The results of this election were disappointing for the DUP, who lost the Mid-Ulster seat, and also for the SDLP, who lost West Belfast. The jubilant winners in both cases were Sinn Fein, who outpolled the DUP for the first time. The other parties consolidated their positions, the UUP picking up the new seat in West Tyrone.
This map by Conal Kelly shows the winner in each constituency in 1997.
|UUP||258,439 votes||32.7%||10 MPs||(North Belfast, South Belfast, East Antrim, South Antrim, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Lagan Valley, East Londonderry, Strangford, West Tyrone, Upper Bann)|
|SDLP||190,844 votes||24.1%||3 MPs||(South Down, Foyle, Newry and Armagh)|
|SF||126,921 votes||16.1%||2 MPs||(West Belfast, Mid Ulster)|
|DUP||107,348 votes||13.6%||2 MPs||(East Belfast, North Antrim)|
|UKUP||12,817 votes||1.6%||1 MP||(North Down)|
|Natural Law Party||2,210 votes||0.3%|
|Robert Mason (East Antrim)||1,145 votes|
|Derek Dougan (East Belfast)||541 votes|
|Green Party (North Belfast)||539 votes|
|Independent Labour (South Belfast)||292 votes|
|Human Rights (West Belfast)||101 votes|
|National Democrats (East Londonderry)||81 votes|
|Northern Ireland Party (North Down)||57 votes|
Of the other six candidates, Dougan was the former captain of the Northern Ireland football team and Mason an East Antrim local councillor who also stood unsuccessfully in 1998. The Green Party is loosely linked with the party of a similar name in the Irish Republic which has two members of the Dáil. The South Belfast Labour group are fairly long established if electorally unsuccessful. The Human Rights candidate in West Belfast is a university lecturer with an interest in politics (he wrote a booklet advocating the repartition of Northern Ireland some years ago). The National Democrats are a far-right party based in England, unrelated to the National Democrtic Party active in Northern Ireland in the 1960s and eventually absorbed by the SDLP. The Northern Ireland Party is a one-man party which also contested the European election in 1994 and the North Down by-election in 1995.
Other sites based at ARK: ORB (Online Research Bank) | CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) | Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey
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Nicholas Whyte, 3 June 1998; last modified 17 February 2002.
Disclaimer:© Nicholas Whyte 1998-2004 Last Updated on Wednesday, 12-Jan-2005 12:12