East Belfast 1973-82


DUP Vanguard UUUP UUP U(P)/UPNI Oth U A NILP WP/RC Ind SDLP
82a 40.5%** 5.8% 1.6% 25.4%**

22.8%**
1.7%
2.2%
79w 31.4%

31.2% 4%
29.5% 3.9%


75cc 15.0%* 33.1%**
10.4% 11.8%* 2.5% 15.6%* 9.0%*


74wo
59.1%

27%

13.9%


74wf
49.0%

35.3%

13.1%

2.6%
73a 9.7%* 10.1%

51.4%*** 6.0% 10.9%* 8.2%*
0.0% 3.3%
See spreadsheets for 1973 Assembly, February 1974 Westminster, October 1974 Westminster, 1975 Convention, 1979 Westminster and 1982 Assembly.

Assembly election, 20 October 1982 (six seats)

Peter Robinson MP (DUP) 15,319
Jeremy Burchill (UUP) 7,345
*Oliver Napier (Alliance) 6,037
Addie Morrow (Alliance) 2,966

*William Craig (Vanguard) 2,274
Dorothy Dunlop (UUP) 1,696
Herbert Johnstone (UUP) 973
Peter Prendiville (SDLP) 868
Francis Cullen (WP) 681
*Reg Empey (UUUP) 503
Sammy Wilson (DUP) 397
Denny Vitty (DUP) 235
Benjamin Horan (UUUP) 123
Votes by party:
DUP 15,951 (40.5%) 2 seats (2.8 quotas)
UUP 10,014 (25.4%) 2 seats (1.8 quotas)
Alliance 9,003 (22.8%) 2 seats (1.6 quotas)
Vanguard 2,274 (5.8%; 0.4 quotas)
SDLP 868 (2.2%; 0.2 quotas)
WP 681 (1.7%; 0.1 quotas)
UUUP 626 (1.6%; 0.1 quotas)

Electorate: 74,273
Votes cast: 40,692 (54.8%); spoilt votes: 1,275 (3.1%)
Valid votes: 39,417; quota 5,632

* Elected to the 1975 Constitutional Convention

The UUP took the seats won in 1975 by the UPNI and Craig. The runner-up was Sammy Wilson (DUP) who on the last count had 4170 votes to 4881 for Addie Morrow (Alliance); Dorothy Dunlop (UUP) had been elected on the last count with a surplus of 349 votes which was not distributed but presumably would have favoured Wilson. William Craig, standing as Vanguard, was eliminated on the last count, but he would have needed not just another 39 votes to overtake Sammy Wilson, but then also a hefty majority of Wilson's transfers to overtake Addie Morrow, and while the DUP transfers did favour him it probably wouldn't have been by a sufficient margin.

Westminster Election, 3 May 1979 (one seat)

Peter Robinson (DUP) 15,994 (31.4%)
*William Craig (UUP) 15,930 (31.2%)
Oliver Napier (Alliance) 15,066 (29.5%)
Norman Agnew (UPNI) 2,017 (4.0%)
George Chambers (NILP) 1,982 (3.9%)

DUP majority: 64; Electorate: 75,496; Turnout: 67.6%

* sitting MP

A dramatic finish - not only a wafer-thin majority for Robinson over the incumbent Craig, but the closest the Alliance Party has ever come to winning a Westminster seat. (And I doubt if there can have been many Westminster elections where 90% of the votes went to candidates whose parties had not contested the seat at the previous election.)

Constitutional Convention election, 1 May 1975 (six seats)

*William Craig MP (VUPP - UUUC) 11,958
*Oliver Napier (Alliance) 6,341
Reg Empey (VUPP - UUUC) 4,657
*David Bleakley (NILP) 3,998

Peter Robinson (DUP - UUUC) 3,933
Eileen Paisley (DUP - UUUC) 3,606
*Joshua Cardwell (UPNI) 3,039

*Norman Agnew (UPNI) 2,863
David McNarry (UUP - UUUC) 2,609
*Roy Bradford (UUP) 2,583
Kate Condy (Alliance) 1,485
Alban Maginness (SDLP) 1,274
Walter McFarland (Ind U) 775
Sandy Scott (NILP) 530
William Elliott (Ind Loyalist) 509
Votes by party:
[UUUC got 26,763 votes (53.4%) and won 3 seats (3.7 quotas)]
VUPP 16,615 (33.1%) 2 seats (2.3 quotas) best result for VUPP in Northern Ireland
Alliance 7,826 (15.6%) 1 seat (1.1 quotas)
DUP 7,539 (15.0%) 1 seat (1.1 quotas)
UPNI 5,902 (11.8%) 1 seat (0.8 quotas)
UUP 5,192 (10.4%; 0.7 quotas)
NILP 4,528 (9.0%) 1 seat (0.6 quotas)
SDLP 1,274 (2.5%; 0.2 quotas)
Ind U 775 (1.5%; 0.1 quotas)
Ind Loy 509 (1.0%; 0.1 quotas)

Electorate: 78,340
Votes cast 51,133 (65.3%); spoilt votes 973 (1.9%)
Valid votes 50,160; quota 7,166

* Member of the 1973 Assembly

Compared with 1973, the 1975 election in East Belfast saw the complete disintegration of the UUP, with two of its three members of the 1973 Assembly standing as UPNI (one successfully) and the third running unsuccessfully as, uniquely, a UUP candidate without UUUC support. Peter Robinson of the DUP attempted to get voters to "beat the PR system" by splitting their first preferences equally among the five UUUC candidates. The voters did not do so, and he finished as the runner up with 5792 votes on the final count, behind 6925 for David Bleakley (NILP). Eileen Paisley (DUP) finished with a surplus of 199 votes, and Joshua Cardwell (UPNI) with a surplus of 309.

Westminster election, 10 October 1974 (one seat)

*@William Craig (VUPP - UUUC) 31,594 (59.1%)
@Peter McLachlan (UPNI) 14,417 (27.0%)
@David Bleakley (NILP) 7,415 (13.9%)

Vanguard majority: 17,177; Electorate: 79,629; Turnout: 67.4%

* sitting MP
@ Member of Assembly (which by this time had been prorogued)

A consolidation of Craig's position. McLachlan was a member of the Assembly for South Antrim; Craig and Bleakley were both members of the Assembly for East Belfast.

Westminster election, 28 February 1974 (one seat)

@William Craig (VUPP - UUUC) 27,817 (49.0%)
*Stanley McMaster (Pro-Assembly Unionist) 20,077 (35.3%)
@David Bleakley (NILP) 7,415 (13.1%)
Desmond Gillespie (SDLP) 1,502 (2.6%)

Vanguard majority: 7,740; Electorate: 78,821; Turnout: 73.1%

* sitting MP
@ Member of Assembly

One of the cases where the UUUC won a Westminster seat (and defeated the incumbent MP) despite a majority of the electorate supporting pro-Sunningdale candidates. Craig and Bleakley were both members of the Assembly for East Belfast.

Assembly election, 28 June 1973 (six seats)

*Roy Bradford (UUP, pro-White Paper) 13,187
Eileen Paisley (DUP) 5,518
*Joshua Cardwell (UUP, pro-White Paper) 5,001
Oliver Napier (Alliance) 4,941
David Bleakley (NILP) 4,425
Norman Agnew (UUP, pro-White Paper) 3,615

Walter McFarland (UUP, pro-White Paper) 2,597
Tommy Herron (Vanguard) 2,480
William Annon (Loyalist) 2,192
Jim Rodgers (Vanguard) 1,947
Owen Adams (SDLP) 1,849
*Walter Scott (UUP, pro-White Paper) 1,806
David McNarry (UUP, pro-White Paper) 1,784
Thomas Smith (Vanguard) 1,332
Kate Condy (Alliance) 1,256
Michael Brooks (Ind U, anti-White Paper) 983
John McKeown (UUP, pro-White Paper) 831
Elsie Logan (UUP, pro-White Paper) 394
Robert Lindsay Mason (Ulster Constit. Loyalist) 202
Samuel Smyth (Ind Loyalist) 189
John Coulthard (NILP) 129
William Gunning (NILP) 107
Sarah Hughes (Ind) 19
Votes by party:
UUP 29,215 (51.4%) 3 seats (3.6 quotas)
Alliance 6,197 (10.9%) 1 seat (0.8 quotas)
Vanguard 5,759 (10.1%; 0.7 quotas)
DUP 5,518 (9.7%) 1 seat (0.7 quotas)
NILP 4,661 (8.2%) 1 seat (0.6 quotas)
Loyalist 2,192 (3.9%; 0.3 quotas)
SDLP 1,849 (3.3%; 0.2 quotas)
Ind U, anti-White Paper 983; (1.7%; 0.1 quotas)
Ulster Constitutional Loyalist 202 (0.4%; 0.02 quotas)
Ind Loyalist 189 (0.3%; 0.02 quotas)
Ind 19 (0.03%; 0.02 quotas)

Electorate: 80,421; 
Votes cast: 57,701 (71.7%); spoilt votes: 917 (1.6%)
Valid votes: 56,784; quota: 8,113

* Member of the Northern Ireland House of Commons when it was dissolved.

Three of the four outgoing MPs representing Stormont constituencies in East Belfast stood, and two were elected, as was former Stormont MP David Bleakley.

Eight UUP candidates were chasing only six seats here, which gives some indication of the confusion. Similarly when the trailing Vanguard candidate, Tommy Herron, was eliminated, almost twice as many of his votes went to Eileen Paisley as to his fellow Vanguard candidate, Jim Rodgers. The runner-up was Walter McFarland (UUP) who had 6,436 votes on the last count, with David Bleakley (NILP) on 6,691, the second closest result of the election (the closest was in North Belfast).

Roy Bradford (UUP) became Minister of the Environment in the power-sharing Executive, and Oliver Napier (Alliance) became Legal Minister and head of the Office of Law Reform.


See also:

Results from 1973 to 1982 for each seat: East Belfast | North Belfast | South Belfast | West Belfast | North Antrim | South Antrim | Armagh | North Down | South Down | Fermanagh and South Tyrone | Londonderry | Mid Ulster

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.

Nicholas Whyte, 25 March 2003.



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