1955 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland


The 1955 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 26 May as part of the wider general election with 12 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post.

1955 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

 1951 26 May 1955 1959 

12 seats in Northern Ireland of the 630 seats in the House of Commons
  First party Second party
 
Leader Sir Basil Brooke, Bt Paddy McLogan
Party UUP Sinn Féin
Leader since 1943 1954
Leader's seat Did not stand[fn 1] Did not stand
Seats won 10 2
Seat change 1 2
Popular vote 442,647 152,310
Percentage 68.5% 23.6%

Results


This was the first election to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom since the creation of Northern Ireland in 1921 where all constituencies in the region were contested

The Ulster Unionists regained the seat which they had lost to Jack Beattie from the Irish Labour Party. The nationalist interest was represented by Sinn Féin who gained the two seats previously held by the Nationalist Party. Patricia McLaughlin was the first woman elected as an MP for a Northern Ireland constituency.

In the election as a whole, the Conservative Party, which included the Ulster Unionists, led by Sir Anthony Eden as Prime Minister, continued in a majority government.

Results[1][2]
Party MPs Change Votes %
UUP 10 2 442,647 68.5%
Sinn Féin 2 2 152,310 23.6%
NI Labour 0 35,614 5.5%
Irish Labour 0 1 16,050 2.5%
Total 12 646,621 100

MPs elected


Constituency Party MP
Antrim North UUP Phelim O'Neill
Antrim South UUP Knox Cunningham
Armagh UUP C. W. Armstrong
Belfast East UUP Alan McKibbin
Belfast North UUP H. Montgomery Hyde
Belfast South UUP David Campbell
Belfast West UUP Patricia McLaughlin
Down North UUP George Currie
Down South UUP Lawrence Orr
Fermanagh and South Tyrone Sinn Féin Philip Clarke
Londonderry UUP Robin Chichester-Clark
Mid Ulster Sinn Féin Tom Mitchell

By-elections

By-electionDateIncumbentPartyWinnerPartyCause
Mid Ulster 11 August 1955[by 1] Tom Mitchell Sinn Féin Tom Mitchell Sinn Féin Disqualification
Mid Ulster 8 May 1956[by 1] Charles Beattie UUP George Forrest Independent Unionist Disqualification
Belfast East 19 March 1959 Alan McKibbin UUP Stanley McMaster UUP Death
  1. Tom Mitchell won the most votes at the general election but was disqualified by the House of Commons on the grounds that he was a convicted felon. A by-election was called at which Mitchell again stood and won the most votes. On this occasion an election petition was lodged and Mitchell was again disqualified with the Election Court declaring his opponent Charles Beattie duly elected. It then emerged that Beattie himself was ineligible to sit because he held offices of profit under the Crown. Beattie was indemnified by Parliament against the consequences of sitting and voting while ineligible, and a further writ was moved. In the subsequent by-election, Independent Unionist George Forrest was elected. Forrest later joined the Ulster Unionists and won the seat for the party at the 1959 general election.

Footnotes


  1. Brooke sat as the MP for Lisnaskea in the Northern Ireland Parliament.

References


  1. "Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament held in Northern Ireland: General Election 1955". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  2. "The 1955 Westminster Elections in Northern Ireland". ARK: Northern Ireland Elections. Retrieved 19 January 2019.