Upper Bann

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Map and diagram by Conal Kelly

This constituency contains all of Craigavon District Council and much of Banbridge District Council. The MP is David Simpson of the DUP, who defeated David Trimble (then the UUP leader, now Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey) in 2005. Trimble had won the 1990 by-election caused by the death of his party's deputy leader, Harold McCusker. The UUP and DUP hold two Assembly seats here, with the other two held by the SDLP and Sinn Fein (in 2003 the DUP gained a seat won by an independent Unionist in 1998). See the 1983-92 Upper Bann results. The boundary commission made no changes to Upper Bann.

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".

Upper Bann was created in 1983, was barely changed in the 1995 revision and was not changed at all in 2010.

Upper Bann's population in the 2001 census was 102,947 (3rd of the 18 constituencies).

Results of recent elections


DUP
UUP
Oth U
Alliance
Oth
SDLP
SF
2011a
27.1%
24.6%
3.0%
6.5%
 
11.4%
27.2%
2011lg
29.4%
23.8%
2.8%
3.8%
3.0%
12.7%
24.4%
2010w 33.8% 25.7%   3.0%   12.7% 24.7%
2007a
31.4%
21.3%
3.9%
1.9%
3.6%
12.7%
25.3%
2005w
37.6%
25.5%

2.2%
0.8%
13.0%
21.0%
2005lg
31.3%
25.4%
 
3.4%
4.3%
17.3%
18.4%
NB: The Conservative candidate received 0.6% of the vote in 2007, and the Conservative Party supported the UUP in 2010.

2011 Assembly election (six seats)

@John O'Dowd (SF) 6,649 (15.7%)
@Sydney Anderson (DUP) 5,854 (13.8%)
@Stephen Moutray (DUP) 5,645 (13.3%)
Johnny McGibbon (SF) 4,879 (11.5%)
@Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 4,846 (11.4%)
@Sam Gardiner (UUP) 3,676 (8.7%)
Colin McCusker (UUP) 3,402 (8.0%)
Joanne Dobson (UUP) 3,348 (7.9%)
Harry Hamilton (Alliance) 1,979 (4.7%)
David Vance (TUV) 1,026 (2.4%)
Sheila McQuaid (Alliance) 786 (1.9%)
Barbara Trotter (UKIP) 272 (0.6%)

@ member of the Assembly when it was dissolved.
SF 11,528 (27.2%, +1.9%) 1 seat
DUP 11,499 (27.1%, -4.3%) 2 seats
UUP 10,426 (24.6%, +3.4%) 2 seats
SDLP 4,846 (11.4%, -1.3%) 1 seat
Alliance 2,765 (6.5%, +4.7%)
TUV 1,026 (2.4%)
UKIP 272 (0.6%)

Electorate: 77,905
Votes cast: 43,113 (55.3%); spoilt 751 (1.7%)
Valid votes: 42,362; quota 6,052

SF were talking up their chances of a gain here, and on the first preferences, where they got more than any other party, I thought that they had indeed taken the SDLP seat. But in fact Kelly survived by 340 votes ahead of McGibbon, benefiting from Alliance transfers and SF's traditional failure to balance here. Note also Joanne Dobson managing to win a seat from 8th place, the UUP managing their votes unusually well.

2011 local government election

My projection of votes cast in Craigavon, Banbridge Town and three wards of Knockiveagh:

DUP 12,449 (29.4%)
SF 10,313 (24.4%)
UUP 10,087 (23.8%)
SDLP 5,393 (12.7%)
Alliance 1,620 (3.8%)
TUV 1,068 (2.5%)
UKIP 122 (0.3%)
Inds 1,252 (3.0%)

These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would probably give the DUP and UUP two seats, and SF and the SDLP one each, unless SF were good at balancing and the SDLP unlucky with transfers.

2010 Westminster election (one seat)

Candidates:
*@David Simpson (DUP) 14,000 (33.8%, -3.8%)
Harry Hamilton (UCUNF) 10,639 (25.7%, +0.2%)
@John O'Dowd (Sinn Féin) 10,237 (24.7%, +3.7%)
Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 5,276 (12.7%, -0.2%)
Brendan Heading (Alliance) 1,231 (3.0%, +0.8%)
Electorate: 74,732; Total Poll: 41,681 (55.8%); Invalid Votes: 298 (0.7%); Valid Votes: 41,383

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

One of the seats where the Ulster Unionist-Conservative alliance needed to make significant progress, and failed to do so. Meanwhile the Natiobnalist vote creeps closer to three quotas, though on these figures, there would probably be no change in the districubtion of seats at an Assembly election (2 each for DUP and UUP, 1 each for SF and SDLP).

2007 Assembly Election (7 March, six seats)

Full details of each count are available here.

*John O'Dowd (SF) 7733 (18.0%)
*David Simpson MP (DUP) 6828 (15.9%)
*Samuel Gardiner (UUP) 5135 (12.0%)
*Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 4689 (10.9%)
*Stephen Moutray (DUP) 3663 (8.5%)
Desmond Ward (SF) 3118 (7.3%)
Junior McCrum (DUP) 2975 (6.9%)
George Savage (UUP) 2167 (5.1%)
George Hatch (UUP) 1815 (4.2%)
David Calvert (Independent Unionist) 1332 (3.1%)
Helen Corry (Green) 1156 (2.7%)
Sheila McQuaid (Alliance) 798 (1.9%)
Patrick McAleenan (SDLP) 761 (1.8%)
Barry Toman (RSF) 386 (0.9%)
David Fry (Conservative) 248 (0.6%)
Suzanne Peeples (Independent Unionist) 78 (0.2%)

*Elected in 2003 from Upper Bann
DUP 13,466 (31.4%, +2.9%) 2 seats
SF 10,851 (25.3%, +3.5%) 1 seat
UUP 9,117 (21.3%) 2 seats
SDLP 5,450 (12.7%) 1 seat
Ind U's 1,410 (3.3%)
Green 1,156 (2.7%)
Alliance 798 (1.9%, +0.5%)
RSF 386 (0.9%)
Conservative 248 (0.6%)

Electorate 70,716 
Votes cast 43,235 (61.1%); spoilt votes 353 (0.8%) 
Valid votes 42,882; quota 6,127

An unusual example of both the DUP and Sinn Fein missing out on strong chances of extra seats due to poor balancing, with the UUP picking up two seats to SF's one despite having 1700 fewer first preferences, Savage beating Ward by 1266 votes on the final count with an undistributed SDLP surplus of 64 votes which would have made a very small dent in that margin.

2005 Westminster election (5 May, one seat)

@David Simpson (DUP) 16,679 (37.6% +8.1%)
*@David Trimble (UUP) 11,281 (25.5% -8.0%)
@John O'Dowd (Sinn Fein) 9,305 (21.0% -0.1%)
@Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 5,747 (13.0% -1.9%)
Alan Castle (Alliance) 955 (2.2%)
Tom French (WP) 355 (0.8% -0.2%)

* outgoing MP.
@ Member of the Assembly

Trimble's loss was the most dramatic result of the election. These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would probably give the DUP and UUP two seats each, with one each for SF and the SDLP.

2005 Local Government Election

The constituency comprises all 26 wards in Craigavon and 9 of the 17 wards in Banbridge (all 6 wards in the Banbridge Town DEA, and 3 of the 6 wards in the Knockiveagh DEA [Gilford, Lawrencetown and Loughbrickland]).

DUP 13,774.5 (31.3%)
UUP 11,191.5 (25.4%)
Sinn Fein 8,111 (18.4%)
SDLP 7,610.5 (17.3%)
Independent 1,708 (3.9%)
Alliance 1,520 (3.4%)
WP 155 (0.4%)

These votes, if cast in a six-seat STV election, would probably give the DUP and UUP two seats each, with one each for SF and the SDLP.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
*David Trimble MP (UUP) 9158 (21.1%)
David Simpson (DUP) 5933 (13.6%)
John O'Dowd (SF) 5524 (12.7%)
Stephen Moutray (DUP) 4697 (10.8%)
*Dara O'Hagan (SF) 3970 (9.1%)
Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 3661 (8.4%)
Kieran Corr (SDLP) 3157 (7.3%)
Samuel Gardiner (UUP) 2359 (5.4%)
*Denis Watson (DUP) 1770 (4.1%)
*George Savage (UUP) 1269 (2.9%)
David Jones (Ind) 585 (1.3%)
Sidney Anderson (Ind) 581 (1.3%)
Frank McQuaid (Alliance) 571 (1.3%)
Tom French (WP) 247 (0.6%)
UUP 12,786 (29.4%, +0.5%) 2 seats
DUP 12,400 (28.5%, +13.0%) 2 seats
SF 9,494 (21.8%, +7.5%) 1 seat
SDLP 6,818 (15.7%, -8.0%) 1 seat
Inds 1,166 (2.7%)
Alliance 571 (1.3%, -1.8%)
WP 247 (0.6%, +0.1)

Electorate 68,814 
Votes cast 44,145 (64.2%); spoilt votes 663 (1.5%) 
Valid votes 43,482; quota 6,212

Reaction: The DUP gained Watson's seat, though he himself failed to be elected as a DUP candidate; better balancing would have made no difference. Likewise SF and UUP members of the last Assembly were pushed out by running-mates. The final margin was over 1600, between SF's O'Dowd and O'Hagan.

Upper Bann had lost 9.10% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 14.74% in the Drumgor ward of Craigavon to 5.56% in The Birches, also in Craigavon. 4 constituencies lost fewer voters, 13 lost more.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

*@David Trimble (UUP) 17,095 (33.5%)
David Simpson (DUP) 15,037 (29.5%)
@Dara O'Hagan (Sinn Fein) 10,771 (21.1%)
Dolores Kelly (SDLP) 7,607 (14.9%)
Tom French (WP) 527 (1.0%)

Electorate: 72,574; votes cast: 51,376 (70.7%); spoilt votes: 339 (0.6%)
Valid votes: 51,037; UUP majority 2,058

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

The DUP were cock-a-hoop at the challenge they managed to mount against Trimble in his own constituency, but even more interesting was the reversal of votes between the SDLP and Sinn Fein. A six-seat Assembly election on these figures would give the Unionist parties two seats each, and the Nationalists one each.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

The constituency comprises all 26 wards in Craigavon and 9 of 17 wards in Banbridge (all 6 wards in the Banbridge Town DEA and 3 of the 6 wards in the Knockiveagh DEA). Votes cast in 2001 were:

UUP 15201.5 (30%)
DUP 11352.5 (23%)
SDLP 10026.5 (20%)
SF 8833.5 (18%)
Alliance 1065 (2%)
UKUP 990.5 (2%)
WP 132 (0.3%)
Independents 2790 (6%)
Total valid 50391.5

Extrapolating from the local government elections is difficult because the Upper Bann constituency breaches a local electoral area boundary. If we make some reasonable adjustments, we get these figures for the whole Upper Bann constituency. This would give the UUP two safe seats, and the DUP, SDLP and SF one each. The last seat would be most likely to go to the DUP, but an independent Unionist could not be excluded.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

Also available: details of each count with analysis of surplus transfers.
 
*David Trimble MP (UUP) 12,338 
*Brid Rodgers (SDLP) 9,260 
Denis Watson (UUU) 4,855 
Dara O'Hagan (SF) 4,301 
*Mervyn Carrick (DUP) 4,177 
Ruth Allen (DUP) 3,635 
Francie Murray (SF) 2,915 
Mel Byrne (SDLP) 2,687 
Frank McQuaid (All) 1,556 
David Vance (UKU) 1,405 
*Sam Gardiner (UUP) 1,097 
George Savage (UUP) 669 
Mark Neale (UUP) 455 
Alan Evans (Lab) 439 
Tom French (WP) 270 
Kenny McClinton (Uster Independence) 207 
Brian Silcock (Ind) 101 
Jack Lyons (NLP) 32 
UUP 14,559 (28.9%) 2 seats
SDLP 11,947 (23.7%) 1 seat
DUP 7,812 (15.5%) 1 seat
SF 7,216 (14.3%) 1 seat
UUU 4,855 (9.6%) 1 seat
Alliance 1,556 (3.1%) 
UKU 1,405 (2.8%) 
Lab 439 (0.9%) 
WP 270 (0.5%) 
UI 207 (0.4%) 
Ind 101 (0.2%) 
NLP 32 (0.1%) 

Electorate: 70,852 
Votes cast: 51,223 (72.3%); spoilt votes: 824 (1.6%) 
Valid votes: 50,399; quota: 7,200

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from Upper Bann

Denis Watson succeeded in breaking through here as a dissident Unionist candidate. There were not quite enough votes for three Nationalist seats; if there had been, the loser would have been David Trimble's running-mate George Savage, leaving the party leader holding his party's only seat in his own constituency. As it was, Savage finished with 6,527 votes, well ahead of Mel Byrne's 5,878, especially with Denis Watson's surplus of 590 undistributed.

1997 Local Government Election

Ulster Unionist Party 16,195.5 (42%) Best equivalent result for UUP in Northern Ireland
Social Democratic and Labour Party 7123.5 (18%)
Democratic Unionist Party 5571.5 (14%)
Sinn Féin 3317 (10%)
Independent Nationalist Community Candidates 1905 (5%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 1887.5 (5%)
Community Labour 464 (1%)
Upper Bann Labour 353 (1%)
Workers Party 281 (1%)
Women's Coalition 84 (0.22%)
Others 1155 (3%)
Total valid 38738 (54.85% of electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

*ƒDavid Trimble (Ulster Unionist Party) 20,836 (44%)
ƒ Brid Rodgers (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 11,584 (24%)
Bernadette O'Hagan (Sinn Féin) 5,773 (12%)
ƒ Mervyn Carrick (Democratic Unionist Party) 5,482 (11%)
William Ramsay (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 3,017 (6%)
Tom French (Workers' Party) 554 (1%)
Brian Price (Conservative Party) 433 (1%)
Jack Lyons (Natural Law Party) 108 (0.23%)
Turnout 47,787 (67.88%)

* outgoing MP
ƒ member of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Also available: full list of 1996 candidates

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 16,592 (36%) 2 seats (David Trimble MP, Samuel Gardiner elected)
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 9,846 (22%) 1 seat (Brid Rodgers elected)
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 7,134 (16%) 1 seat (Mervyn Carrick elected)
Sinn Féin (SF) 5,620 (12%) 1 seat (Michelle O'Connor elected)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 2,152 (5%)
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 1,404 (3%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP) 886 (2%)
Labour (Lab) 512 (1%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 402 (1%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 390 (1%)
Workers Party (WP) 311 (1%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 180 (0.39%)
Green Party 178 (0.39%)
Democratic Partnership 71 (0.16%)
Democratic Left (DL) 36 (0.08%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 14 (0.03%)
Independent Chambers 4 (0.01%)

Electorate: 69,928; votes cast: 45,781 (65.4%); spoilt votes: 49 (0.1%); valid votes: 45,732

Trimble had been elected to the 1975 Constitutional Convention, from South Belfast.

Results 1996-2007


DUP
UUP
Oth U
Alliance
Oth
SDLP
SF
2007a
31%
21%
4%
2%
4 %
13%
25%
2005w
38%
26%

2%
1%
13%
21%
2005lg
31%
26%
 
3%
4%
17%
18%
2003a
29%
29%


1%
15%
21%
2001w
29%
33%
3%
1%
1%
16%
22%
2001lg
23%
30%
2%
2%
6%
20%
18%
1998a
14%
29%
13%
3%
2%
24%
15%
1997lg
14%
42%

5%
11%
18%
10%
1997w
11%
44%
1%
6%
1%
24%
12%
1996f
16%
36%
6%
5%
4%
22%
12%

 


See also: Full 2003 results from Upper Bann | Full 1998 results from Upper Bann | 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 8 May 2010.



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