Mid Ulster (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of Mid Ulster in Northern Ireland
|Member of Parliament||Francie Molloy (Sinn Féin)|
|Created from||Fermanagh and Tyrone and Londonderry|
1950–1983: The Urban Districts of Cookstown, Omagh, and Strabane, the Rural Districts of Castlederg, Cookstown, Magherafelt, and Strabane, and that part of the Rural District of Omagh not contained within the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
1983–1997: the Cookstown District Council; the Omagh District Council; the Magherafelt District Council wards of Ballymaguigan, Draperstown, and Lecumpher; and the Strabane District Council wards of Castlederg, Clare, Finn, Glenderg, Newtownstewart, Plumbridge, Sion Mills, and Victoria Bridge.
1997–present: the District of Cookstown; the District of Magherafelt; and the Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council wards of Altmore, Coalisland North, Coalisland South, Coalisland West and Newmills, Donaghmore, and Washing Bay.
The constituency was created in 1950 when the old two-seat constituency of Fermanagh and Tyrone was abolished as part of the final move to single-member seats. Originally, the seat primarily consisted of the northern, eastern and western parts of County Tyrone, with the south included in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Of the post-1973 districts, it contained all of Omagh and Cookstown and part of Strabane and Magherafelt.
In boundary changes proposed by a review in 1995, the seat was split in two, with the name retained by the eastern half, even though it contained only 30% of the old seat. The western half became the nucleus of the new West Tyrone constituency. The new Mid Ulster also gained areas from East Londonderry and Fermanagh and South Tyrone, taking it deeper into County Londonderry.
For the history of the constituency prior to 1950, see Fermanagh and Tyrone.
In both its incarnations, Mid Ulster has seen a precarious balance between unionist and Irish nationalist voters, although in recent years the nationalists have advanced significantly to be in a clear majority. Many elections have seen a candidate from one side triumph due to candidates from the other side splitting the vote.
The seat was initially won by the Irish Nationalist Party in 1950 and 1951 then by Sinn Féin in 1955. However the Sinn Féin Member of Parliament (MP) was unseated on petition on the basis that his Irish Republican Army (IRA) convictions made him ineligible, and in subsequent by-elections the seat was won by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP).
In a by-election in 1969, the seat was won by Bernadette Devlin standing as an independent socialist nationalist on the "Unity" ticket, which sought to unite nationalist voters behind a single candidate. At the age of 21, Devlin was the youngest person ever elected to the House of Commons in the era of universal suffrage. The by-election saw a 91.5% turnout, a record for any UK by-election.
Devlin held her seat in the 1970 general election but generated controversy when she had a child while still unmarried as well as for her fierce anti-clericalism. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) stood a candidate against her in the February 1974 general election and the nationalist vote was strongly divided, allowing John Dunlop of the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party to win with the support of the UUP and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Dunlop held his seat for the next nine years, though in 1975 he was part of a large section of Vanguard that broke away to form the short-lived United Ulster Unionist Party. He held his seat in 1979 only owing to a unionist pact. He polled poorly in the 1982 Assembly election, taking 2.8% of the vote. Consequently he did not stand again in 1983, and the following year the UUUP was wound up.
The 1983 general election saw a fierce contest for the seat, with the UUP, DUP, SDLP and Sinn Féin all polling strongly. The winner was the DUP's William McCrea, by a narrow majority of just 78 over Sinn Féin's Danny Morrison. In general elections from then to 2005 the UUP did not contest the seat.
Following the boundary changes, McCrea contested the new Mid Ulster in 1997 but, by then, Sinn Féin had established itself as the most likely party to outpoll a unionist and so drew votes from the SDLP, resulting in Martin McGuinness winning. He held the seat at the general elections of 2001, 2005 and 2010. During the 2001 general election, Mid Ulster had the highest turnout in any constituency in the United Kingdom.
On 11 June 2012, McGuinness announced his intention to resign from the House of Commons to concentrate on his position as Deputy First Minister and avoid so-called 'double jobbing' by which members of the Northern Ireland Assembly also work as councillors or MPs. This necessitated a by-election. On 30 December 2012, Martin McGuinness formally announced he would resign his Westminster seat with immediate effect. Sinn Féin's Francie Molloy won the resulting by-election in March 2013.
Members of Parliament
|1950||Anthony Mulvey||Independent Republican|
|1951||Michael O'Neill||Independent Nationalist|
|1955||Tom Mitchell||Sinn Féin||Disqualified by resolution of the House of Commons, 18 July 1955|
|1955 by-election||Tom Mitchell||Sinn Féin||Election declared undue on petition; Return amended, 25 October 1955|
|1955||Charles Beattie||Ulster Unionist||Declared duly elected on petition; disqualified by resolution of the House of Commons, 7 February 1956|
|1956 by-election||George Forrest||Independent Unionist|
|1957||Ulster Unionist||Died, 10 December 1968|
|1969 by-election||Bernadette Devlin||Unity|
|1970||Independent Socialist||Became Independent Socialist in October 1970|
|Feb 1974||John Dunlop||Vanguard Progressive Unionist|
|1975||United Ulster Unionist||Left Vanguard and joined the United Ulster Unionist Party, 11 October 1975|
|1983||William McCrea||Democratic Unionist|
|1997||Martin McGuinness||Sinn Féin|
|2013 by-election||Francie Molloy||Sinn Féin|
Elections in the 2010s
|Sinn Féin||Francie Molloy||20,473||45.9||-8.6|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||-3.1|
- Conor Rafferty was a candidate of the Irish Freedom Party, as the party is not registered in Northern Ireland he appeared on the ballot as an independent
|Sinn Féin||Francie Molloy||25,455||54.5||+5.8|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||-3.9|
|Sinn Féin||Francie Molloy||19,935||48.7||−3.3|
|Workers' Party||Hugh Scullion||496||1.2||New|
|NI Conservatives||Lucille Nicholson||120||0.3||New|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−3.8|
|Sinn Féin||Francie Molloy||17,462||46.9||−5.1|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||−3.4|
|Sinn Féin||Martin McGuinness||21,239||52.0||+2.4|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||+5.8|
Elections in the 2000s
|Sinn Féin||Martin McGuinness||21,641||47.6||−3.5|
|Workers' Party||Francis Donnelly||345||0.8||-0.2|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||+2.1|
|Sinn Féin||Martin McGuinness||25,502||51.1||+11.0|
|Workers' Party||Francie Donnelly||509||1.0||+0.5|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing||-8.1|
Elections in the 1990s
|Sinn Féin||Martin McGuinness||20,294||40.1||+21.4|
|Workers' Party||Marian Donnelly||238||0.5||0.0|
|Natural Law||Maureen Murray||61||0.1||-0.2|
|Sinn Féin gain from DUP||Swing||-10.3|
Between 1992 and 1996 there were significant boundary changes, creating the new seat of West Tyrone. This had a huge knock on effect on Mid Ulster, which lost all its areas in Omagh and Strabane district councils, and gained the Torrent LGD in Dungannon from Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and the parts of Magherafelt District Council previously in East Londonderry. Therefore the implied 1992 election results are very different from the actual ones and are displayed above.
|Sinn Féin||Barry McElduff||10,248||18.7||-5.2|
|Labour and Trade Union||Harry Hutchinson||389||0.7||New|
|Workers' Party||Tommy Owens||285||0.5||-1.7|
|Natural Law||James Anderson||164||0.3||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Sinn Féin||Sean Begley||12,449||23.9||-6.0|
|Workers' Party||Paddy McLean||1,133||2.2||+0.8|
|Sinn Féin||Danny Morrison||13,998||27.1||−2.8|
|Workers' Party||Tommy Owens||691||1.4||0.0|
|Sinn Féin||Danny Morrison||16,096||29.9||New|
|Workers' Party||Tommy Owens||766||1.4||New|
|DUP gain from UUUP||Swing|
Elections in the 1970s
|Irish Independence||Patrick Fahy||12,055||19.9||New|
|Republican Clubs||Francie Donnelly||1,414||2.2||−10.3|
|UUUP gain from Vanguard||Swing|
|Republican Clubs||Francie Donnelly||8,091||12.5||New|
|Independent Socialist||Bernadette McAliskey||16,672||25.0||New|
|Pro-Assembly Unionist||Neville Thornton||4,633||7.0||New|
|Vanguard gain from Unity||Swing|
|National Socialist||Phelim O'Neill||198||0.3||New|
|Unity gain from UUP||Swing|
Elections in the 1960s
|UUP||Anna Forrest||29,437||46.7||– 5.6|
|Unity gain from UUP||Swing|
|Independent Republican||Tom Mitchell||27,168||47.8||+8.2|
|Independent Republican||Tom Mitchell||22,810||39.6||New|
|NI Labour||Patrick McGarvey||5,053||8.8||New|
Elections in the 1950s
|Sinn Féin||Tom Mitchell||14,170||30.0||-20.2|
|Independent Unionist||George Forrest||28,605||48.36||New|
|Sinn Féin||Tom Mitchell||24,124||40.78||-9.92|
|Independent Unionist gain from Sinn Féin||Swing|
|Sinn Féin||Tom Mitchell||30,392||50.7||+0.5|
|Sinn Féin hold||Swing|
The seat was awarded to Beattie on petition on the grounds that Mitchell's conviction as a felon made him ineligible to sit in Parliament. However, Beattie in turn was also found ineligible to sit due to holding an office of profit under the crown, triggering a further by-election.
|Sinn Féin||Tom Mitchell||29,737||50.2||N/A|
|Sinn Féin gain from Independent Nationalist||Swing|
Mitchell was subsequently unseated upon petition, on the grounds that his terrorist convictions made him ineligible to sit in Parliament.
|Independent Nationalist||Michael O'Neill||33,097||52.7||+0.1|
|Independent Nationalist gain from Independent Republican||Swing|
|Independent Republican||Anthony Mulvey||33,023||52.6||N/A|
|Independent Republican win (new seat)|
- McGuinness to inherit Adams' old British title under SF reorganisation Thejournal.ie
- "McGuinness quits Westminster seat". 11 June 2012 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- MPs cannot technically resign. Rather, they can request to be formally appointed to an office of profit, thereby vacating the seat. Sinn Féin, however, rejects elements of this process. The previous case of a Sinn Féin MP resigning was that of Gerry Adams, who simply resigned and Parliament operationalised his resignation by appointing him to an office of profit.
- 2013 By-election[permanent dead link] Politics Resources
- "Mid Ulster Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- "Election of a Member of Parliament for the MID ULSTER Constituency - Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll". Electoral Office of Northern Ireland. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland - EONI". www.eoni.org.uk.
- "Parliamentary By-election - Mid Ulster". 7 March 2013.
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- Results of Byelections in the 1983-87 Parliament in the United Kingdom Election Results website maintained by David Boothroyd
- "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results: 1950-1970, p.686
- "1969 By Election Results". British Elections Ephemera Archive. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "1956 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "1955 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2015.