South Belfast 1973-1984


DUP V/UUUP UUP U(P)/UPNI Oth U Alliance Lib Oth Lab WP/RC SDLP
84ab

u/o







82a 16.6%* 0.9% 46.3%***
0.2% 24.0%* 0.2% 0.5%
2.5% 8.9%
82wb 22.6%
39.3%
1.3% 26.9%
0.3% 0.7%
8.8%
79w

61.4% 3.8%
25.0%

1.8%
7.9%
75cc 8.0%* 9.0%* 40.3%** 11.0%
21.9%**

3.3%
6.4%
74wo
59.2%

9.8% 23.0%

3.2%
4.7%
74wf
42.6%
34.9%
9.9%

4.7%
8.0%
73a 12.8%* 6.9%
44.9%**** 7.1% 14.3%* 1.0%
5.1% 1.5% 6.3%
See spreadsheets for 1973 Assembly, February 1974 Westminster, October 1974 Westminster, 1975 Convention, 1979 Westminster and 1982 Assembly.

Assembly by-election, 1 March 1984 (one seat)

Frank Millar (UUP) elected unopposed

The by-election was caused by the IRA's assassination of Edgar Graham of the UUP on 7 December 1983.

Assembly election, 20 October 1982 (five seats)

*Martin Smyth MP (UUP) 13,337
David Cook (Alliance) 6,514
Raymond McCrea (DUP) 4,091

Ben Caraher (SDLP) 3,342
Edgar Graham (UUP) 2,875
*Basil Glass (Alliance) 2,493
Cedric Wilson (DUP) 2,111
Thomas Kirkpatrick (UUP) 1,126
Gerard Carr (WP) 933
Philip Moles (UUUP) 248
Barry Bruton (Comm) 168
James Scott (UUUP) 82
William Clulow (One Honest Man, Steadfast) 65
Michael Warden (Liberal) 65
Simon Hall-Raleigh (Peace) 19
Votes by party:
UUP 17,338 (46.3%) 3 seats (2.8 quotas) best result for UUP in Northern Ireland
Alliance 9,007 (24.0%) 1 seat (1.4 quotas) best result for Alliance in Northern Ireland
DUP 6,202 (16.6%) 1 seat (1.0 quotas)
SDLP 3,342 (8.9%, 0.5 quotas)
WP 933 (2.5%, 0.1 quotas)
UUUP 330 (0.9%, 0.1 quotas)
Communist 168 (0.4%, 0.03 quotas)
Liberal 65 (0.2%, 0.01 quotas)
One Honest Man, Steadfast 65 (0.2%, 0.01 quotas)
Peace 19 (0.1%, 0.003 quotas)

Electorate: 66,683
Votes cast: 38,712 (58.1%); spoilt votes 1,243 (3.2%)
Valid votes: 37,469; quota: 6,245

* Elected to the 1975 Constitutional Convention

Compared with 1975, South Belfast went down from six seats to five. Alliance effectively lost the missing seat, while the UUP gained the seat won by David Trimble for Vanguard in 1975.

Thomas Kirkpatrick won the last seat with 5416 votes to 4712 for Ben Caraher of the SDLP, after the elimination of Alliance's Basil Glass. On the penultimate count, Glass had had 3293 votes to Caraher's 3741, with Cook's surplus of almost 300 votes still undistributed; if Glass had had 250 more votes, he would probably have been elected on transfers from Cook and Caraher. Warden's candidacy was endorsed without much enthusiasm by the remnants of the Ulster Liberal Party but not by Liberal Party HQ in London.

Westminster by-election, 4 March 1982 (one seat)

Martin Smyth (UUP) 17,123 (39.3%)
David Cook (Alliance) 11,726 (26.9%)
William McCrea (DUP) 9,818 (22.6%)
Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) 3,839 (8.8%)
John McMichael (Ulster Loyalist Democratic Party) 576 (1.3%)
Brian Caul (United Labour Party) 303 (0.7%)
Jagat Narain (One Human Family) 137 (0.3%)
Simon Hall-Raleigh (Peace State) 12 (0.03%)

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) majority: 5,397; Electorate 66,219; Turnout: 66.2%

The by-election had been caused by the IRA's assassination on 14 November 1981 of Robert Bradford, UUP (previously Vanguard) MP for South Belfast since February 1974. This was a crucially important election, marking the first setback for the DUP after their success in winning three seats in the 1979 Westminster election, Paisley's triumph in the European election the same year, and their slight but psychologically important edge over the UUP in the 1981 local elections.

Westminster Election, 3 May 1979 (one seat)

Robert Bradford (UUP) 28,875 (61.4%)
Basil Glass (Alliance) 11,745 (25.0%)
Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) 3,694 (7.9%)
Victor Brennan (UPNI) 1,784 (3.8%)
Jeff Dudgeon (Labour Integrationist) 856 (1.8%) best result for Labour-ish candidate in Northern Ireland

Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) majority: 17,130; Electorate: 68,946; Turnout: 68.0% A slight erosion of the UUP vote, hardly surprising where the outcome appeared a foregone conclusion.

Constitutional Convention election, 1 May 1975 (six seats)

Martin Smyth (UUP-UUUC) 15,061
*Basil Glass (Alliance) 7,961
Jeremy Burchill (UUP-UUUC) 4,230

*Reginald Magee (UPNI) 3,552
Ben Caraher (SDLP) 3,065
*Thomas Burns (DUP-UUUC) 2,529
Jim Hendron (Alliance) 2,499
David Trimble (VUP-UUUC)) 2,429

Raymond Jordan (VUP-UUUC) 1,874
John Houston (UPNI) 1,697
Erskine Holmes (NILP) 1,599
Robert MacNeice (DUP-UUUC) 1,316
Vote by party:
[UUUC got 27,529 votes (57.4%) and won 4 seats (4.0 quotas)]
UUP-UUUC 19,381 (40.3%) 2 seats (2.8 quotas) best result for UUP in Northern Ireland
Alliance 10,460 (21.9%) 2 seats (1.5 quotas)
UPNI 5,249 (11.0%, 0.8 quotas)
VUP-UUUC 4,303 (9.0%) 1 seat (0.6 quotas)
DUP-UUUC 3,845 (8.0%) 1 seat (0.6 quotas)
SDLP 3,065 (6.4%, 0.4 quotas)
NILP 1,599 (3.3%, 0.2 quotas)

Electorate: 73,324
Votes cast: 48,601 (66.3%); spoilt votes 789 (1.6%)
Valid votes: 47,812; quota 6,831

* member of the 1973 Assembly

The four seats won by pro-White Paper Unionists in 1973 divided three to the UUUC and one to the Alliance Party. The only one of the four who was standing again, Reginald Magee who was now in the UPNI, narrowly lost to Thomas Burns of the DUP on the last count by 6514 votes to 6448. The UUP had almost three quotas, but only two candidates, and their coalition partners benefited from the transfers.

Westminster election, 10 October 1974 (one seat)

*Robert Bradford (VUP-UUUC) 30,116 (59.2%)
Basil Glass (Alliance) 11,715 (23.0%)
Stanley McMaster (Independent Unionist) 4,982 (9.8%)
Ben Caraher (SDLP) 2,390 (4.7%)
Erskine Holmes (NILP) 1,643 (3.2%)

Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP - UUUC) majority: 18,401; Electorate: 75,147; Turnout: 67.9%

* sitting MP

A considerable consolidation for Bradford, and to a certain extent for Alliance also.

Westminster Election, 28 February 1974 (one seat)

Robert Bradford (VUP-UUUC) 22,083 (42.6%)
*Rafton Pounder (Pro-Assembly Unionist) 18,085 (34.9%)
David Cook (Alliance) 5,118 (9.9%)
Ben Caraher (SDLP) 4,149 (8.0%)
Erskine Holmes (NILP) 2,445 (4.7%)

Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP - UUUC) majority: 3,998; Electorate: 74,534; Turnout: 69.8%

* sitting MP

One of the constituencies where a split pro-Assembly vote allowed the UUUC to win; Bradford's majority was less than a third the combined vote for the three smaller party candidates.

Assembly election, 28 June 1973 (six seats)

*Basil McIvor (UUP, pro-White Paper) 6,930
*Herbert Kirk (UUP, pro-White Paper) 5,426
Basil Glass (Alliance) 5,148
$Nelson Elder (UUP, pro-White Paper) 4,807
Thomas Burns (DUP) 4,640
Reginald Magee (UUP, pro-White Paper) 3,656

Ben Caraher (SDLP) 3,320
Robert Stewart (UUP, pro-White Paper) 2,850
Erskine Holmes (NILP) 2,684
Grace Bannister (Ind U) 2,538
Marvin Gowdy (Vanguard) 2,434
Thomas Wright (DUP) 2,134
William McCollum (Alliance) 1,294
Stanley Morgan (Vanguard) 1,205
Thomas Rea (Ind U) 1,201
Sean Flynn (Rep Clubs) 783
Jean Graham (Alliance) 743
Sheelagh Murnaghan (Liberal) 548
John Sommerville (Alliance) 380
Votes by party:
UUP (pro-White Paper) 23,669 (44.9%) 4 seats (3.1 quotas)
Alliance 7,565 (14.3%) 1 seat (1.0 quotas)
DUP 6,774 (12.8%) 1 seat (0.9 quotas)
Ind U's 3,739 (7.1%, 0.5 quotas)
Vanguard 3,639 (6.9%, 0.5 quotas)
SDLP 3,320 (6.3%, 0.4 quotas)
NILP 2,684 (5.1%, 0.4 quotas)
Rep Clubs 783 (1.5%, 0.1 quotas)
Liberal 548 (1.0%, 0.1 quotas)

Electorate: 75,990
Votes cast: 53,649 (70.6%); spoilt votes 928 (1.7%)
Valid votes: 52721; quota 7,532

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

Murnaghan had also been a Stormont MP from 1961 to 1968 representing Queen's University.

The pro-White Paper Unionists managed to get four seats despite having only a little more than three quotas. They were able to pull in transfers from both the half-quota cast for independent Unionists and the final transfers from Vanguard once the DUP candidate had been elected, and Reginald Magee finished on 6690, far ahead of the SDLP's Ben Caraher on 5038, with another 500 undistributed Unionist surplus votes to be taken into account.

Basil McIvor became Minister of Education in the power-sharing Executive.


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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