1922 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

The 1922 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 15 November 1922. There were ten constituencies, seven single-seat constituencies with elected by FPTP and three two-seat constituencies with MPs elected by bloc voting. Only two of the constituencies had contested elections.

1922 United Kingdom general election (Northern Ireland)

 1918 15 November 1922 1923 

All 13 seats in Northern Ireland to the House of Commons
  First party Second party
Leader James Craig Joe Devlin
Party UUP Nationalist
Leader since 7 June 1921 14 December 1918
Leader's seat Did not stand Did not stand
Seats won 11 2
Popular vote 69,357 42,026
Percentage 57.2% 34.7%

It was the first election held after the Government of Ireland Act 1920, which had reduced the number of seats in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom in the region designated as Northern Ireland from 30 to 13. It was also the first election held after the approval of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, whereby the Irish Free State separated from the United Kingdom with effect from 6 December 1922, a few weeks after the election was held.

The focus of politics in Northern Ireland had shifted to the Parliament of Northern Ireland, after the first general election to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland in May 1921. The party leaders of the three parties had been elected to seats in this parliament rather than at Westminster.


The Ulster Unionist Party was dominant in this election, and won the most seats at every election in Northern Ireland until the 2005 general election. They took the Conservative Party whip in the House of Commons.

The Nationalist Party was a successor to the Irish Parliamentary Party which had suffered a large defeat in the previous election, now continuing in the area of Northern Ireland.

In the previous election, Sinn Féin had won three of the seats in this region. The Irish Free State had been in midst of the Irish Civil War from June 1922, which divided Sinn Féin into Pro-Treaty and Anti-Treaty factions (soon to become separate parties), and it did not contest this election to Westminster.

In the election as a whole, the Conservatives led by Bonar Law won an absolute majority of 344 of the 615 seats.

Party MPs Uncontested Votes[3] Adjusted votes[a 1] %
Ulster Unionist 11 10 107,972 69,357 57.2%
Nationalist 2 0 90,053 42,026 34.7%
Independent Nationalist 0 0 9,861 9,861 8.1%
Total 13 10 207,886 121,245 100
  1. Votes in constituencies using the bloc voting system are counted as 0.5 each, as each voter had one vote per seat.

MPs elected

Constituency Party MP
Antrim Ulster Unionist Charles Craig
Ulster Unionist Hugh O'Neill
Armagh Ulster Unionist William Allen
Belfast East Ulster Unionist Herbert Dixon
Belfast North Ulster Unionist Thomas McConnell
Belfast South Ulster Unionist Thomas Moles
Belfast West Ulster Unionist Robert Lynn
Down Ulster Unionist David Reid
Ulster Unionist John Simms
Fermanagh and Tyrone Nationalist Party Thomas Harbison
Nationalist Party Cahir Healy
Londonderry Ulster Unionist Malcolm Macnaghten
Queen's University of Belfast Ulster Unionist Sir William Whitla

Changes since 1918

At the previous general election, the seats won in the area which would become Northern Ireland were:

Party MPs
Unionist 20
Nationalist 4
Sinn Féin 3
Labour Unionist 3

The Sinn Féin members elected sat as TDs for the First Dáil, a revolutionary parliament for an Irish Republic.

The table below indicates the political career of each of those elected in 1918 after the 1922 general election:

1918 Constituency Party MP 1922 career
Antrim East UUP Robert McCalmont Resigned in 1919; succeeded by George Hanna, NI MP 1921–37
Antrim Mid UUP Hugh O'Neill UK MP for Antrim
Antrim North UUP Peter Kerr-Smiley Retired
Antrim South UUP Charles Curtis Craig UK MP for Antrim
Armagh Mid UUP James Lonsdale Died in May 1921; succeeded by Henry Armstrong, NI Senator 1921–37
Armagh North UUP William Allen UK MP for Armagh
Armagh South Nationalist Patrick Donnelly Did not contest, later unsuccessful in 1929 NI election
Belfast Cromac UUP William Arthur Lindsay Retired
Belfast Duncairn UUP Edward Carson Appointed as Law Lord in 1921; succeeded by Thomas McConnell, UK MP for Belfast North in 1922
Belfast Falls Nationalist Joseph Devlin NI MP for Belfast West
Belfast Ormeau UUP Thomas Moles UK MP for Belfast South
Belfast Pottinger UUP Herbert Dixon UK MP for Belfast East
Belfast St Anne's Labour Unionist Thomas Henry Burn NI MP for Belfast West (UUP)
Belfast Shankill Labour Unionist Samuel McGuffin NI MP for Belfast North (UUP)
Belfast Victoria Labour Unionist Thompson Donald NI MP for Belfast East (UUP)
Belfast Woodvale UUP Robert Lynn NI MP for Belfast West and UK MP for Belfast West
Down East UUP David Reid UK MP for Down
Down Mid UUP James Craig NI MP for Down and Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
Down North UUP Thomas Watters Brown Appointed judge of the High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland in 1922
Down South Nationalist Jeremiah McVeagh Did not contest. Later unsuccessfully sought election.
Down West UUP Daniel M. Wilson Appointed Recorder of Belfast in 1921; succeeded by Thomas Browne Wallace
Fermanagh North UUP Edward Archdale NI MP for Fermanagh and Tyrone
Fermanagh South Sinn Féin Seán O'Mahony NI MP for Fermanagh and Tyrone
Londonderry City Sinn Féin Eoin MacNeill TD for National University of Ireland for Cumann na nGaedheal
Londonderry North UUP Hugh Anderson Resigned 1919; succeeded by Hugh T. Barrie, NI Senator in 1922
Londonderry South UUP Denis Henry Appointed Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland in 1921
Tyrone North East Nationalist Thomas Harbison UK MP for Fermanagh and Tyrone
Tyrone North West Sinn Féin Arthur Griffith Died 12 August 1922
Tyrone South UUP William Coote NI MP for Fermanagh and Tyrone


  1. Walker, Brian Mercer (1992). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1918–1992 (New History of Ireland). Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. p. 15. ISBN 0901714968.
  2. "Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament held in Northern Ireland: General Election of 6 December 1922". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  3. Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael (2006). British Electoral Facts. Ashgate. p. 23.