1979 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland
The 1979 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 3 May with 12 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post as part of the wider general election in the United Kingdom.
12 seats in Northern Ireland of the 635 seats in the House of Commons
The election was after Labour Party prime minister James Callaghan lost a vote of confidence by 311 votes to 310. The election was won by the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher, and began a period of 18-year government by the party.
Ulster Unionist leader Harry West failed to win a seat for the second time, and would resign later that year after failing to win a seat at the first European Parliament election. The Democratic Unionist Party increased its representation, and the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party had disbanded.
Frank Maguire was re-elected as an Independent Nationalist, beating the leaders of both the UUP and the new United Ulster Unionist Party, as well as Austin Currie, a member of the SDLP standing without the support of the party. Maguire's death on 5 March 1981 led by a by-election won by Bobby Sands, an IRA prisoner who died later that year as a result of a hunger strike. The Representation of the People Act 1981 disqualified prisoners detained for more than a year from membership of the House of Commons, so the resulting by-election was contested by Sands's election agent Owen Carron, rather than by another prison on hunger strike.
|Unionist Party NI||0||8,021||1.2%|
|Fermanagh and South Tyrone||9 April 1981||Frank Maguire||Independent Nationalist||Bobby Sands||Anti H-Block||Death|
|Fermanagh and South Tyrone||20 August 1981||Bobby Sands||Anti H-Block||Owen Carron||Anti H-Block||Death from hunger strike|
|Belfast South||4 March 1982||Robert Bradford||UUP||Martin Smyth||UUP||Killed by the IRA|
- "Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament held in Northern Ireland: General Election 3 May 1979". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
- "Westminster election, 3 May 1979". ARK: Northern Ireland Elections. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
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