1997 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland


The 1997 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 1 May with 18 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post as part of the wider general election in the United Kingdom. This was an increase of one seat in Northern Ireland, where the House of Commons as a whole had increased from 650 to 659 seats.

1997 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

 1992 1 May 1997 2001 

18 seats in Northern Ireland of the 659 seats in the House of Commons
Turnout67.4% ()
  First party Second party
 
Leader David Trimble John Hume
Party UUP SDLP
Leader since 28 August 1995 6 May 1979
Leader's seat Upper Bann Foyle
Seats won 10 3
Seat change 1 1
Popular vote 258,439 190,844
Percentage 32.7% 24.1%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Leader Gerry Adams Ian Paisley
Party Sinn Féin DUP
Leader since 1983 30 September 1971
Leader's seat Belfast West North Antrim
Seats won 2 2
Seat change 2 1
Popular vote 126,921 107,348
Percentage 16.1% 13.6%

1,177,969 people were eligible to vote, up 53,069 from the 1992 general election. 67.39% of eligible voters turned out, down 2.6 percentage points from the last general election.[1]

Results


The Labour Party led by Tony Blair won a large majority with 418 of 659 seats, returning to office after 18 years of Conservative Party government. In Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin gained two seats, beginning a steady growth in support in elections to the House of Commons.

Less than a year after this election, on 10 April 1998, the Good Friday Agreement was signed, providing for a Northern Ireland Assembly and devolved government through the Northern Ireland Executive.

Results[2][3]
Party MPs Votes
No. Change No. % Change
UUP 10 1 258,439 32.7% 1.8
SDLP 3 1 190,844 24.1% 0.6
Sinn Féin 2 2 126,921 16.1% 6.1
DUP 2 1 107,348 13.6% 0.5
UK Unionist 1 1 12,817 1.6% 1.6
Alliance 0 62,972 8.0% 0.7
PUP 0 10,934 1.4% 1.4
NI Conservatives 0 9,858 1.2% 4.5
NI Women's Coalition 0 New 3,024 0.4% New
Workers' Party 0 2,766 0.3% 0.2
Natural Law 0 2,210 0.3% 0.1
Green (NI) 0 539 0.1%
National Democrats 0 New 81 New
Independent 0 2,136 0.3% 0.5
Total 18 1 790,889 100

MPs elected


Constituency Party MP
East Antrim UUP Roy Beggs
North Antrim DUP Ian Paisley
South Antrim UUP Clifford Forsythe
Belfast East DUP Peter Robinson
Belfast North UUP Cecil Walker
Belfast South UUP Martin Smyth
Belfast West Sinn Féin Gerry Adams
North Down UK Unionist Robert McCartney
South Down SDLP Eddie McGrady
Fermanagh and South Tyrone UUP Ken Maginnis
Foyle SDLP John Hume
Lagan Valley UUP Jeffrey Donaldson
East Londonderry UUP William Ross
Mid Ulster Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness
Newry and Armagh SDLP Seamus Mallon
Strangford UUP John Taylor
West Tyrone UUP William Thompson
Upper Bann UUP David Trimble

By-elections

ConstituencyDateIncumbentPartyWinnerPartyCause
South Antrim 21 September 2000 Clifford Forsythe UUP William McCrea DUP Death

References


  1. "UK Parliamentary Election 1997 - Turnout". EONI. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  2. "Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament held in Northern Ireland: General Election 1 May 1997". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. "Westminster election, 1 May 1997". ARK: Northern Ireland Elections. Retrieved 5 May 2019.