North Antrim (UK Parliament constituency)
for the House of Commons
Boundary of North Antrim in Northern Ireland
|Member of Parliament||Ian Paisley Jr (DUP)|
1950–1974: The Boroughs of Ballymena and Larne, the Urban Districts of Ballycastle, Ballymoney, and Portrush, the Rural Districts of Ballycastle, Ballymena, and Ballymoney, and in the Rural District of Larne the electoral divisions of Ardclinis, Ballycor, Carncastle, Glenarm North, Glenarm South, Glencoy, and Kilwaughter.
1974–1983: The Boroughs of Ballymena, Carrickfergus, and Larne, the Urban Districts of Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Portrush, and Whitehead, the Rural Districts of Ballycastle, Ballymena, and Ballymoney, and in the Rural District of Larne the electoral divisions of Ardclinis, Ballycor, Carncastle, Eden, Glenarm North, Glenarm South, Glencoy, Glynn, Islandmagee North, Islandmagee South, Kilwaughter, Middle Division, Raloo, and Templecorran.
1983–2010: The District of Ballymena, the District of Ballymoney, and the District of Moyle.
2010–present: The District of Ballymena, the District of Ballymoney, and the District of Moyle wards of Armoy, Ballylough, Bushmills, Bonamargy and Rathlin, Carnmoon, Dalriada, Dunseverick, Glenshesk, Glentaisie, Kinbane, Knocklayd, Moss Side, and Moyarget.
North Antrim has always been a county constituency comprising the northern part of County Antrim in the north-east of Northern Ireland. It has the sea to the north and east and parts of the border with County Londonderry to the west – the County Antrim town of Portrush is included in the East Londonderry constituency (although it was in this seat until 1983).
From 1885, this constituency was one of four county divisions carved out of the former constituency of Antrim. It comprised the baronies of Cary, Dunluce Lower, Dunluce Upper and Kilconway and returned one Member of Parliament from 1885 until 1922, when it was merged into a new Antrim constituency.
North Antrim was re-created in 1950 when the old Antrim two MP constituency was abolished as part of the final move to single member seats.
The Boundary Commission initially proposed alterations for the boundaries of North Antrim prior to the 2010 general election. It was proposed to transfer Ballycastle and the Glens, including Rathlin Island, in Moyle to East Antrim and rename that seat Antrim Coast & Glens. However that proposal raised many questions, with some arguing that the Glens have no natural ties to Jordanstown. Following consultation and revision, the constituency alterations were passed through the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Constituencies Order.
North Antrim is an overwhelmingly unionist seat. It first existed from 1885 to 1922. From 1886 to 1974 the Conservative and Unionist members of the United Kingdom House of Commons formed a single Parliamentary party.
In 1906 the constituency was won by a Russellite Unionist, at least somewhat linked to the Liberal Party. Although the Unionists regained the seat when the sitting MP retired, the constituency was one of very few Unionist/Liberal marginals in Ireland at both 1910 elections.
A victory for the Unionist candidate in 1918 by 9,621 votes to Sinn Féin's 2,673 votes demonstrated the strength of the unionist support in the area.
In 1922, the constituency reverted to being part of the two member Antrim seat (as it had been before 1885). North Antrim was re-created in 1950 as a larger seat than it had been in its first incarnation. County Antrim, excluding the parts in the Belfast constituencies, was split into two divisions instead of four as previously. The 1950 North Antrim was comparable to the North and Mid Antrim divisions which had existed from 1885 to 1922.
Since 1950 the Westminster elections have been relatively uncompetitive. In 1951, it was one of the last four seats to be uncontested in a UK general election. More recently, one man repeatedly won by a large majority: the Reverend Ian Paisley was first elected as a Protestant Unionist Party candidate in the 1970 general election after narrowly defeating sitting member Henry Clark. The following year that party changed to the Democratic Unionist Party and Paisley easily held the seat for 40 years until his retirement in 2010. This is the longest continuous period for which the current holding party has held any Northern Irish seat. In elections at all levels, the DUP have frequently had their highest share of the vote in North Antrim and have rarely been seriously challenged.
In March 2010 Ian Paisley announced that he would step down at the 2010 general election. His son Ian Paisley Jr was selected by the DUP to replace him as candidate. Former DUP MEP Jim Allister announced that he would contest the constituency for the Traditional Unionist Voice. He was elected with a significantly reduced majority.
In July 2018 a recall petition was launched following a critical report into Paisley Jr's conduct in respect to an undeclared trip to Sri Lanka. The petition narrowly failed.
Members of Parliament
The Member of Parliament since the 2010 general election is Ian Paisley Jr of the DUP. He succeeded his father, the Rev. Dr. Ian Paisley, who was initially elected in the 1970 general election as a member of the Protestant Unionist Party, which became the DUP the following year.
North Antrim has had comparatively few MPs in its lifetime compared to other parliamentary constituencies. Sir Hugh O'Neill had sat for one of the predecessor seats of Mid Antrim between 1915 and 1922 and Antrim between 1922 until 1950, making this one of the few seats where four individuals between them represented the seat continuously over a period of ninety years.
|1887 by-election||Sir Charles Lewis Bt|
|1895||Colonel Hugh McCalmont|
|1899 by-election||William Moore|
|1906||Robert Glendinning||Russellite Unionist|
|1910 (Jan)||Peter Kerr-Smiley||Irish Unionist|
|1922||Constituency abolished. See Antrim|
|1950||Sir Hugh O'Neill||Ulster Unionist|
|1952 by-election||Phelim O'Neill|
|1970||Ian Paisley||Protestant Unionist|
|2010||Ian Paisley Jr|
Elections in the 1880s
|Irish Conservative||Edward MacNaghten||3,233||44.3||N/A|
|Liberal||William Pirrie Sinclair||2,149||29.5||N/A|
|Irish Conservative win (new seat)|
|Irish Unionist||Edward MacNaghten||4,429||69.9||+25.6|
|Liberal||Samuel Craig McElroy||1,910||30.1||+0.6|
|Irish Unionist hold||Swing||+12.4|
|Irish Unionist||Charles Lewis||3,858||56.7||-13.2|
|Liberal||Samuel Craig McElroy||2,526||37.1||+7.0|
|Independent Unionist||William Atcheson Traill||424||6.2||New|
|Irish Unionist hold||Swing||-10.1|
- Caused by MacNaghten being appointed Lord of Appeal.
Elections in the 1890s
|Irish Unionist||Charles Connor||4,666||69.7||-0.2|
|Liberal||William Huston Dodd||2,027||30.3||+0.2|
|Irish Unionist hold||Swing||-0.2|
|Irish Unionist||William Moore||Unopposed|
|Irish Unionist hold|
|Irish Unionist||Hugh McCalmont||Unopposed|
|Irish Unionist hold|
Elections in the 1900s
|Irish Unionist||William Moore||Unopposed|
|Irish Unionist hold|
|Russellite Unionist||Robert Glendinning||3,757||55.9||New|
|Irish Unionist||William Moore||2,969||44.1||N/A|
|Russellite Unionist gain from Irish Unionist||Swing||N/A|
Elections in the 1910s
|Irish Unionist||Peter Kerr-Smiley||3,519||52.9||-8.8|
|Liberal||William James Baxter||3,135||47.1||New|
|Irish Unionist gain from Russellite Unionist||Swing||N/A|
|Irish Unionist||Peter Kerr-Smiley||3,557||54.5||+1.6|
|Irish Unionist hold||Swing|
|Irish Unionist||Peter Kerr-Smiley||9,621||78.3||+23.8|
|Sinn Féin||Patrick McCarry||2,673||21.7||New|
|Irish Unionist hold||Swing||N/A|
Elections in the 1950s
|UUP win (new seat)|
|Sinn Féin||John Dougan||6,809||14.0||N/A|
|Sinn Féin||John Dougan||2,280||5.1||–8.9|
Elections in the 1960s
|Independent Republican||Seán Caughey||4,424||9.9||New|
|Ulster Liberal||Richard Moore||8,941||21.9||New|
Elections in the 1970s
|Protestant Unionist||Ian Paisley||24,130||41.2||New|
|NI Labour||Patrick McHugh||6,476||11.0||New|
|National Democratic||Alasdair McDonnell||4,312||7.4||New|
|Ulster Liberal||Richard Moore||2,269||3.9||−18.0|
|Protestant Unionist gain from UUP||Swing|
|Pro-Assembly Unionist||T. E. Utley||13,651||21.0||New|
|Irish Independence||John Turnley||3,689||5.6||New|
Elections in the 1980s
|Sinn Féin||Pearse McMahon||2,860||6.5||New|
|"For the Anglo-Irish Agreement"||"Peter Barry" (Wesley Williamson)||515||2.6||New|
|Sinn Féin||Sean Reagan||2,633||6.4||-0.1|
Elections in the 1990s
|NI Conservatives||Thomas Sowler||2,263||5.0||New|
|Sinn Féin||James McGarry||1,916||4.2||−2.2|
|Sinn Féin||James McGarry||2,896||6.3||+2.1|
|NI Women's Coalition||Bronagh Hinds||580||1.3||New|
|Natural Law||John Wright||116||0.3||New|
Elections in the 2000s
|Sinn Féin||John Kelly||4,822||9.8||+3.5|
|Sinn Féin||Philip McGuigan||7,191||15.7||+5.9|
Elections in the 2010s
|DUP||Ian Paisley Jr||19,672||46.4||−10.4|
|Sinn Féin||Daithí McKay||5,265||12.4||−1.8|
|DUP||Ian Paisley Jr||18,107||43.2||−3.2|
|Sinn Féin||Daithí McKay||5,143||12.3||-0.1|
|NI Conservatives||Carol Freeman||368||0.9||New|
|DUP||Ian Paisley Jr||28,521||58.9||+15.7|
|Sinn Féin||Cara McShane||7,878||16.3||+4.0|
|DUP||Ian Paisley Jr||20,860||47.4||−11.5|
|Sinn Féin||Cara McShane||5,632||12.8||−3.5|
- "BBC News - Ian Paisley jnr picked to fight father's seat". news.bbc.co.uk.
- "Allister calls for election power-sharing test - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk".
- Walker, B.M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801-1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714127.
- "1952 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 25 February 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- "Election Data 1983". 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
- Nicholas Whyte (13 May 2003). "Westminster by-elections, 23 January 1986". Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
- "Election Data 1987". 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 1997". 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 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF).
- "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- "The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland - EONI". www.eoni.org.uk.
- "TUV poll surprise by choosing Gaston as North Antrim candidate". www.newsletter.co.uk.
- "Election of a Member of Parliament for the NORTH ANTRIM Constituency - Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll". Electoral Office of Northern Ireland. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
- "North Antrim Parliamentary constituency". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
- F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1950 – 1970