Westminster election, 10 October 1974

The October 1974 election was called by Harold Wilson to try and get a proper Labour majority, and he just about succeeded with a final total of 319 seats out of 635 - an overall majority of three. It took less than a year for this to be eroded by deaths and defections, but Labour carried on as a minority government until May 1979, led first by Wilson and then from May 1976 by James Callaghan.

As in the rest of the UK, this was a consolidation election in Northern Ireland. The UUUC coalition maintained their electoral supremacy; the votes that had gone to pro-Assembly Unionists in February went more to the Alliance Party than to Faulkner's rump UPNI. A Nationalist electoral pact delivered Frank Maguire a seat in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, but the SDLP had narrow misses in Mid Ulster and South Down.

Among the smaller parties, the Republican Clubs and NILP slipped back further, two independent unionists in Belfast failed to get very far, and on the far left the Communist Party of Ireland succeeded in coming last.

For a bit of light relief, you might like to see the special episode of the Clangers broadcast on election night.

Election results, October 1974

See spreadsheet archive.
[UUUC] [407,778 votes] [58.1%] [10 MPs] [See below for UUP, Vanguard and DUP]
UUP 256,0653 votes 36.5% 6 MPs (North Belfast, South Antrim, Armagh, North Down, South Down, and Londonderry)
SDLP 154,193 votes 22.4% 1 MP (West Belfast)
Vanguard 92,622 13.1% 3 MPs (East Belfast, South Belfast, and Mid Ulster)
DUP 59,451 votes 8.5% 1 MP (North Antrim)
Alliance 44,644 votes 6.4%

Frank Maguire (Ind Nationalist) 32,795 votes 4.7% 1 MP (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)
Republican Clubs 21,633 votes 3.1%

Unionist Party of Northern Ireland 20,454 votes 3.1%

NILP 11,539 1.6%

Stanley McMaster (Ind Unionist) 4,982 votes 0.7%

Ken Gibson (Volunteer Political Party) 2,690 votes 0.4%

Labour & Trade Union 846 votes 0.1%

Communist Party of Ireland 540 votes 0.1%


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, last updated 13 May 2003 by Tineke Vaes.


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