South Antrim

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                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 takes in the largely rural Antrim district council and parts of the more suburban Newtownabbey district council. The member of parliament since 2005 is William McCrea (DUP), who defeated David Burnside (UUP); McCrea had previously held the seat until the 2001 election since the September 2000 by-election held after the death of Clifford Forsythe (UUP), who had represented the constituency since it was revised in 1983. The DUP hold three Assembly seats here, and the UUP, Alliance and Sinn Fein one each (the DUP gained from the SDLP in 2011; SF gained from the UUP in 2007; the DUP from the UKUP in 2003). See also 1983-1992 South Antrim results, 1973-82 South Antrim results and 1950-1970 South Amtrim 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".

Only minor changes were made to South Antrim in 1995, but in 2010 it lost five Newtownabbey wards to North Belfast. This made the new constituency 2.3% less Catholic, and also 2.3% more Protestant than the old.

South Antrim's population (on the old boundaries) in the 2001 census was 99,810 (7th of the 18 constituencies).

Results of recent elections using new boundaries


DUP UUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2011a 38.3% 17.8% 4.7% 14.2%   10.6% 14.5%
2011lg
37.0% 21.5% 2.5% 13.3% 1.8% 12.1% 13.1%
2010w 33.9% 30.4% 5.4% 7.7%   8.7% 13.9%
2007a
36.2% 21.0% 2.4% 12.8% 1.9% 10.2% 15.4%
2005w 40.3% 29.6%
8.3%
11.2% 10.7%
2005lg 38.3% 25.9% 1.5% 7.4% 3.4% 13.6% 9.9%

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 0.3% in 2007 (on the old boundaries) and supported the UUP in 2010 and 2011.

2011 Assembly election (six seats)

@Paul Girvan (DUP) 4,844 (15.1%)
@Mitchel McLaughlin (SF) 4,662 (14.5%)
@Trevor Clarke (DUP) 4,607 (14.3%)
@David Ford (Alliance) 4,554 (14.2%)
@Danny Kinahan (UUP) 3,445 (10.7%)
@Thomas Burns (SDLP) 3,406 (10.6%)
Pam Lewis DUP 2,866 8.9% 
Adrian Watson UUP 2,285 7.1% 
Mel Lucas TUV 1,091 3.4% 
Stephen Parkes BNP 404 1.3%

@ member of the Assembly when it was dissolved.

DUP 12,317 (38.3%, +2.1%) 3 seats (+1)
UUP 5,730 (17.8%, -3.2%) 1 seat
SF 4,662 (14.5%, -0.9%) 1 seat
Alliance 4,554 (14.2%, +1.4%) 1 seat
SDLP 3,406 (10.6%, +0.3%) (-1)
TUV 1,091 (3.4%)
BNP 404 (1.3%)

Electorate 65,231
Votes cast 32,652 (50.1%); spoilt votes 488 (1.5%)
Valid votes 32,164; quota 4,595

The SDLP's Burns lost his seat to the DUP's Lewis by almost 1,100 votes, with many small surpluses undristributed (67 from SF, 65 from Alliance, 361 more from the DUP). This was really the result of boundary changes - I make the SDLP's performance here an improvement on both 2010's Westminster result and the adjusted 2007 figures, but it wasn't enough. The UUP did not balance their candidates well, but did not have enough votes in any case.

2011 local government elections

My projection of votes cast in Antrim, Ballyclare, parts of Antrim Line and University, and Glenavy:

DUP 11,881 (37.0%)
UUP 6,898 (21.5%)
Alliance 4287 (13.3%)
SF 3,992 (12.4%)
SDLP 3,717 (11.6%)
TUV 363 (1.1%)
PUP 349 (1.1%)
Con 32 (0.1%)
BNP 49 (0.2%)
Inds 580 (1.8%)

In a six-seat STV election, this would have given two seats to the DUP and one each to the UUP, Alliance and SF, with the last seat between a third DUP candidate, a second UUP candidate and the SDLP.

2010 Westminster election (one seat)

*@William McCrea (DUP) 11,536 (33.9%, -6.4%)
%Reg Empey (UCUNF) 10,353 (30.4%, +0.8%)
@Mitchel McLaughlin (Sinn Féin) 4,729 (13.9%, +3.2%)
Michelle Byrne (SDLP) 2,955 (8.7% -2.5%)
Alan Lawther (Alliance) 2,607 (7.7%, -0.6%)
Melwyn Lucas (TUV) 1,829 (5.4%)
Electorate: 63,054; Total Poll: 34,143 (54.1%); Invalid Votes: 134 (0.4%); Valid Votes: 34,009

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

The DUP held what was on paper their most vulnerable seat, losing more votes to the TUV than to the UCUNF leader, who failed to make the necessary breakthrough. These votes, if cast in a six-seat Assembly election, would probably see the UUP gaining the SDLP's seat, though the Alliance seat is also vulnerable on these figures.

2007 Assembly Election (7 March, six seats)

Full details of each count are available here.

&Mitchel McLaughlin (SF) 6313 (16.5%)
#William McCrea MP (DUP) 6023 (15.8%)
*David Ford (Alliance) 5007 (13.1%)
*David Burnside (UUP) 4507 (11.8%)
Trevor Clarke (DUP) 4302 (11.3%)
Mel Lucas (DUP) 2840 (7.4%)
*Thomas Burns (SDLP) 2721 (7.1%)
Danny Kinahan (UUP) 2391 (6.3%)
Noreen McClelland (SDLP) 1526 (4.0%)
Stephen Nicoll (UUP) 927 (2.4%)
^Robert McCartney (UKUP) 893 (2.3%)
Pete Whitcroft (Green) 507 (1.3%)
Stephen O'Brien (Conservative) 129 (0.3%)
Marcella Delany (WP) 89 (0.2%)

*Elected in 2003 from South Antrim
^Elected in 2003 from North Down
#Elected in 2003 from Mid Ulster
&Elected in 2003 from Foyle
DUP 13,165 (34.5%, +3.9%) 2 seats
UUP 7,825 (20.5%, -9.3%) 1 seat (-1)
SF 6,313 (16.5%, +5.1%) 1 seat (+1)
Alliance 5,007 (13.1%, +4.0%) 1 seat
SDLP 4,247 (11.1%, -3.3%) 1 seat
UKUP 893 (2.3%)
Green 507 (1.3%)
Conservative 129 (0.3%, -0.1%)
WP 89 (0.2%)

Electorate 63,654 
Votes cast 38,481 (58.6%); spoilt votes 306 (0.8%) 
Valid votes 38,175; quota 5,454
An impressive, if widely predicted, gain for SF, which surprisingly came at the expense of the disorganised and muddled UUP rather than Alliance or the SDLP. On the last count, Burns (SDLP) was 1167 votes ahead of Lucas (DUP) with undistributed surpluses of 90 from the DUP and 40 from Alliance (which would have originated with the UUP, and therefore would have narrowed the gap if only slightly).

2005 Westminster election (5 May, 1 seat)

@William McCrea (DUP) 14,507 (38.2% +3.4%)
*@David Burnside (UUP) 11,059 (29.1% -8.0%)
Noreen McClelland (SDLP) 4,706 (12.4% +0.3%)
Henry Cushinan (Sinn Fein) 4,407 (11.6% +2.2%)
@David Ford (Alliance) 3,278 (8.6% +4.1%)

* outgoing MP.
@Member of the Assembly

Given the narrow margin of Burnside's victory in 2001, and the overall trend, this should have come as no big surprise. If these votes were cast in a six-seat STV election, the DUP and UUP would have two seats each; much would depend on transfers, but the SDLP should get the fifth seat and Alliance would probably pull ahead of Sinn Fein to take the last.

2005 Local government elections (5 May)

The constituency comprises all 19 wards in Antrim, and 16 of the 25 wards in Newtownabbey (all 7 wards in the Antrim Line DEA, all 5 wards in the Ballyclare DEA, and 4 of the 7 wards in the University DEA [Ballyduff, Carnmoney, Hawthorne and Mossley]) Votes cast in 2005:

DUP 13,835 (37.3%)
UUP 9,165.1 (24.7%)
SDLP 5,254 (14.1%)
Sinn Fein 4,070 (11.0%)
Alliance 2,984.3 (8.0%)
Newtownabbey Ratepayers Assoc 631.4 (1.7%)
Independent 532 (1.4%)
United Unionist Coalition 315.4 (0.8%)
Conservative 235 (0.6%)
PUP 110.0 (0.3%)

Extrapolating from the local government elections is difficult because the South Antrim constituency breaches a local electoral area boundary. But if these votes were cast in an STV election, the DUP would have two seats and the UUP and SDLP one each for sure. The last two would be a tight scramble between Sinn Fein, the UUP and Alliance.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
David Burnside (UUP) 7066 (18.9%)
*Wilson Clyde (DUP) 5131 (13.7%)
Paul Girvan (DUP) 4820 (12.9%) 
Martin Meehan (SF) 4295 (11.5%)
*David Ford (Alliance) 3393 (9.1%)
*Jim Wilson (UUP) 3135 (8.4%)
Thomas Burns (SDLP) 2732 (7.3%) 
*Donovan McClelland (SDLP) 2671 (7.1%)
John Smyth (DUP) 1501 (4.0%) 
Adrian Cochrane-Watson (UUP) 953 (2.5%)
*Norman Boyd (NIUP) 774 (2.1%)
Joan Cosgrove (NIWC) 465 (1.2%)
Kenneth Wilkinson (PUP) 311 (0.8%)
Jason Docherty (Cons) 174 (0.5%)

DUP 11,452 (30.6%, +10.5%) 2 seats
UUP 11,154 (29.8%, -0.1%) 2 seats
SDLP 5,403 (14.4%, -3.3%) 1 seat
SF 4,295 (11.5%, +4.2%) 
Alliance 3,393 (9.1%, +0.5%) 1 seat
NIUP 774 (2.1%) Best result for NIUP in Northern Ireland
NIWC 465 (1.2%, -1.3%)
PUP 311 (0.8%, -2.7%)
Con 174 (0.5%)

Electorate 63,640 
Votes cast 37,858 (59.5%); spoilt votes 437 (1.2%) 
Valid votes 37,421; quota 5,346 

Reaction: An exceptional performance from Martin Meehan, but it was not enough to get him in - there were enough Unionist transfers around for David Ford to scrape home by 180 votes. The DUP gained the seat won by Norman Boyd in 1998.

South Antrim had lost 11.91% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 19.24% in the Springfarm ward of Antrim to 7.38% in Shilvodan, also in Antrim. 13 constituencies lost fewer voters, 4 lost more.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

David Burnside (UUP) 16,366 (37.1%)
*@William McCrea (DUP) 15,355 (34.8%)
Sean McKee (SDLP) 5,336 (12.1%)
Martin Meehan (Sinn Fein) 4,160 (9.4%)
@David Ford (Alliance) 1,969 (4.5%)
@Norman Boyd (NIUP) 972 (2.2%) Best result in Northern Ireland

Electorate: 70,651; votes cast: 44,354 (62.7%); spoilt votes: 196 (0.4%)
Valid votes: 44,158; UUP majority 1,011

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

Burnside's reversal of the September 2000 by-election result was one piece of good news in what was otherwise a bad day for the UUP. In a six-seat Assembly election, these votes would probably give the UUP three seats, DUP two and SDLP one.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

Votes cast in 2001 were as follows:

UUP 14693.6 (33%)
DUP 11091.1 (25%)
SDLP 6269 (14%)
SF 3986 (9%)
Alliance 3175.3 (7%)
NIUP 1119 (3%) Best equivalent result in Northern Ireland
PUP 909.4 (2%)
Community Candidates 895.4 (2%) Best equivalent result in Northern Ireland
UUAP 741.1 (2%)
Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association 389 (1%)
NIWC 299 (1%)
Cons 169 (0.4%)
Ind 228 (1%)

These votes if cast in a six seat STV election would clearly have given the UUP and DUP two seats, with one going to the SDLP and the last between Alliance, a third Ulster Unionist, and SF.

2000 Westminster by-election

@William McCrea (DUP) 11601 (37.95%)
@David Burnside (UUP) 10779 (35.26%)
@Donovan McClelland (SDLP) 3496 (11.44%)
Martin Meehan (SF) 2611 (8.54%)
@David Ford (Alliance) 2031 (6.64%)
David Collins (Nat Law) 49 (0.16%)

@ Member of the Assembly

The by-election was caused by the death of sitting Westminster MP Clifford Forsythe.

If these votes had been cast in a six-seat STV election, the UUP and DUP wuld each have been sure of two seats, and the SDLP of one. The last would probably have gone to the UUP on Alliance transfers.

DUP majority of 822. The turnout was 43%.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
 
Jim Wilson (UUP) 6,691 
*Wilson Clyde (DUP) 6,034 
Norman Boyd (UKU) 4,360 
*Donovan McClelland (SDLP) 4,309 
Duncan Shipley-Dalton (UUP) 4,147 
David Ford (Alliance) 3,778 
Tommy Burns (SDLP) 3,474 
Martin Meehan (SF) 3,226 
Stuart Deignan (DUP) 2,816 
*John Hunter (UUP) 2,337 
Ken Wilkinson (PUP) 1,546 
Joan Cosgrove (NIWC) 1,108 
Oliver Frawley (Lab) 137 
George Stidolph (NLP) 28 
UUP 13,175 (29.95%) 2 seats
DUP 8,850 (20.12%) 1 seat
SDLP 7,783 (17.69%) 1 seat
UKU 4,360 (9.91%) 1 seat
Alliance 3,778 (8.59%) 1 seat
SF 3,226 (7.33%) 
PUP 1,546 (3.51%) 
NIWC 1,108 (2.52%) 
Lab 137 (0.31%) 
NLP 28 (0.06%) 

Electorate: 69,426 
Votes cast: 44,599 (64.4%); spoilt votes: 608 (1.4%) 
Valid votes: 43,991; quota: 6,285

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from South Antrim

The UKUP came from nowhere to take a seat, which otherwise would probably have gone to their allies the DUP, or else to the UUP. Ford finished with 5,655 votes to Tommy Burns' 4,948, with undistributed surpluses of 99 votes from McClelland and 95 votes from Boyd which would have slightly narrowed the gap.

1997 Local Government Election

Ulster Unionist Party 11,587.5 (40%)
Social Democratic and Labour Party 5,132 (18%)
Democratic Unionist Party 3,873 (13%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 3,003 (10%)
Progressive Unionist Party 872.5 (3%)
Newtownabbey Ratepayers Association 834 (3%)
Ulster Democratic Party 704.5 (2%)
Sinn Féin 612 (2%)
UK Unionist Party 213 (1%)
Labour 106 (1%)
Others 1,832.5 (6%)
Total valid 28,766 (41.76% of electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

Clifford Forsythe (Ulster Unionist Party) 23,108 (57%) Best result for UUP in Northern Ireland
ƒDonovan McClelland (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 6,497 (16%)
David Ford (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 4,668 (12%)
ƒHugh Smyth (Progressive Unionist Party) 3,490 (9%)
Henry Cushinan (Sinn Féin) 2,229 (6%)
Barbara Briggs (Natural Law Party) 203 (1%)
Turnout 40,195 (57.91%)

ƒ member of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Also available: full list of 1996 candidates

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 12,001 (30%); 2 seats (Peter King, John Hunter elected)
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 9,549 (24%); 2 seats (Wilson Clyde, Trevor Kirkland elected)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 6,025 (15%); 1 seat (Donovan McClelland elected)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 3,332 (8%)
Sinn Féin (SF) 2,149 (5%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKU) 2,111 (5%)
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 1,697 (4%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 1,000 (3%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 435 (1%)
Independent Templeton 250 (1%)
Conservative Party (Con) 246 (1%)
Labour (Lab) 236 (1%)
Green Party 197 (0.49%)
Democratic Left (DL) 119 (0.30%)
Democratic Partnership 105 (0.26%)
Workers Party (WP) 104 (0.26%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 89 (0.22%)
Independent McMullan 33 (0.08%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 16 (0.04%)
Independent Chambers 3 (0.01%)

Electorate: 68,898; votes cast: 39,874 (57.8%); spoilt votes: 77 (0.1%); valid votes: 39,797

Results Table


DUP UKUP UUP PUP Oth U Alliance Oth SDLP SF
2007a
34% 2% 20%
0% 13% 2% 11% 17%
2005w 38%
29%

9%
12% 12%
2005lg 37%
25% 0% 1% 8% 3% 14% 11%
2003a 31%
30% 1% 3% 9% 1% 14% 11%
2001w 35%
37%
2% 4%
12% 9%
2001lg 25%
33% 2% 5% 7% 4% 14% 9%
2000 38%
35%

7% 0% 11% 9%
1998a 20% 10% 30% 4%
9% 3% 18% 7%
1997lg 13% 1% 40% 3% 2% 10% 10% 18% 2%
1997w

57% 9%
12% 1% 16% 6%
1996f 24% 5% 30% 4% 4% 8% 5% 15% 5%

See also: Full 2003 results from South Antrim | Full 1998 results from South 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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