Foyle (UK Parliament constituency)


Foyle is a parliamentary constituency in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The current MP is Colum Eastwood of the SDLP.

Foyle
County constituency
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Foyle in Northern Ireland 1995 – 2008
Districts of Northern IrelandDerry City and Strabane District Council
Electorate68,565 (March 2011)
Major settlementsDerry
Current constituency
Created1983
Member of ParliamentColum Eastwood (SDLP)
Number of membersOne
Created fromLondonderry
Mid Ulster (small parts of)[1]

Boundaries


1983–1997: The District of Londonderry, and the District of Strabane wards of Artigarvan, Dunnamanagh, East, North, Slievekirk, South, and West.

1997–2010: The District of Derry.

2010–present: The District of Derry wards of Altnagelvin, Ballynashallog, Beechwood, Brandywell, Carn Hill, Caw, Clondermot, Creggan Central, Creggan South, Crevagh, Culmore, Ebrington, Eglinton, Enagh, Foyle Springs, Holly Mount, Kilfennan, Lisnagelvin, New Buildings, Pennyburn, Rosemount, Shantallow East, Shantallow West, Springtown, Strand, The Diamond, Victoria, and Westland.

The seat was created in boundary changes in 1983, as part of an expansion of Northern Ireland's constituencies from 12 to 17, and was predominantly made up from the old Londonderry constituency. From further revisions in 1995 (when it lost parts of the district of Strabane to the West Tyrone constituency), and until the 2008 revision, it covered exactly the same area as Derry City Council.

The River Foyle at night

The name comes from the River Foyle which the city lies on and is used to avoid the contentious names of Derry or Londonderry, as well as to cover the areas of County Tyrone that were originally in the constituency.

Prior to the 2010 general election the transfer of Claudy and Banagher wards to East Londonderry were approved through the passing of the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Constituencies Order[2] in 2008.

History


For the history of the equivalent constituency prior to 1983, see Londonderry.

The constituency is overwhelmingly nationalist and in many elections has often had the strongest vote for the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in the whole of Northern Ireland.

At the seat's creation in 1983, SDLP leader John Hume won the new seat, becoming the party's only MP after it lost Belfast West to Sinn Féin.

There had been much speculation that with the gradual retirement of Hume from politics, the SDLP vote might collapse. In the 2003 Northern Ireland Assembly election, the SDLP lost 11.5% of the vote and were only narrowly ahead of Sinn Féin. Hume's retirement led to many questioning whether Mark Durkan, Hume's successor as leader, could hold on to the seat. However, in the 2005 general election he did so. The decline in the Unionist vote suggests that some Unionist voters tactically voted for Durkan.

Durkan retained the seat in 2010. This seat also gave the Alliance Party their worst share of the vote in Northern Ireland, polling just 0.6% of the votes.

Durkan was re-elected to a third term in 2015, increasing his share of the vote to 47.9% and winning a majority of 6,046 votes.

In the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, the constituency voted remain by 78.3%. This was the sixth highest support for remain for a constituency, and the highest support for remain in Northern Ireland.[3]

In the General Election 2017, the seat was won by Elisha McCallion, of Sinn Féin who won with a majority of only 169 votes. Following the election, concerns about electoral malpractice were raised with the Electoral Office by the SDLP and People Before Profit's Eamonn McCann.[4][5]

In the General Election 2019, the seat was recaptured by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. Sinn Féin's vote dropped by 46.5% of its 2017 vote to 20.7% of the total - the lowest percentage share that that party had won in any general election in the constituency since 1992.

Members of Parliament


The Member of Parliament since the 2019 UK General Election is Colum Eastwood of the SDLP. He succeeded Elisha McCallion of Sinn Féin to regain the seat which the SDLP had held from its 1983 creation until 2017. The constituency was previously represented by John Hume, former leader of the SDLP and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

ElectionMemberParty
1983 John Hume SDLP
2005 Mark Durkan SDLP
2017 Elisha McCallion Sinn Féin
2019 Colum Eastwood SDLP

Elections


Foyle election results

Elections in the 2010s

General election 2019: Foyle[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP Colum Eastwood 26,881 57.0 +17.7
Sinn Féin Elisha McCallion 9,771 20.7 −19.0
DUP Gary Middleton 4,773 10.1 −6.0
Aontú Anne McCloskey 2,032 4.3 New
People Before Profit Shaun Harkin 1,332 2.8 −0.2
Alliance Rachael Ferguson 1,267 2.7 +0.9
UUP Darren Guy 1,088 2.3 New
Majority 17,110 36.3 +35.9
Turnout 47,144 63.4 −2.0
Registered electors 74,360
SDLP gain from Sinn Féin Swing +18.4

This seat saw the largest decrease in vote share for Sinn Féin at the 2019 general election.[7]

General election 2017: Foyle[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Sinn Féin Elisha McCallion 18,256 39.7 +8.2
SDLP Mark Durkan 18,087 39.3 −8.6
DUP Gary Middleton 7,398 16.1 +3.7
People Before Profit Shaun Harkin 1,377 3.0 New
Alliance John Doherty 847 1.8 −0.5
Majority 169 0.4 −15.9
Turnout 46,136 65.4 +12.6
Registered electors 70,324
Sinn Féin gain from SDLP Swing +8.3
General election 2015: Foyle[9][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP Mark Durkan 17,725 47.9 +3.2
Sinn Féin Gearóid Ó Heára 11,679 31.6 −0.3
DUP Gary Middleton 4,573 12.4 +0.6
UUP Julia Kee 1,226 3.3 +0.1
Alliance David Hawthorne 835 2.3 +1.7
UKIP Kyle Thompson 832 2.2 New
NI Conservatives Hamish Badenoch 132 0.4 New
Majority 6,046 16.3 +3.6
Turnout 37,002 52.8 −4.7
Registered electors 70,036
SDLP hold Swing +1.8
General election 2010: Foyle[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP Mark Durkan[12] 16,922 44.7 −1.7
Sinn Féin Martina Anderson[13] 12,098 31.9 −1.4
DUP Maurice Devenney[14] 4,489 11.8 −2.2
People Before Profit Eamonn McCann[15] 2,936 7.7 New
UCU-NF David Harding 1,221 3.2 +0.9
Alliance Keith McGrellis[16] 223 0.6 New
Majority 4,824 12.7 −0.4
Turnout 37,889 57.5 −12.5
Registered electors 65,843
SDLP hold Swing −0.2

Elections in the 2000s

General election 2005: Foyle[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP Mark Durkan 21,119 46.3 −3.9
Sinn Féin Mitchel McLaughlin 15,162 33.2 +6.6
DUP William Hay 6,557 14.4 −0.8
Socialist Environmental Eamonn McCann 1,649 3.6 New
UUP Earl Storey 1,091 2.4 −4.5
Rainbow Dream Ticket Ben Reel 31 0.1 New
Majority 5,957 13.1 −10.5
Turnout 45,609 65.9 −3.0
Registered electors 68,758
SDLP hold Swing −5.3
General election 2001: Foyle[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP John Hume 24,538 50.2 -2.3
Sinn Féin Mitchel McLaughlin 12,988 26.6 +2.7
DUP William Hay 7,414 15.2 −6.4
UUP Andrew Davidson 3,360 6.9 New
Alliance Colm Cavanagh 579 1.2 −0.5
Majority 11,550 23.6 -5.0
Turnout 48,879 68.9 −1.5
Registered electors 70,943
SDLP hold Swing −2.5

Elections in the 1990s

General election 1997: Foyle[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP John Hume 25,109 52.5 +1.0
Sinn Féin Mitchel McLaughlin 11,445 23.9 +6.3
DUP William Hay 10,290 21.5 −4.9
Alliance Helen-Marie Bell 817 1.7 −1.0
Natural Law Donn Brennan 154 0.3 −0.5
Majority 13,664 28.6 +3.5
Turnout 47,815 70.4 +0.9
Registered electors 67,905
SDLP hold Swing −4.0
General election 1992: Foyle[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP John Hume 26,710 51.5 +2.7
DUP Gregory Campbell 13,705 26.4 −2.2
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness 9,149 17.6 −0.3
Alliance Lara McIlroy 1,390 2.7 +0.1
Workers' Party Gordon McKenzie 514 1.0 −1.1
Natural Law John Burns 422 0.8 New
Majority 13,005 25.1 +4.9
Turnout 51,890 69.5 +0.5
Registered electors 74,673
SDLP hold Swing +2.5

Elections in the 1980s

General election 1987: Foyle[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP John Hume 23,743 48.8 +2.8
DUP Gregory Campbell 13,883 28.6 −1.9
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness 8,707 17.9 −2.4
Alliance Elizabeth Zammitt 1,276 2.6 +0.5
Workers' Party Eamonn Melaugh 1,022 2.1 +1.0
Majority 9,860 20.2 +4.7
Turnout 48,631 69.0 -8.6
Registered electors 70,519
SDLP hold Swing +2.4
General election 1983: Foyle[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SDLP John Hume 24,071 46.0 N/A
DUP Gregory Campbell 15,923 30.5 N/A
Sinn Féin Martin McGuinness 10,607 20.3 N/A
Alliance Gerard O'Grady 1,108 2.1 N/A
Workers' Party Eamonn Melaugh 582 1.1 N/A
Majority 8,148 15.5 N/A
Turnout 52,291 77.6 N/A
Registered electors 66,976
SDLP win (new seat)

See also


  • Foyle and City of Londonderry were neighbouring constituencies in the Northern Ireland Parliament from 1929 to 1973.
  • Londonderry City was a borough constituency in the UK parliament from the Act of Union to 1922.

References


  1. "'Foyle', June 1983 up to May 1997". ElectionWeb Project. Cognitive Computing Limited. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Revised estimates of leave vote in Westminster constituencies". Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  4. "Foyle MLA to raise concerns over 'stolen votes' with election chief". News Letter. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  5. "Claims of Foyle vote theft mount - SDLP to meet with Electoral Office". Belfast Telegraph. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  6. "Foyle Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  7. http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-8749/CBP-8749.pdf
  8. "Election of a Member of Parliament for the FOYLE Constituency – Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll". Electoral Office of Northern Ireland. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  9. "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  10. "The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland – EONI". www.eoni.org.uk.
  11. "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  12. "Durkan selected as Foyle Westminster candidate", SDLP
  13. Foyle, UKPollingReport
  14. Harding named UUP candidate in forthcoming election, Londonderry Sentinel, 1 April 2010
  15. Vote People Before Profit Alliance in May's Westminster Election[permanent dead link], People Before Profit Alliance, 24 March 2010
  16. Alliance List of Candidates Archived 4 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, 6 May 2010
  17. "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  18. "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  19. "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  20. "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  21. "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  22. "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.