1970 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland


The 1970 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 31 March with 12 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post as part of the wider general election in the United Kingdom. It was the first general election held after the Representation of the People Act 1969 which reduced the voting age from 21 to 18.

1970 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

 1966 18 June 1970 Feb. 1974 

12 seats in Northern Ireland of the 630 seats in the House of Commons
  First party Second party
 
Leader James Chichester-Clark
Party UUP Unity
Leader since 1969
Leader's seat Did not stand[fn 1]
Seats won 8 2
Seat change 3 2
Popular vote 422,041 140,930
Percentage 54.2% 18.1%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader Ian Paisley Gerry Fitt
Party Protestant Unionist Republican Labour
Leader since 1966 1964
Leader's seat Antrim North Belfast West
Seats won 1 1
Seat change New
Popular vote 35,303 30,649
Percentage 4.5% 3.9%

Results


The Ulster Unionists lost seats to the Protestant Unionist Party led by Ian Paisley, moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, and to Unity, a nationalist organisation which had won a by-election in 1969.

In the election as a whole, the Labour Party failed to return to government and the Conservative Party, which included the Ulster Unionists, formed a government led by Edward Heath as Prime Minister. This was the last parliament where the UUP took the Conservative whip in the House of Commons, breaking with them after the Parliament of Northern Ireland was suspended by the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972.

Results[1][2][3]
Party MPs Votes
No. Change No. % Change
UUP 8 3 422,041 54.2% 7.6
Unity 2 2 140,930 18.1% 15.6
Protestant Unionist 1 1 35,303 3.5% 3.5
Republican Labour 1 30,649 3.9% 0.5
NI Labour 0 98,194 12.6% 0.4
Independent Republican 0 62,782 10.5% 5.4
Ulster Liberal 0 10,929 1.4% 3.5
National Democratic 0 10,349 1.3% 1.3
Independent Unionist 0 17,787 2.3% 2.3
Independent Labour 0 7,565 1.0% 1.0
Independent 0 4,290 0.4% 0.4
Total 12 778,037 100

MPs elected


Constituency Party MP
Antrim North Protestant Unionist Ian Paisley
Antrim South UUP James Molyneaux
Armagh UUP John Maginnis
Belfast East UUP Stanley McMaster
Belfast North UUP Stratton Mills
Belfast South UUP Rafton Pounder
Belfast West Republican Labour Gerry Fitt
Down North UUP Jim Kilfedder
Down South UUP Lawrence Orr
Fermanagh and South Tyrone Unity Francis McManus
Londonderry UUP Robin Chichester-Clark
Mid Ulster Unity Bernadette Devlin

Footnotes


  1. Chichester-Clark sat as the MP for South Londonderry in the Northern Ireland Parliament.

References


  1. Walker, Brian Mercer (1992). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1918–1992 (New History of Ireland). Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. p. 28. ISBN 0901714968.
  2. "Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament held in Northern Ireland: General Election 1970". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. "The 1970 Westminster Elections in Northern Ireland". ARK: Northern Ireland Elections. Retrieved 30 January 2019.