 -4.0
DUP Thomas Buchanan 8,390 23.9 -3.0
SDLP Daniel McCrossan 6,254 17.9 +4.9
UUP Chris Smyth 2,909 8.3 +3.2
Alliance Stephen Donnelly 1,130 3.2 +0.9
Majority 7,956 22.8 -1.0
Turnout 35,337 55.1 - 13.2
Registered electors 64,101
Sinn Féin hold Swing -0.5
General election 2017: West Tyrone[4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Barry McElduff 22,060 50.7 +7.2
DUP Thomas Buchanan 11,718 26.9 +9.4
SDLP Daniel McCrossan 5,635 13.0 -3.7
UUP Alicia Clarke 2,253 5.2 -10.7
Alliance Stephen Donnelly 1,000 2.3 +0.1
Green (NI) Ciaran McClean 427 1.0 -1.0
CISTA Barry Brown 393 0.9 -0.5
Majority 10,342 23.8 -2.2
Turnout 43,675 68.2 +7.7
Registered electors 64,009
Sinn Féin hold Swing -1.1
General election 2015: West Tyrone[6][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 16,807 43.5 −4.9
DUP Thomas Buchanan 6,747 17.5 −2.3
SDLP Daniel McCrossan 6,444 16.7 +2.7
UUP Ross Hussey 6,144 15.9 +1.7
Alliance Stephen Donnelly 869 2.2 −0.1
Green (NI) Ciaran McClean[8] 780 2.0 N/A
CISTA Barry Brown [9] 528 1.4 N/A
NI Conservatives Claire-Louise Leyland 169 0.4 N/A
Independent Susan-Anne White 166 0.4 N/A
Majority 10,060 26.0 −2.7
Turnout 38,654 60.5 −0.5
Registered electors 63,856
Sinn Féin hold Swing −1.3
General election 2010: West Tyrone[10][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 18,050 48.4 +9.5
DUP Tom Buchanan 7,365 19.8 +2.0
UCU-NF Ross Hussey 5,281 14.2 N/A
SDLP Joe Byrne 5,212 14.0 +4.9
Alliance Michael Bower 859 2.3 N/A
Independent Ciaran McClean 508 1.4 N/A
Majority 10,685 28.7 +17.2
Turnout 37,275 61.0 −14.2
Registered electors 61,148
Sinn Féin hold Swing +3.8

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General election 2005: West Tyrone[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 16,910 38.9 −1.9
Independent Kieran Deeny 11,905 27.4 N/A
DUP Tom Buchanan 7,742 17.8 N/A
SDLP Eugene McMenamin 3,949 9.1 −19.6
UUP Derek Hussey 2,981 6.9 −23.5
Majority 5,005 11.5 +1.1
Turnout 43,487 72.1 −7.8
Registered electors 59,842
Sinn Féin hold Swing -14.6
General election 2001: West Tyrone[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 19,814 40.8 +10.0
UUP William John Thompson 14,774 30.4 −4.1
SDLP Bríd Rodgers 13,942 28.7 −3.3
Majority 5,040 10.4 N/A
Turnout 48,530 79.9 +0.7
Registered electors 60,739
Sinn Féin gain from UUP Swing -7.1

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General election 1997: West Tyrone[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UUP William John Thompson 16,003 34.6 N/A
SDLP Joe Byrne 14,842 32.1 N/A
Sinn Féin Pat Doherty 14,280 30.9 N/A
Alliance Ann Gormley 829 1.8 N/A
Workers' Party Thomas Anthony Owens 230 0.5 N/A
Natural Law Robert Andrew Johnstone 91 0.2 N/A
Majority 1,161 2.5 N/A
Turnout 46,275 79.2 N/A
Registered electors 58,428
UUP win (new seat)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDonald, Henry (15 January 2018). "Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff resigns after Kingsmill row". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 2)
  3. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-43983518
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ http://www.electionpolling.co.uk/results/2017
  6. ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  7. ^ "The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland - EONI". www.eoni.org.uk.
  8. ^ "Environmental activist to stand for Green Party in West Tyrone". The Ulster Herald. 18 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Cannabis reform party announce West Tyrone election candidate". The Ulster Herald. 16 March 2015.
  10. ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  11. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF).
  12. ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  13. ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  14. ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.

Bibliography[edit]