North Antrim

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Map and diagram by Conal Kelly

This constituency is the rural north-eastern corner of Northern Ireland. It takes in the whole of Ballymena, Ballymoney and Moyle district councils. The member of parliament since 2010 has been Ian Paisley jr (DUP), whose father first won the seat, defeating the UUP incumbent, in 1970. The DUP hold three Assembly seats here, and the UUP, Sinn Fein and TUV one each (the TUV gained from the SDLP in 2011; Sinn Fein won their seat from the UUP in 2003). See 1983-1992 North Antrim results, 1973-1982 North Antrim results and 1950-1970 North 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 to the 2007 election by "Sammy Morse".

The constituency shrank considerably in the 1983 boundary review, losing territory to East and South Antrim, and lost three Moyle wards to East Antrim in the latest round of changes. This made the new constituency 2.7% less Catholic, and 2.6% more Protestant than the old.

North Antrim's population (on the old boundaries) in the 2001 census was 101,437 (5th of the 18 constituencies).

Results of recent elections using new boundaries


DUP UUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2011a
47.6% 11.7% 11.7% 4.6%   9.1% 15.3%
2011lg
42.5% 15.9% 10.7% 1.0% 7.9% 9.3% 12.6%
2010w 46.4% 10.9% 18.2% 3.2%   8.8% 12.4%
2007a
50.9% 14.8% 4.3% 2.9% 1.5% 11.1% 14.4%
2005w 56.8% 15.0%
3.1%
11.0% 14.2%
2005lg 51.7% 19.7% 0.2% 0.9% 4.8% 9.6% 13.1%

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 UUP supported a Conservative candidate in 2010 (hence change of colour in above table).

2011 Assembly election (six seats)

Paul Frew (DUP) 6,581 (16.3%)
@Daithí McKay (SF) 6,152 (15.3%)
@Mervyn Storey (DUP) 6,083 (15.1%)
Jim Allister (TUV) 4,061 (10.1%)
@Declan O'Loan (SDLP) 3,682 (9.1%)
David McIlveen (DUP) 3,275 (8.1%)
Evelyne Robinson (DUP) 3,256 (8.1%)
Robin Swann (UUP) 2,518 (6.2%)
Bill Kennedy (UUP) 2,189 (5.4%)
Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 1,848 (4.6%)
Audrey Patterson (TUV) 668 (1.7%)

@ member of the Assembly when it was dissolved.
DUP 19,195 (47.6%, -3.3%) 3 seats
SF 6,152 (15.3% +0.9%) 1 seat
TUV 4,729 (11.7%) 1 seat (+1)
UUP 4,707 (11.7%, -3.1%) 1 seat
SDLP 3,682 (9.1%, -2.0%) (-1)
Alliance 1,848 (4.6%, +1.8%)

Electorate 74,760
Votes cast: 40,983 (54.8%); spoilt votes 670 (1.6%)
Valid votes: 40,313; quota 5,760

Jim Allister (TUV) took Declan O'Loan of the SDLP's seat by 613 votes, failing to reach the quota but encuring that his party did at least win one vote in the Assembly. Given the boundary changes, it was never likely that Nationalists could hold both seats here.

2011 local government election

My projection of votes cast in Ballymena, Ballymoney and Moyle apart from the three wards in East Antrim:

DUP 17,103 (42.5%)
UUP 6,415 (15.9%)
SF 5,063 (12.6%)
TUV 4,293 (10.7%)
SDLP 3,752 (9.3%)
Alliance 416 (1.0%)
Inds 3,194 (7.9%)

In a six-seat STV election, these votes would give the DUP three seats and the UUP and SF one each, with the last seat probably going to the TUV.

2010 Westminster election (one seat)

@Ian Paisley [jr] (DUP) 19,672 (46.4%, -10.2%)
Jim Allister (TUV) 7,114 (16.8%)
@Daithi McKay (Sinn Féin) 5,265 (12.4%, -1.8%)
Irwin Armstrong (UCUNF) 4,634 (10.9%, -4.1%)
Declan O'Loan (SDLP) 3,738 (8.8%, -2.2%)
Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 1,368 (3.2%, +0.1%)
Lyle Cubitt (Independent) 606 (1.4%)
Electorate: 73,338; Total Poll: 42,579 (58.1%); Invalid Votes: 182 (0.4%); Valid Votes: 42,397

@ elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly from this constituency

This was the TUV's best result in Northern Ireland, but leader Jim Allister failed to make the necessary breakthrough. On these figures he would win a seat in an Assembly election, and the DUP would win three; Sinn Féin would win one and the last would probably go to the UUP, the SDLP losing out.

2007 Assembly Election (7 March, six seats)

Full details of each count are available here.

*Ian Paisley [sr] MP (DUP) 7716 (17.4%)
Daithi McKay (SF) 7065 (15.9%)
*Ian Paisley [jr] (DUP) 6106 (13.8%)
*Mervyn Storey (DUP) 5171 (11.7%)
*Robert Coulter (UUP) 5047 (11.4%)
Declan O'Loan (SDLP) 3281 (7.4%)
Deirdre Nelson (DUP) 2740 (6.2%)
Orla Black (SDLP) 2129 (4.8%)
Lyle Cubitt (UKUP) 1848 (4.2%)
Robert Swann (UUP) 1281 (2.9%)
Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 1254 (2.8%)
Paul McGlinchey (Independent) 383 (0.9%)
James Gregg (Independent) 310 (0.7%)

*Elected in 2003 from North Antrim
DUP 21,733 (49.0%, +3.1%) 3 seats
SF 7,095 (15.9%, +1.9%) 1 seat
UUP 6,328 (14.3%, -7.4%) 1 seat
SDLP 5,410 (12.2%, -1.4%) 1 seat
UKUP 1,848 (4.2%, +3.3%)
Alliance 1,254 (2.8%, +0.9%)
Inds 693 (1.6%)

Electorate 72,814 
Votes cast 44,655 (61.3%); spoilt votes 324 (0.7%) 
Valid votes 44,331; quota 6,334

No change here, though voting trends from elsewhere in the election were reflected in North Antrim too. On the last count, Nelson (DUP) was 2406 votes behind O'Loan (SDLP) with O'Loan 164 votes over the quota and an undistributed UUP surplus of 245.

2005 Westminster election (5 May, 1 seat)

*@ Ian Paisley (DUP) 25,156 (54.8% +4.9%)
@Philip McGuigan (Sinn Fein) 7,191 (15.7% +5.9%)
Rodney McCune (UUP) 6,637 (14.5% -6.5%)
@Sean Farren (SDLP) 5,585 (12.2% -4.6%)
Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 1,357 (3.0% +0.4%)
Turnout 46,226

* outgoing MP.
@ Member of the Assembly

These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would give the DUP three seats and the UUP and SF one each, with the last seat between the SDLP and a fourth DUP candidate.

2005 Local Government Election (5 June)

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Ballymena, Ballymoney and Moyle council areas were as follows:

DUP 22,086 (48.6%)
UUP 8,388 (18.4%)
Sinn Fein 6,527 (14.4%)
SDLP 5,650 (12.4%)
Independents 2,329 (5.1%)
Alliance 404 (0.9%)
PUP 94 (0.2%)

It is easy enough to extrapolate from the local council elections because the North Antrim constituency includes three whole district councils. If the same votes had been cast in a six-seat STV election, the DUP would have won three seats, and the UUP, SF and the SDLP one each.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of all transfers.
*Ian Paisley Sr (DUP) 8732 (19.8%)
*Ian Paisley Jr (DUP) 7898 (17.9%)
*Robert Coulter (UUP) 6385 (14.5%)
Philip McGuigan (SF) 6195 (14.0%)
*Sean Farren (SDLP) 3648 (8.3%)
Mervyn Storey (DUP) 3605 (8.2%)
James Currie (UUP) 3153 (7.1%)
Declan O'Loan (SDLP) 2361 (5.4%)
Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 867 (2.0%)
*Gardiner Kane (Ind) 623 (1.4%)
Nathaniel Small (UKUP) 402 (0.9%)
Billy McCaughey (PUP) 230 (0.5%)
DUP 20,235 (45.9%, +8.3%) 3 seats
UUP 9,538 (21.6%, -0.7%) 1 seat
SF 6,195 (14.0%, +5.9%) 1 seat
SDLP 6,009 (13.6%, -3.3%) 1 seat
Alliance 867 (2.0%, -2.6%)
Ind 623 (1.4%)
UKUP 402 (0.9%)
PUP 230 (0.5%, -0.8%)

Electorate 70,489 
Votes cast 44,632 (63.3%); spoilt votes 533 (1.2%) 
Valid votes 44,099; quota 6,300

Reaction: The UUP lost a seat to Sinn Fein. On the final count James Currie was 930 votes behind Sean Farren, with an undistributed SF surplus of 197 which would have widened the distance.

North Antrim had lost 8.19% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 15.96% in the Knocklayd ward of Moyle to 4.13% in the Craigywarren ward of Ballymena. 15 constituencies lost more voters, only Fermanagh-South Tyrone and Mid Ulster lost fewer.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

*Ian Paisley (DUP) 24,539 (49.9%) Best result in Northern Ireland
Lexie Scott (UUP) 10,315 (21.0%)
@Sean Farren (SDLP) 8,283 (16.8%)
@John Kelly (Sinn Fein) 4,822 (9.8%)
Jayne Dunlop (Alliance) 1,258 (2.6%)

Electorate: 74,451; votes cast: 49,545 (66.5%); spoilt votes: 328 (0.6%)
Valid votes: 49,217; DUP majority 14,224

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

Not a surprising result. A six-seat Assembly election on these figures would give the DUP three seats, and the UUP and SDLP one each, with the last seat between the DUP and UUP.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Ballymena, Ballymoney and Moyle council areas were as follows:

DUP 19774 (41%) Best equivalent result in Northern Ireland
UUP 11905 (24%)
SDLP 8644 (18%)
SF 2513 (5%)
Alliance 317 (1%)
PUP 206 (0.4%)
NIUP 186 (0.4%)
Independents 5097 (10%)
Total valid votes 48642

It is easy enough to extrapolate from the local council elections because the North Antrim constituency includes three whole district councils. If the same votes had been cast in a six-seat STV election, the DUP would have won three seats, the UUP two and the SDLP one.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of all transfers.
 
*Ian Paisley (DUP) 10,590 
*Sean Farren (SDLP) 6,433 
*Robert Coulter (UUP) 5,407 
*Ian Paisley Jr (DUP) 4,459 
Gardiner Kane (DUP) 3,638 
James Leslie (UUP) 3,458 
William Wright (United Unionist) 3,297 
Jayne Dunlop (All) 2,282 
Patricia Campbell (UUP) 2,199 
James McCarry (SF) 2,024 
Joe Cahill (SF) 2,021 
Malachy McCamphill (SDLP) 1,982 
Richard Rodgers (PUP) 641 
Oliver McMullan (Ind Nat) 478 
Maurice McAllister (UDP) 400 
Chris McCaughan (Ind) 194 
John Wright (NLP) 156 
Thomas Palmer (Ind) 38 
DUP 18,687 (37.60%) 3 seats
     Best result for DUP in Northern Ireland
UUP 11,064 (22.26%) 2 seats
SDLP 8,415 (16.93%) 1 seat
SF 4,045 (8.14%) 
United Unionist 3,297 (6.63%) 
Alliance 2,282 (4.59%) 
PUP 641 (1.29%) 
Ind Nat 478 (0.96%) 
UDP 400 (0.80%) 
Inds 232 (0.47%) 
NLP 156 (0.31%) 

Electorate: 73,247 
Votes cast 50,561 (69.0%); spoilt votes: 864 (1.7%) 
Valid votes: 49,697; quota: 7,100

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from North Antrim

Not a very surprising result, though a good one for the DUP. Their third candidate finished on 5,818 votes to SF's 5,154, but with an undistributed UUP surplus of 480 to be taken into account the final margin was pretty comfortable.

1997 Local Government Election

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Ballymena, Ballymoney and Moyle council areas were as follows:

Ulster Unionist Party 11,954 votes (32%)
Democratic Unionist Party 11,839 votes (32%)
Social Democratic and Labour Party 7,565 votes (20%)
Sinn Féin 962 votes (3%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 447 votes (1%)
Ulster Party 184 votes (1%)
Progressive Unionist Party 180 votes (1%)
Women's Coalition 66 votes (0.19%)
Others 4,188 votes (11%)
Total valid votes 37,385 (51.42% of the electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

*ƒIan Paisley Sr (Democratic Unionist Party) 21,495 (47%) Best result for DUP in Northern Ireland
James Leslie (Ulster Unionist Party) 10,921 (24%)
ƒSean Farren (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 7,333 (16%)
James McCarry (Sinn Féin) 2,896 (6%)
David Alderdice (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 2,845 (6%)
Bronagh Hinds (Northern Ireland Women's Coalition) 580 (1%)
John Wright (Natural Law Party) 116 (0.25%)
Turnout 46,186 (63.78%)

* outgoing MP
ƒ Member of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Also available: full list of 1996 candidates

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 16,448 (37%); Ian Paisley sr, Ian Paisley jr elected Best result for DUP in Northern Ireland
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 11,195 (25%); Robert Coulter, Joe Gaston elected
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 7,185 (16%); Sean Farren elected
Sinn Féin (SF) 2,579 (6%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 2,518 (6%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKU) 1,185 (3%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 768 (2%)
Independent McMullan 670 (2%)
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 665 (1%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 272 (1%)
Conservative Party (Con) 259 (1%)
Labour (Lab) 187 (0.42%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 167 (0.38%)
Green Party 150 (0.34%)
Democratic Partnership 114 (0.26%)
Workers Party (WP) 60 (0.13%)
Democratic Left (DL) 40 (0.09%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 14 (0.03%)
Independent Chambers 13 (0.03%)

Electorate: 71,799; votes cast: 44,560 (62.0%); spoilt votes: 71 (0.1%); valid votes: 44,489

Ian Paisley Sr had been elected to the old Northern Ireland House of Commons in 1970 representing the Bannside constituency; he was elected to the 1973 Assembly, the 1975 Convention, and the 1982 Assembly from North Antrim.

Results 1996-2007


DUP UUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2007a
49% 14% 4% 3% 2% 12% 16%
2005w 55% 14%
3%
12% 16%
2005lg 49% 18% 0% 1% 5% 12% 14%
2003a 46% 22% 2% 2%
14% 14%
2001w 50% 21%
3%
17% 10%
2001lg 41% 24% 1% 1% 10% 18% 5%
1998a 38% 22% 8% 5% 2% 17% 8%
1997lg 32% 32% 1% 1% 11% 20% 3%
1997w 47% 24%
6% 1% 16% 6%
1996f 37% 25% 6% 6% 4% 16% 6%

See also: Full 1998 results from North 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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