Foyle

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
Map and diagram by Conal Kelly

This constituency includes most of Derry District Council. In 2005 Mark Durkan (SDLP) took over from his predecessor as party leader, John Hume, who had represented the constituency since it was created in 1983. The SDLP hold three of the six Assembly seats here, with Sinn Fein holding two and the DUP one (this has been the result of all four Assembly elections since 1998). See the 1983-92 Foyle 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".

Foyle originally included parts of Strabane District Council but lost them to the new West Tyrone constituency in the 1995 revision. In 2010 Foyle lost two Derry wards, Banagher and Claudy, to East Londonderry  as a result of Derry's population growth. This made the new constituency 0.3% more Catholic, and also 0.3% less Protestant, than the old.

Results of recent elections using new boundaries


DUP UUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2011a 18.4%     0.9% 11.5% 35.3% 34.0%
2011lg
14.2% 3.8% 0.5% 0.9% 8.4% 38.0% 34.2%
2010w 11.9% 3.2%   0.6% 7.8% 44.7% 31.9%
2007a
16.6% 4.2% 0.2% 0.6% 10.5% 37.1% 30.9%
2005w 14.1% 2.3%

3.9% 46.4% 33.3%
2005lg 15.7% 4.2%

6.0% 40.7% 33.3%

Foyle's population (on the old boundaries) in the 2001 census was 105,066 (highest of the 18 constituencies).

2011 Assembly election (six seats)

@William Hay (DUP) 7,154 (18.4%)
@Martina Anderson (SF) 6,950 (17.9%)
Mark H Durkan (SDLP) 4,970 (12.8%)
@Raymond McCartney (SF) 3,638 (9.4%)
@Pat Ramsey (SDLP) 3,138 (8.1%)
Eamonn McCann (PBPA) 3,120 (8.0%)
Colum Eastwood (SDLP) 2,967 (7.6%)
@Pol Callaghan (SDLP) 2,624 (6.8%)
Paul Fleming (SF) 2,612 (6.7%)
Paul McFadden (Independent) 1,280 (3.3%)
Keith McGrellis (Alliance) 334 (0.9%)
Terry Doherty (Independent) 60 (0.2%)

@ member of the Assembly when it was dissolved

SDLP 13,699 (35.3%, -1.7%) 3 seats
SF 13,200 (34.0%, +3.2%) 2 seats
DUP 7,154 (18.4%, +1.5%) 1 seat
PBPA 3,120 (8.0%)
Independents 1,340 (3.5%)
Alliance 334 (0.9%, +0.3%)

Electorate 68,663
Turnout 39,686 (57.8%); spoilt votes 839 (2.1%)
Valid votes 38,847; quota 5,550

With no UUP candidate, the DUP's William Hay was very comfortably elected on the first count; more than 1100 of his 1600 vote surplus then transferred to the SDLP, ensuring that their third seat was safe. However, SF are slowly closing the gap with the SDLP here, with Eamonn McCann also in the picture - though he was 960 votes behind the SDLP's Pat Ramsey for the last seat.

2011 local government election

My projection of votes cast in Derry apart from the two wards in East Londonderry:

SDLP 14,731 (38.0%)
SF 13,249 (33.0%)
DUP 5,492 (14.2%)
UUP 1,487 (3.8%)
PBPA 1,278 (3.3%)
IRSP 879 (2.3%)
Alliance 359 (0.9%)
PUP 204 (0.5%)
Inds 1,089 (2.8%)

In a six-seat STV election, these would have delivered two seats for the SDLP and SF and one for the DUP, with the sixth seat probably going to a third SDLP candidate.

2010 Westminster election (one seat)

*@Mark Durkan (SDLP) 16,922 (44.7%, -1.7%)
@Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin) 12,098 (31.9% -1.4%)
Maurice Devenney (DUP) 4,489 (11.9%, -2.2%)
Eamonn McCann (People Before Profit) 2,936 (7.8%)
David Harding (UCUNF) 1,221 (3.2%, +0.9%)
Keith McGrellis (Alliance) 223 (0.6%)
Electorate: 65,843; Total Poll: 38,190 (58.0%); Invalid Votes: 301 (0.8%); Valid Votes: 37,889

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

A decent result for Durkan, with both SDLP and SF slipping a few votes to Eamonn McCann. An Assembly election on these figures would see no change in seat distribution.

2007 Assembly election (7 March, six seats)

Full details of each count are available from the Electoral Office (in PowerPoint format) here.

*William Hay (DUP) 6960 (17.0%)
*Mark Durkan MP (SDLP) 6401 (15.6%)
Martina Anderson (SF) 5414 (13.2%)
Raymond McCartney (SF) 4321 (10.5%)
*Pat Ramsey (SDLP) 3242 (7.9%)
Lynn Fleming (SF) 2914 (7.1%)
*Mary Bradley (SDLP) 2891 (7.0%)
Helen Quigley (SDLP) 2648 (6.5%)
Eamonn McCann (Socialist Environmental Alliance) 2045 (5.0%)
Peggy O'Hara (RSF) 1789 (4.4%)
Peter Munce (UUP) 1755 (4.3%)
Adele Corry (Green) 359 (0.9%)
Yvonne Boyle (Alliance) 224 (0.5%)
William Frazer (Independent Unionist) 73 (0.2%)

*Elected in 2003 from Foyle
SDLP 15,182 (37.0%, +0.9%) 3 seats
SF 12,649 (30.8%, -1.6%) 2 seats
DUP 6,960 (17.0%, +2.0%) 1 seat
SEA 2,045 (5.0%, -0.5%)
RSF 1,789 (4.4%)
UUP 4.3% (-3.9%)
Green 359 (0.9%)
Alliance 224 (0.5%, -0.01%)
Ind U 73 (0.2%)

Electorate 64,889 
Votes cast 41,455 (63.9%); spoilt votes 419 (1.0%) 
Valid votes 41,036; quota 5,863

SF continue to hope to overtake the SDLP here but did not manage it this time. The DUP's dominance on the Unionist side consolidated. On the last count, Bradley (SDLP) was 105 votes ahead of her party colleague Quigley, with all other votes allocated.

2005 Westminster election (5 May, 1 seat)

@Mark Durkan (SDLP) 21,119 (46.3% -3.9%)
@Mitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Fein) 15,162 (33.2% +6.6%)
@William Hay (DUP) 6,557 (14.4% -0.8%)
Eamonn McCann (Socialist Environmental Alliance) 1,649 (3.6%)
Earl Storey (UUP) 1,091 (2.4% -4.5%)
Ben Reel (Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket) 31 (0.1%)

@ Member of the Assembly

Optimists in SF had been talking up their chances (including citing supposedly accurate canvass returns), but the SDLP held on to John Hume's old seat comfortably; SF grumbled that this was due to Unionist tactical voting, though if one compares with the local government elections it's clear that Durkan would have won anyway (and it's rather odd for any self-described democrat to suggest that some people's votes should count for less than others). If cast in a six-seat STV election, these votes would have elected three from the SDLP, two from SF and one from the DUP.

2005 Local Government Election (5 May)

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Derry council area were as follows:

SDLP 18467 (41.0%) Best equivalent result for the SDLP in Northern Ireland
Sinn Fein 14744 (32.7%)
DUP 7265 (16.1%)
UUP 2000 (4.4%)
SEA 1321 (2.9%)
Independents 1202 (2.7%)

If cast in a six-seat STV election, these votes would have given the SDLP three seats, SF two and the DUP one.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
*Mark Durkan (SDLP) 6806 (16.7%)
*William Hay (DUP) 6101 (15.0%)
*Mitchell McLaughlin (SF) 6036 (14.8%)
Raymond McCartney (SF) 3679 (9.0%)
*Mary Nelis (SF) 3499 (8.6%)
Mary Bradley (SDLP) 3345 (8.2%)
Mary Hamilton (UUP) 3322 (8.1%)
Pat Ramsey (SDLP) 2826 (6.9%)
Eamonn McCann (SEA) 2257 (5.5%)
Gerard Diver (SDLP) 1769 (4.3%)
*Annie Courtney (Ind) 802 (2.0%)
Alan Castle (Alliance) 227 (0.6%)
Danny McBrearty (Ind) 137 (0.3%) 
SDLP 14,746 (36.1%, -11.7%) Best result for SDLP in Northern Ireland
SF 13,214 (32.4%, +6.4%)
DUP 6,101 (15.0%, +2.5%)
UUP 3,322 (8.1%, -1.5%)
SEA 2,257 (5.5%) Best result for SEA in Northern Ireland
Ind 939 (2.3%)
Alliance 227 (0.6%, -1.6%)

Electorate 65,303 
Votes cast 41,436 (63.5%); spoilt votes 630 (1.5%) 
Valid votes 40,806; quota 5,830 


Reaction:
Eamonn McCann's impressive performance did not however change the outcome from 1998. In the closest result of the election, Mary Nelis held her seat against running-mate Raymond McCartney by 8 votes. (She resigned on the grounds of ill health in July 2004 and was replaced as an Assembly member by McCartney.)

Foyle had lost 13.13% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 18.36% in the Culmore ward of Derry to 6.34% in Banagher, also in Derry. 14 constituencies lost fewer voters, 3 lost more.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

*@John Hume (SDLP) 24,538 (50.2%) Best result in Northern Ireland
@Mitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Fein) 12,988 (26.6%)
@William Hay (DUP) 7,414 (15.2%)
Andrew Davidson (UUP) 3,360 (6.9%)
Colm Cavanagh (Alliance) 579 (1.2%)

Electorate: 70,943; votes cast: 49,374 (69.6%); spoilt votes: 495 (1.0%)
Valid votes: 48,879; SDLP majority 11,550

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

A solid result for Hume in his party's best constituency. A six-seat Assembly election on these figures would give the SDLP three seats, SF two and the DUP one.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Derry council area were as follows:

SDLP 20872 (43%) Best equivalent result in Northern Ireland
SF 14547 (30%)
DUP 6874 (14%)
UUP 3069 (6%)
Alliance 436 (1%)
PUP 153 (0.3%)
Independents 2094 (4%)
Total valid votes 48045

It is easy enough to extrapolate from the local council elections because the Derry City Council district and the Foyle constituency cover identical areas. Based on these votes, the SDLP would have won three seats, Sinn Fein two and the DUP one.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
 
*John Hume (SDLP) 12,581 
William Hay (DUP) 6,112 
*Mitchel McLaughlin (SF) 5,341 
Jack Allen (UUP) 4,669 
*Mark Durkan (SDLP) 4,423 
*John Tierney (SDLP) 3,778 
Mary Nelis (SF) 3,464 
Annie Courtney (SDLP) 2,560 
Gearoid O hEara (SF) 2,531 
Lynn Fleming (SF) 1,360 
Colm Cavanagh (All) 1,058 
Ken Adams (Lab) 345 
Brian Gurney (PUP) 287 
Peter MacKenzie (Green) 253 
Donn Brennan (NLP) 32 
SDLP 23,342 (47.84%) 3 seats
     Best result for SDLP in Northern Ireland
SF 12,696 (26.02%) 2 seats
DUP 6,112 (12.53%) 1 seat
UUP 4,669 (9.57%) 
All 1,058 (2.17%) 
Lab 345 (0.71%) 
PUP 287 (0.59%) 
Green 253 (0.52%) 
NLP 32 (0.07%) 

Electorate: 68,888 
Votes cast: 49,604 (72.0%); spoilt votes 810 (1.6%) 
Valid votes: 48,794; quota 6,971

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from Foyle

One of the least surprising in Northern Ireland, as the SDLP consolidated in one of their best constituencies. Jack Allen of the UUP had the fourth highest number of first preferences here, but was overtaken by the second and third SDLP runners, and by Sinn Féin's Mary Nelis, and finished on 5,698 votes to William Hay's 6,322. 461 undistributed surplus votes, mainly from Sinn Féin, would not have made much difference.

1997 Local Government Election

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Derry council area were as follows:

Social Democratic and Labour Party 18,012 votes (44%) Best equivalent result for SDLP in Northern Ireland
Sinn Féin 11,394 votes (28%)
Democratic Unionist Party 5,186 votes (12%)
Ulster Unionist Party 3,595 votes (9%)
Women's Coalition 1,036 votes (3%)
Labour 348 votes (1%)
UDP 276 votes (1%)
Others 1,359 votes (3%)
Total valid votes 41,206 (60.62% of electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

*ƒJohn Hume (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 25,109 (53%)
ƒMitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Féin) 11,445 (24%)
William Hay (Democratic Unionist Party) 10,290 (22%)
Eileen Bell (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 817 (1.71%)
Donn Brennan (Natural Law Party) 154 (0.32%)
Turnout 47,815 (70.71%)

* outgoing MP
ƒ member of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Also available: full list of 1996 candidates

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 19,997 (44%); John Hume, Mark Durkan, John Tierney elected Best result for SDLP in Northern Ireland
Sinn Féin (SF) 11,618 (26%); Martin McGuinness, Mitchel McLaughlin elected
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 5,054 (11%)
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 4,553 (10%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 790 (2%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 695 (2%)
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 580 (1%)
Labour (Lab) 544 (1%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 497 (1%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP) 324 (1%)
Green Party 191 (0.42%)
Conservative Party (Con) 92 (0.20%)
Workers Party (WP) 81 (0.18%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 65 (0.14%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 41 (0.09%)
Democratic Left (DL) 40 (0.09%)
Independent Chambers 22 (0.05%)

Electorate: 66,598; votes cast: 45,308 (68.0%); spoilt votes: 124 (0.2%); valid votes: 45,184

Hume was elected to the old Northern Ireland House of Commons representing Foyle in 1969; he was then elected to the 1973 Assembly, the 1975 Constitutional Convention, and (as was McGuinness) the 1982 Assembly, in all cases for Londonderry.

Results Table


DUP UUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2007a
17% 4% 0% 1% 10% 37% 31%
2005w 14% 2%

4% 46% 33%
2005lg 16% 4%

6% 41% 33%
2003a 15% 8%
1% 8% 36% 32%
2001w 15% 7%
1%
50% 27%
2001lg 14% 6% 0% 1% 4% 43% 30%
1998a 13% 10% 1% 2% 1% 48% 26%
1997lg 12% 9% 1%
6% 44% 28%
1997w 22%

2% 0% 53% 22%
1996f 11% 10% 3% 2% 2% 44% 26%



See also: Full 2003 results from Foyle | Full 1998 results from Foyle | 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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