East Belfast

map East
                Antrim East Antrim East Belfast East Belfast East Londonderry Foyle Foyle Fermanagh & South Tyrone Lagan
                Valley Mid-Ulster North Antrim North Antrim Newry & Armagh North Belfast North Belfast North
                Down North Down South Antrim South Belfast South Belfast South Down Strangford Upper Bann West Belfast West Belfast West Tyrone results graph
Maps and diagram by Conal Kelly
detailed map

This constituency takes in the eastern quarter of Belfast City Council and adjacent parts of Castlereagh District Council. The member of parliament has been Naomi Long (Alliance Deputy Leader) since she defeated Peter Robinson (DUP Leader and First Minister) in 2010; he had defeated Bill Craig, the former Vanguard leader who had then joined the UUP, in 1979. The DUP hold three Assembly seats, Alliance two and the UUP one (Alliance gained a seat from the PUP in 2011 and the DUP gained a seat from the UUP in 2007). See also 1983-1992 East Belfast results, 1973-82 East Belfast results and 1950-70 East Belfast 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 for 2007 by "Sammy Morse".

Having been cut back in 1983, and expanded in 1995, in 2010 East Belfast lost two Castlereagh wards to South Belfast (essentially shifting that part of the boundary a mile and a half north), and gained five Castlereagh wards from Strangford (essentially the town and surroundings of Dundonald). This made the new constituency 2.3% less Catholic, and 2.4% more Protestant, than the old.

East Belfast's population (on the old boundaries) in the 2001 census was 79,621 (lowest of the 18 constituencies).

Projected results of recent elections on new boundaries


DUP UUP PUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2011a 44.0% 9.7% 4.6% 8.5% 26.3% 2.7% 0.8% 3.2%
2011lg 40.5% 12.6% 5.9% 2.9% 29.7% 4.4% 1.8% 2.1%
2010w 32.8% 21.2%   5.2% 37.2%   1.1% 2.4%
2007a 41.5% 22.0% 9.8%
17.4% 4.6% 2.2% 2.6%
2005w 52.4% 29.5%

11.1% 2.5% 2.1% 2.4%
2005lg 45.9% 24.6% 4.9% 1.5% 16.0% 1.7% 3.0% 2.4%

NB that the figures for elections before 2010 are projections onto the new boundaries. Figures for the old boundaries can be found at the bottom of this page.
NB also that the Conservatives got 1.4% in both 2007 and 2005, and supported the UUP candidate(s) in 2010 and 2011.

2011 Assembly election (six seats)

@Peter Robinson (DUP) 9,149 (28.3%)
Judith Cochrane (Alliance) 4,329 (13.4%)
@Chris Lyttle (Alliance) 4,183 (12.9%)
Sammy Douglas (DUP) 2,668 (8.2%)
@Robin Newton (DUP) 2,436 (7.5%)
Michael Copeland (UUP) 2,194 (6.8%)
@Dawn Purvis (Independent) 1,702 (5.3%)
Brian Ervine (PUP) 1,493 (4.6%)
Niall O Donnghaile (SF) 1,030 (3.2%)
Philip Robinson (UUP) 943 (2.9%)
Harry Toan (TUV) 712 (2.2%)
Martin Gregg (Green) 572 (1.8%)
Ann Cooper (BNP) 337 (1.0%)
Magdalena Wolska (SDLP) 250 (0.8%)
Tommy Black (Socialist Party) 201 (0.6%)
Kevin McNally (WP) 102 (0.3%)
Stephen Stewart (Independent) 46 (0.1%)

@ member of the Assembly when it was dissolved.

DUP 14253 (44.0%, +6.4%) 3 seats
Alliance 8512 (26.3%, +7.5%) 2 seats (+1)
UUP 3137 (9.7%, -12.3%) 1 seat
Purvis 1702 (5.3%)
PUP 1493 (4.6%, -5.7%) (-1 seat)
SF 1030 (3.2%, -0.4%)
TUV 712 (2.2%)
Green 572 (1.8%, -0.4%)
BNP 337 (1.0%)
SDLP 250 (0.8%, -2.0%)
Socialist 201 (0.6%, -0.2%)
WP 102 (0.3%, -0.1%)

Electorate 61,263
Votes cast 32,828 (53.6%), spoilt votes 481 (1.5%)
Valid votes 32,347; quota 4,622

This was an impressive comeback from the DUP and also impressive consolidation for Alliance, who won two seats in one constituency for the first time since 1982, having of course taken the Westminster seat here from Peter Robinson in 2010. Alliance gained from the PUP's former leader Dawn Purvis, who lost out in her bid to get returned as an independent by 934 votes to the UUP's Michael Copeland. With 11 parties and two independents, this was the most politically diverse choice of candidates for any constituency in the 2011 election.

2011 local government election

My projection of the votes cast in Victoria, four Pottinger wards, Castlereagh East and most of Castlereagh Central is as follows:

DUP 13,021 (40.5%)
Alliance 9,528 (29.7%)
UUP 4,052 (12.6%)
PUP 1,892 (5.9%)
Green 1,037 (3.2%)
SF 686 (2.1%)
SDLP 590 (1.8%)
TUV 508 (1.6%)
Cons 223 (0.7%)
BNP 205 (0.6%)
Socialist 99 (0.2%)
WP 69 (0.2%)
PBPA 46 (0.1%)
Procapitalist 6 (0.02%)
Inds 164 (0.5%)

These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would give the DUP three seats, Alliance two and the UUP one.

2010 Westminster election (1 seat)

@Naomi Long (Alliance) 12,839 (37.2%, +26.1%)
*@Peter Robinson (DUP) 11,306 (32.8%, -19.6%)
Trevor Ringland (UCUNF) 7,305 (21.2%, -9.7%)
David Vance (TUV) 1,856 (5.4%)
Niall Ó Donnghaile (Sinn Féin) 817 (2.4%, ±0)
Mary Muldoon (SDLP) 365 (1.1%, -1.0%)
Electorate: 59,007; Total Poll: 34,612 (58.7%); Invalid Votes: 124 (0.4%); Valid Votes: 34,488

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

The surprise result of the election, and the only seat to change both party and MP. In a generally duff year for the DUP, Robinson did particularly badly; Long doubled her vote from the 2007 Assembly election, and more than tripled it from Alliance's 2005 total. These votes, if cast in an Assembly election, would give Alliance and the DUP two seats, and the UUP one, with the last seat between a third Alliance candidate and a second UUP candidate.

2007 Assembly election (7 March, six seats)

Full details of each count are available here.

*Peter Robinson MP (DUP) 5635 (19.0%)
*Naomi Long (Alliance) 5583 (18.8%)
*[Sir] Reg Empey (UUP) 4139 (14.0%)
Wallace [Lord] Browne (DUP) 3185 (10.7%)
+Dawn Purvis (PUP) 3045 (10.3%)
*Robin Newton (DUP) 2335 (7.9%)
*Michael Copeland (UUP) 1557 (5.3%)
Niall Ó Donnghaile (SF) 1055 (3.6%)
Jim Rodgers (UUP) 820 (2.8%)
Mary Muldoon (SDLP) 816 (2.8%)
Stephen Agnew (Green) 653 (2.2%)
Glyn Chambers (Conservative) 427 (1.4%)
Thomas Black (Socialist Party) 225 (0.8%)
Joe Bell (Workers Party) 107 (0.4%)
Rainbow George (Make Politicians History) 47 (0.2%)

*Elected in 2003 from East Belfast
+Appointed to 2003-07 Assembly to fill a vacancy
DUP 11,155 (37.6%, -1.5%) 3 seats (+1)
UUP 6,516 (22.0%, -11.1%) 1 seat (-1)
Alliance 5,583 (18.8%, +9.9%) 1 seat
PUP 3,045 (10.3%, +0.6%) 1 seat
SF 1,055 (3.6%, -0.3%)
SDLP 816 (2.8%, -0.4%)
Green 653 (2.2%)
Conservative 427 (1.4%, +0.7%)
Socialist 225 (0.8%, +0.2%)
WP 107 (0.4%, -0.04%)
Rainbow George 47 (0.2%, -0.1%)

Electorate 49,757
Votes cast 29,873 (60.0%); spoilt votes 242 (0.8%) 
Valid votes 29,629; quota 4,233

The UUP's disastrous failure to balance their candidates here cost them a seat, with the DUP picking it up despite a decline in their own votes. The PUP's successful defence of the seat held by their late leader, David Ervine, took many by surprise (including me). Outgoing MLA Michael Copeland (UUP) was 517 votes behind the DUP's Robin Newton on the final count.

2005 Westminster election (5 May, 1 seat)

*@Peter Robinson (DUP) 15,152 (49.1% +6.6%)
@Sir Reg Empey (UUP) 9,275 (30.1% +6.9%)
@Naomi Long (Alliance) 3,746 (12.2% -3.6%)
Deborah Devenny (Sinn Fein) 1,029 (3.3% -0.1%)
Mary Muldoon (SDLP) 844 (2.7% +0.3%)
Alan Greer (Conservative) 434 (1.4% -0.8%)
Joe Bell (WP) 179 (0.6% +0.3%)
Lynda Gilby (Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket) 172 (0.6% +0.4%)

* outgoing MP
@Member of the Assembly

No big surprise. These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would probably have given the DUP three seats, the UUP two and Alliance one.

2005 Local Government Election (5 May)

East Belfast is made up of 11 of the 51 wards in Belfast (all 7 wards in the Victoria DEA, and 4 of the 6 wards in the Pottinger DEA [Ballymacarrett, Bloomfield, Orangefield, and The Mount]), and 9 of the 23 wards in Castlereagh (all 6 wards in the Castlereagh Central DEA, 2 of the 7 wards in the Castlereagh East DEA: [Gilnahirk and Tullycarnet], and 1 of the 5 wards in the Castlereagh West DEA: [Hillfoot]).

DUP 13080.7 (43.0%)
UUP 7674.9 (25.2%)
Alliance 5319.8 (17.5%) - Best equivalent result for Alliance in Northern Ireland
PUP 1481.4 (4.9%) - Best equivalent result for the PUP in Northern Ireland
SDLP 1396.7 (4.6%)
Sinn Fein 629.3 (2.1%)
Independents 419.6 (1.4%)
Conservative 243 (0.8%)
Socialist Party 108.7 (0.4%)
WP 70 (0.2%)

Extrapolating from the local government elections is very difficult because the East Belfast constituency breaches three local electoral area boundaries. If we make some reasonable adjustments, we get these figures for the whole constituency. The DUP would have won three seats on these votes, the UUP two, and Alliance one.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.

*Peter Robinson (DUP) 9254 (29.9%)
*Sir Reg Empey (UUP) 6459 (20.9%)
*David Ervine (PUP) 2990 (9.7%)
Naomi Long (Alliance) 2774 (9.0%)
Michael Copeland (UUP) 2291 (7.4%)
Jim Rodgers (UUP) 1502 (4.9%)
Robin Newton (DUP) 1475 (4.8%)
Harry Toan (DUP) 1403 (4.5%)
Joseph O'Donnell (SF) 1180 (3.8%)
Leo Van Es (SDLP) 967 (3.1%)
Terry Dick (Cons) 232 (0.7%)
Thomas Black (Soc) 176 (0.6%)
Joseph Bell (WP) 125 (0.4%)
John McBlain (Ind) 72 (0.2%)
Rainbow George Weiss (VFYS) 65 (0.2%)
DUP 12,132 (39.2%, +7.8%) 2 seats
UUP 10,252 (33.1%, +8.8%) 2 seats
PUP 2,990 (9.7%, -3.9%) 1 seat Best result for PUP in Northern Ireland
Alliance 2,774 (9.0%, -9.0%) 1 seat
SF 1,180 (3.8%, +1.5%)
SDLP 967 (3.1%, +0.5%)
Con 232 (0.7%, +0.2%)
Soc 176 (0.6%) Best result for Socialists in Northern Ireland
WP 125 (0.4%, +0.2%)
Ind 72 (0.2%)
VFYS 65 (0.2%) Best result for Vote For Yourself Party in Northern Ireland

Electorate 51,937 
Votes cast 31,524 (60.7%); spoilt votes 559 (1.8%) 
Valid votes 30,965; quota 4,424 


Analysis:
Better balancing from the DUP here would certainly have seen them win an extra seat, probably from Alliance; as it was, Robinson's 4830 surplus went 2943 to Newton, electing him, but only 1230 to Toan, dooming him to elimination. Rodgers managed to halve the gap between his own tally and that of running mate Michael Copeland from 789 to 354 by the final count, but it was not enough.

East Belfast had lost 11.53% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 17.28% in The Mount ward of Belfast to 6.86% in the Hillfoot ward of Castlereagh. 12 constituencies lost fewer voters, 5 lost more.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

*@Peter Robinson (DUP) 15,667 (42.5%)
Tim Lemon (UUP) 8,550 (23.2%)
David Alderdice (Alliance) 5,832 (15.8%)
@David Ervine (PUP) 3,669 (10.0%) Best result in Northern Ireland
Joe O'Donnell (Sinn Fein) 1,237 (3.4%)
Ciara Farren (SDLP) 888 (2.4%)
Terry Dick (Con) 800 (2.2%)
Joe Bell (WP) 123 (0.3%)
Rainbow George Weiss (Vote for Yourself Party) 71 (0.2%)

Electorate: 58,455; votes cast: 37,031 (63.3%); spoilt votes: 202 (0.5%)
Valid votes: 36,829; DUP majority 7,117

* outgoing MP
@Member of the Assembly

Not a very surprising result, indeed quite a close reproduction of 1997. Even a single pro-Agreement candidate running against Robinson would have had difficulties. If this had been a six-seat Assembly election, the DUP would have won three, and Alliance and the UUP one each, with the PUP probably beating the UUP for the last seat.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

DUP 12970.7 (36%)
UUP 10541.8 (29%)
Alliance 5683 (16%)
PUP 2534.7 (7%)
SDLP 1277.2 (4%)
SF 874.3 (2%)
Conservative Party 365 (1%)
UKUP 338.3 (1%)
Workers Party 86 (0.2%)
Women's Coalition 61.2 (0.2%)
Independents 1506.0 (4%)
Total valid 36238.2

Extrapolating from the these figures , the DUP and UUP would both have won two seats, and Alliance one. The last seat would have been between a third DUP candidate and the PUP.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
 
*Peter Robinson MP (DUP) 11,219 
*Lord Alderdice (Alliance) 6,144 
*Reg Empey (UUP) 5,158 
#David Ervine (PUP) 5,114 
Ian Adamson (UUP) 3,447 
Denny Vitty (UKU) 1,362 
Peter Jones (SDLP) 1,025 
*Jim Rodgers (UUP) 1,015 
Richard Good (Alliance) 1,000 
Joe O'Donnell (SF) 917 
#Pearl Sagar (NIWC) 711 
*Sammy Wilson (DUP) 633 
Robert Girvan (UDP) 516 
John Norris (DUP) 373 
David Bleakley (Lab) 369 
Dawn Purvis (PUP) 271 
Lesley Donaldson (C) 203 
Joe Bell (WP) 79 
David Collins (NLP) 22 
John Lawrence (Energy 106 Party) 15 
DUP 12,225 (30.88%) 2 seats
UUP 9,620 (24.30%) 2 seats
Alliance 7,144 (18.04%) 1 seat
PUP 5,385 (13.60%) 1 seat
UKU 1,362 (3.44%) 
SDLP 1,025 (2.59%) 
SF 917 (2.32%) 
NIWC 711 (1.80%) 
UDP 516 (1.30%) 
Lab 369 (0.93%) 
C 203 (0.51%) 
WP 79 (0.20%) 
NLP 22 (0.06%) 
Energy 15 (0.04%) 

Electorate 60,562 
Votes cast 40,356 (66.6%); spoilt votes 763 (1.9%) 
Valid votes 39,593; quota 5,657 

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from East Belfast
# elected in 1996 Forum/talks election as a 'top-up' candidate.

Not a great surprise. Richard Good (Alliance), who finished on 2,975, was a long way behind Ian Adamson (UUP) on 5,414.

1997 Local Government Election

Democratic Unionist Party 10177.8 (36%) (best equivalent result for DUP in NI)
Ulster Unionist Party 8054.3 (28%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 5804 (20%)
Progressive Unionist Party 1654.7 (6%)
Sinn Féin 652 (2%)
Social Democratic and Labour Party 553.8 (2%)
United Kingdom Unionist Pary 267 (1%)
Conservative Party 256 (1%)
Ulster Democratic Party 199.2 (1%)
Women's Coalition 99.3 (0.35%)
Workers Party 76.7 (0.27%)
Natural Law Party 37.7 (0.13%)
Ulster Independence 14 (0.05%)
East Belfast Labour 12.7 (0.04%)
Others 259.7 (1%)
Total valid 28,399.3 (45.18% of electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

*ƒPeter Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party) 16,640 (42%)
ƒReg Empey (Ulster Unionist Party) 9,886 (25%)
Jim Hendron (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 9,288 (24%) (best result for Alliance in NI)
Sarah Dines (Conservative Party) 928 (2%)
Dominic Corr (Sinn Féin) 810 (2%)
Patricia Lewsley (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 629 (2%)
Derek Dougan (Independent) 541 (1%)
Joseph Bell (Workers' Party) 237 (1%)
David Collins (Natural Law Party) 70 (0.18%)
Turnout 39,029 (63.21%)

* outgoing MP
ƒMember of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Also available: full list of 1996 candidates

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 11,270 (29%); Peter Robinson, Sammy Wilson elected
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 8,608 (22%); Reg Empey, Jim Rodgers elected
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 7,130 (19%); John Alderdice elected (best result for Alliance in NI)
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 3,802 (10%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKU) 2,496 (7%)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 1,299 (3%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 1,156 (3%)
Sinn Féin (SF) 862 (2%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 405 (1%)
Conservative Party (Con) 291 (1%)
Labour (Lab) 199 (1%)
Democratic Partnership 197 (1%)
Green Party 161 (0.42%)
Workers Party (WP) 149 (0.39%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 114 (0.30%)
Independent Democratic Unionist Party 93 (0.24%)
Democratic Left (DL) 45 (0.12%)
Communist Party of Ireland (CP) 38 (0.10%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 13 (0.03%)
Independent Chambers 11 (0.03%)

Electorate: 62,161; votes cast: 38,419 (61.8%); spoilt votes: 80 (0.2%); valid votes: 38,339

Peter Robinson had previously been elected to the 1982 Assembly, and Reg Empey to the 1975 Constitutional Convention, from East Belfast.

Results 1996-2007


DUP UKUP UUP PUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2007a 38%
22% 10% 1% 19% 3% 3% 4%
2005w 49%
30%
1% 12% 1% 3% 3%
2005lg 43%
25% 5% 1% 17% 2% 5% 2%
2003a 39%
33% 10% 1% 9% 1% 3% 4%
2001w 43%
23% 10% 2% 16% 1% 2% 3%
2001lg 36% 1% 29% 7% 1% 16% 4% 4% 3%
1998a 31% 3% 24% 14% 2% 18% 3% 3% 2%
1997lg 36% 1% 28% 6% 3% 20% 2% 2% 2%
1997w 42%
25%
2% 24% 2% 2% 2%
1996f 29% 7% 22% 10% 4% 19% 3% 3% 2%

 


See also: Full 2003 results from East Belfast | Full 1998 results from East Belfast | 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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