East Antrim

map East
                Antrim East Antrim East Belfast East Belfast East Londonderry Foyle Foyle Fermanagh & South Tyrone Lagan
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Map and diagram by Conal Kelly

This constituency stretches along the coastal strip on the northern side of Belfast Lough and the western side of the North Channel. It takes in the whole of Larne and Carrickfergus district councils, and part of Newtownabbey district council. The DUP hold three Assembly seats to the UUP's two and Alliance's one (the DUP gained from the SDLP and UKUP in 2003; there was no change in 2007). The member of parliament since 2005 is Sammy Wilson (DUP); he defeated Roy Beggs (UUP), who had represented East Antrim since it was created in 1983 (see 1983-92 East Antrim results).

See spreadsheets from the 2011 Assembly election, the 2010 Westminster election, the 2007 Assembly election, the 2005 Westminster election, the 2003 Assembly election, the 2001 Westminster election, the 1998 Assembly election, the 1997 Westminster election and the 1996 Forum/talks election. See also the detailed guide from 2007 by "Sammy Morse".

East Antrim was created in 1983; the 1995 boundary changes removed only a few Newtownabbey wards from the constituency. In 2010 it lost the Cloughfern ward in Newtownabbey and gained three Moyle wards. This made the new constituency 4.1% more Catholic, and 3.9% less Protestant than the old.

East Antrim's population (on the old boundaries) in the 2001 census was 84,062 (17th of the 18 constituencies).

Results of recent elections using new boundaries


DUP UUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2011a 46.2% 16.9% 6.4% 15.5% 2.3%  4.6% 8.2%
2011lg 35.6% 17.2% 4.9% 19.1% 13.3%  4.5% 5.4%
2010w 45.9% 23.7% 6.0% 11.1%   6.6% 6.8%
2007a
42.8% 20.6% 2.3% 15.0% 4.6% 8.0% 6.7%
2005w 46.9% 25.1%
14.7%   7.4% 5.4%
2005lg 36.7% 21.2% 1.5% 16.7% 14.6%  5.1%  4.2% 

NB that the figures for elections before 2010 are projections onto the new boundaries. Figures for the new boundaries can be found at the bottom of this page.
NB also that the Conservatives got 1.3% in 2007, and supported the UUP candidate(s) in 2010 and 2011.

2011 Assembly election (six seats)

@Sammy Wilson MP (DUP) 7,181 (24.7%)
@David Hilditch (DUP) 3,288 (11.3%)
@Roy Beggs (UUP) 3,042 (10.5%)
Stewart Dickson (Alliance) 2,889 (10.0%)
Oliver McMullan (SF) 2,369 (8.2%)
Rodney McCune (UUP) 1,851 (6.4%)
Gerardine Mulvenna (Alliance) 1,620 (5.6%)
@Alastair Ross (DUP) 1,608 (5.5%)
Ruth Wilson (TUV) 1,346 (4.6%)
Justin McCamphill (SDLP) 1,333 (4.6%)
Gordon Lyons (DUP) (1,321) (4.6%)
Daniel Donnelly (Green) 664 (2.3%)
Steven Moore (BNP) 511 (1.8%)

@ member of the Assembly when it was dissolved.
DUP 13398 (46.2%, +0.7%) 3 seats
UUP 4893 (16.9%, -5.0%) 1 seat (-1)
Alliance 4509 (15.5%, -0.7%) 1 seat
SF 2,369 (8.2%, +4.3%) 1 seat (+1)
TUV 1,346 (4.6%)
SDLP 1,333 (4.6%, -1.3%)
Green 664 (2.3%, +0.3%)
BNP 511 (1.8%)

Electorate 61,617
Votes cast: 29,430 (47.8%); spoilt 407 (1.4%)
Valid votes 29,023; quota 4,147

One of the most significant results of the election - the only case where boundary changes which favoured Nationalists actually resulted in a gain (whereas Unionists gained three Nationalist seats for this reason). A good result for SF who were only 45 votes ahead of the SDLP in 2010 but outpolled them almost two to one this time, and took the second UUP seat as a result. Alliance came within 69 votes of a chance at a second seat; in the event the runner up was McCune of the UUP, 499 votes behind McMullan.

2011 local government election

My projection of votes cast in Carrickfergus, Larne and the three Moyle and three Newtownabbey wards in the constituency is as follows:

DUP 10,331 (35.6%)
Alliance 5,536 (19.1%)
UUP 4,995 (17.2%)
SF 1,574 (5.4%)
SDLP 1,304 (4.5%)
TUV 784 (2.7%)
Green 404 (1.4%)
PUP 412 (1.4%)
BNP 237 (0.8%)
Inds 3,451 (11.9%)

In a six-seat STV election these votes would get the DUP two seats, and Alliance and the UUP one each; the destination of the last two seats is very difficult to call.

2010 Westminster election (one seat)

*@Sammy Wilson (DUP) 13,993 (45.9%, -1.0%)
Rodney McCune (UCUNF) 7,223 (23.7%, -1.4%)
Gerry Lynch (Alliance) 3,377 (11.1%, -3.6%)
Oliver McMullan (Sinn Féin) 2,064 (6.8%, +1.4%)
Justin McCamphill (SDLP) 2,019 (6.6%, -0.8%)
Samuel Morrison (TUV) 1,826 (6.0%)
Electorate: 60,204; Total Poll: 30,640 (50.9%); Invalid Votes: 138 (0.5%); Valid Votes: 30,502

* incumbent
@ elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly from this constituency

A solid hold for Wilson, and another place where the TUV failed to break through. A six-seat Assembly election on these votes would get the DUP three seats, the UUP one for sure, and the last two probably going to SF and Alliance, though the UUP would be in with a chance of a second.

2007 Assembly Election (7 March, six seats)

Full details of each count are available here.

*Sammy Wilson MP (DUP) 6755 (22.5%)
*George Dawson (DUP) 4167 (13.9%)
*Sean Neeson (Alliance) 3114 (10.4%)
*Roy Beggs [jr] (UUP) 3076 (10.2%)
*David Hilditch (DUP) 2732 (9.1%)
*Ken Robinson (UUP) 1881 (6.3%)
Daniel O'Connor (SDLP) 1769 (5.9%)
Stewart Dickson (Alliance) 1624 (5.4%)
Mark Dunn (UUP) 1617 (5.4%)
Oliver McMullan (SF) 1168 (3.9%)
Thomas Robinson (UKUP) 731 (2.4%)
Mark Bailey (Green) 612 (2.0%)
John Anderson (Independent) 398 (1.3%)
Tim Lewis (Conservative) 395 (1.3%)

*Elected in 2003 from East Antrim
DUP 13,654 (45.5%, +10.9%) 3 seats
UUP 6,574 (21.9%, -7.9%) 2 seats
Alliance 4,738 (15.8%, +4.8%) 1 seat
SDLP 1,769 (5.9%, -2.0%)
SF 1,168 (3.9%, +1.4%)
UKUP 731 (2.4%, +0.6%)
Green 612 (2.0%, +1.5%)
Anderson 398 (1.3%, +0.2%)
Conservative 395 (1.3%, +0.7%)

Electorate 56,666 
Votes cast 30,293 (53.5%%); spoilt votes 254 (0.8%) 
Valid votes 30,039; quota 4,292

No change, with the SDLP not really being in reach of the final seat; O'Connor was 897 votes behind Ken Robinson of the UUP, with no votes to spare.

2005 Westminster election (5 May, 1 seat)

@Sammy Wilson (DUP) 15,766 (49.6% +13.6%)
* Roy Beggs (UUP) 8,462 (26.6% -9.8%)
@Sean Neeson (Alliance) 4,869 (15.3% +2.8%)
Daniel O'Connor (SDLP) 1,695 (5.3% -2.0%)
James McKeown (Sinn Fein) 828 (2.6% +0.1%)
David Kerr (Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket) 147 (0.5%)

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

The DUP's most widely expected gain. These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would give the DUP three seats, the UUP two and Alliance one.

2005 Local Government Election (5 May)

East Antrim is made up of all 15 wards in Larne; all 17 wards in Carrickfergus; 4 of the 25 wards in Newtownabbey (3 of the 7 wards in the University DEA [Jordanstown, Monkstown and Rosstulla], and 1 of the 6 wards in the Macedon DEA [Cloughfern])

Votes cast in 2005 were as follows:

DUP 12579.7 (40.0%)
UUP 7144.7 (22.7%)
Alliance 5279.7 (16.8%)
SDLP 1108.3 (3.5%)
Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association 581.4 (1.8%)
494.5 (1.6%)
UUC 420.6 (1.3%)
PUP 179.5 (0.6%)
Green 46 (0.1%)
Independents 3619 11.5%

Extrapolating from local government elections is tricky because the East Antrim constituency breaches the boundaries of two local electoral areas. However, these votes if cast in a six-seat STV election across the whole East Antrim constituency would be likely to give the DUP three seats, and the UUP and Alliance one each, with the last most likely to go to the UUP.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of transfers.
*Roy Beggs Jr (UUP) 5175 (16.7%)
#Sammy Wilson (DUP) 4544 (14.7%)
George Dawson (DUP) 3163 (10.2%)
*David Hilditch (DUP) 2856 (9.2%)
*Daniel O'Connor (SDLP) 2428 (7.8%)
*Sean Neeson (Alliance) 2180 (7.0%)
*Ken Robinson (UUP) 2062 (6.7%)
Roy McCune (UUP) 1646 (5.3%)
Jack McKee (Ind) 1449 (4.7%)
Stewart Dickson (Alliance) 1192 (3.9%)
*Roger Hutchinson (Ind) 1011 (3.3 %)
Oliver McMullan (SF) 768 (2.5%)
Tom Robinson (UKUP) 564 (1.8%)
Carolyn Howarth (PUP) 534 (1.7%)
Robert Mason (Ind) 364 (1.2%)
John Anderson (Ind) 348 (1.1%)
Anne Monaghan (NIWC) 307 (1.0%)
Alan Greer (Cons) 196 (0.6%)
Andrew Frew (Green) 165 (0.5%)
DUP 10,563 (34.1%, +11.9%) 3 seats
UUP 8,883 (28.7%, -0.9%) 2 seats
Alliance 3,372 (10.9%, -9.2%) 1 seat Best result for Alliance in Northern Ireland
Inds 3,172 (10.2%)
SDLP 2,428 (7.8%, +1.9%)
SF 768 (2.5%, +0.4%)
UKUP 564 (1.8%, -6.2%)
PUP 534 (1.7%, -2.3%)
NIWC 307 (1.0%)
Con 196 (0.6%, -0.1%)
Green 165 (0.5%)

Electorate 55,473 
Votes cast 31,343 (56.5%); spoilt votes 391 (1.2%) 
Valid votes 30,952; quota 4,422 

* Member of 1998-2003 Assembly for East Antrim
# Member of 1998-2003 Assembly for East Belfast

Reaction: The DUP's vote management got them three seats, gaining from Roger Hutchinson and Daniel O'Connor, with the UUP and Alliance incumbents holding on. The final margin of Dawson over O'Connor was a substantial 796 votes, with Dawson's running mate only 14 votes ahead of him; the gap between them had never been as much as 300 votes. The UUP candidates had balanced even better, with never more than 66 votes separating Robinson and McCune, but the numbers weren't there and McCune was eventually eliminated.

East Antrim had lost 10.57% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 17.96% in the Northland ward of Carrickfergus to 5.27% in Boneybefore, also in Carrickfergus. 10 constituencies lost fewer voters, 7 lost more.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

*Roy Beggs Sr (UUP) 13,101 (36.4%)
@Sammy Wilson (DUP) 12,973 (36.0%)
John Mathews (Alliance) 4,483 (12.5%)
@Danny O'Connor (SDLP) 2,641 (7.3%)
Robert Mason (Independent) 1,092 (3.0%)
Jeanette Graffin (Sinn Féin) 903 (2.5%)
Alan Greer (Conservative) 807 (2.2%)

Electorate: 60,897; votes cast: 36,327 (59.6%); spoilt votes: 327 (0.9%)
Valid votes: 36,000; UUP majority 128

* outgoing MP
@ member of the Assembly

This result was a welcome relief to the UUP after several disappointing losses elsewhere, though the narrowness of the result was alarming. If this election had been for six seats to an Assembly, the DUP and UUP would each have won two, and Alliance one; the last seat would have been between a fifth Unionist and the SDLP.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

Votes cast in 2001 were as follows:

DUP 10179.5 (29%)
UUP 9280.1 (27%)
Alliance 6219.5 (18%) Best equivalent result in Northern Ireland
SDLP 1320 (4%)
PUP 945.9 (3%)
UUAP 555.9 (2%)
SF 554.3 (2%)
Community Candidates 218.2 (1%)
NIUP 216 (1%)
Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association 108.3 (1%)
Independents 5093.8 (14%)

These votes if cast in a six-seat STV election across the whole East Antrim constituency would have certainly have given the UUP and DUP two seats and Alliance one. The last seat could have gone to anyone.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of all transfers.
 
Roy Beggs Jr (UUP) 5,764
*Sean Neeson (Alliance) 5,247
David Hilditch (DUP) 4,876
*Jack McKee (DUP) 3,013 
Roger Hutchinson (UKUP) 2,866
*May Steele (UUP) 2,399 
Ken Robinson (UUP) 2,384
Danny O'Connor (SDLP) 2,106
Stewart Dickson (Alliance) 1,921 
James Brown (Unionist) 1,571 
William Greer (PUP) 1,432 
Chrissy McAuley (SF) 746 
Tommy Kirkham (UDP) 596 
Robert Lindsay Mason (Pro-Agreement Independent) 424 
Terence Dick (C) 233 
James Barr McKissock (NLP) 32 
UUP 10,547 (29.62%) 2 seats
DUP 7,889 (22.15%) 1 seat
Alliance 7,168 (20.13%) 1 seat
     Best result for Alliance in Northern Ireland
UKUP 2,866 (8.05%) 1 seat
SDLP 2,106 (5.91%) 1 seat
Unionist 1,571 (4.41%) 
PUP 1,432 (4.02%) 
SF 746 (2.09%) 
UDP 596 (1.67%) 
Pro-Agreement Ind 424 (1.19%) 
C 233 (0.65%) 
NLP 32 (0.09%) 

Electorate: 59,313 
Votes cast: 36,103 (60.9%); spoilt votes: 493 (1.4%) 
Valid votes: 35,610; quota: 5,088

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from East Antrim

This was a major shock. On the first count it was clear that the UKUP had probably done well enough to take a seat, which in itself was surprising. But as transfers continued, the SDLP candidate, who had started eighth, overtook candidates from first the UUP and then the DUP to take the final place, in an area where he was the SDLP's only local councillor, by 4191 votes to McKee's 4152, a margin of 49 votes, the closest of the whole election.

1997 Local Government Election

Votes cast in 1997 were as follows:

UUP 6758 (28%)
DUP 4888.2 (20%)
Alliance 4510.5 (19%)
PUP 991.1 (4%)
SDLP 409 (2%)
Labour 274.7 (1%)
UDP 232.7 (1%)
UKUP 220.0 (1%)
Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association 176.4 (1%)
Northern Ireland Labour 65.5 (0.27%)
Others 5,591.3 (23%)
Total valid 24,117.5 (41% of electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

*Roy Beggs Sr (Ulster Unionist Party) 13,318 (39%)
ƒSean Neeson (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 6,929 (20%)
ƒJack McKee (Democratic Unionist Party) 6,682 (19%)
Terence Dick (Conservative Party) 2,334 (7%)
Billy Donaldson (Progressive Unionist Party) 1,757 (5%)
Danny O'Connor (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 1,576 (5%)
Robert Mason (Independent) 1,145 (3%)
Chrissie McAuley (Sinn Féin) 543 (2%)
Maura McCann (Natural Law Party) 69 (0.20%)
Turnout 34,353 (58.26%)

* outgoing MP
ƒ member of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Also available: full list of 1996 candidates

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 10,036 (30%); May Steele, Thomas Robinson elected
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 9,557 (29%); Jack McKee, May Beattie elected
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 3,957 (12%); Sean Neeson elected
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 2,254 (7%)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 2,213 (7%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKU) 2,041 (6%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 1,141 (3%)
Sinn Féin (SF) 619 (2%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 323 (1%)
Conservative Party (Con) 271 (1%)
Green Party 224 (1%)
Labour (Lab) 218 (1%)
Independent Democratic Unionist Party 107 (0.32%)
Democratic Partnership 102 (0.31%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 86 (0.26%)
Independent McMullan 81 (0.24%)
Workers Party (WP) 69 (0.21%)
Democratic Left (DL) 33 (0.10%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 14 (0.04%)
Independent Chambers 5 (0.01%)

Electorate: 57,989; votes cast: 33,403 (57.6%); spoilt votes: 52 (0.1%); valid votes: 33,351

McKee and Neeson had both been elected to the 1982 Assembly for North Antrim.

Results 1996-2007


DUP UKUP UUP PUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2007a
45% 2% 22%
1% 16% 3% 6% 4%
2005w 50%
27%

15% 0% 5% 3%
2005lg 40% 
23%  1%  1%  17%  14%  4%  2% 
2003a 34%  2%  29%  2%  9%  11%  4%  8%  2% 
2001w 36% 
36% 
2%  12%  3%  7%  3% 
2001lg 29% 
27%  3%  2%  18%  16%  4%  2% 
1998a 22%  8%  30%  4%  7%  20%  1%  6%  2% 
1997lg 20%  1%  28%  4%  1%  19%  25%  2% 
1997w 19% 
39%  5%  7%  20%  3%  5%  2% 
1996f 29%  6%  30%  7%  5%  12%  3%  7%  2% 

 


See also: Full 2003 results from East Antrim | Full 1998 results from East Antrim | The Boundary Commission's Provisional Recommendations | Boundary Commission 2003 | Jim Riley's analysis of votes and seats in the 1998 Assembly election | The constituencies

Other sites based at ARK: ORB (Online Research Bank) | CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) | Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey

Your comments, please! Send an email to me at nicholas.whyte@gmail.com.
 
This page has been developed with the support of a project grant from the New Initiatives Fund of the Electoral Commission. However, any views expressed on this page or, in particular, other pages of this website are those of the author and not necessarily shared by The Electoral Commission.

Nicholas Whyte, 3 June 1998; last updated 9 May 2010.



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