Northern Ireland European Region

2009 Election
Barbara de Brun (Sinn Fein) 126184 26.0% (-0.3%)
Diane Dodds (DUP) 88346 18.2% (-14%)
Jim Nicholson (UCUNF) 82893 17.1% (+0.5%)
Alban Maginness (SDLP) 78489 16.2% (+0.3%)
Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist) 66197 13.6% (n/a)
Ian Parsley (Alliance) 26699 5.5% (n/a)
Steven Agnew (Green) 15764 3.2% (+2.3%)
Turnout 42.8% (-8.9%)
Barbara de Brun (Sinn Fein) ELECTED
Alban Maginness (SDLP) 94814 +16325
Jim Nicholson (UCUNF) 94285 +11392
Diane Dodds (DUP) 91260 +2914
Jim Allister (Traditional Unionist) 70481 +4284
Barbara de Brun (Sinn Fein) ELECTED
Jim Nicholson (UCUNF) 132227 +37942
Diane Dodds (DUP) 115722 +24462
Alban Maguinness (SLDP) 97428 +2614
Current Sitting MEPs
Martina Anderson (Sinn Fein) Born 1962, Derry. Convicted of conspiring to cause explosions in 1986 and jailed until her release under the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. MLA for Foyle 2007-2012. Contested Foyle 2010. MEP for Northern Ireland since 2012, replacing Bairbre de Brun on her resignation.
Jim Nicholson (Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force) Born 1945, Armagh. Farmer. Armagh councillor 1976-1997. MP for Newry and Armagh 1983-1985, the only MP to lose their seat in the by-elections following the mass resignation of Unionist MPs in protest over the Anglo-Irish agreement. Contested Newry and Armagh 1987. MEP for Northern Ireland since 1989.
Diane Dodds (DUP) Born 1958, County Down. Educated at Banbridge Academy and Queens University. Former teacher. Belfast councillor since 2005. MLA for West Belfast 2003-2007. Married to North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds. MEP for Northern Ireland since 2009.
Comments - 299 Responses on “Europe Northern Ireland”
  1. In fact as the last RUC Chief Con said,

    “Most of the Republican ‘on the runs’ went to the Republic. Loyalists were much easier to get back, as they didn’t flee and hide abroad. Most in fact just went to Scotland or Bolton.” [As Adair did and where his family still live from memory. Indeed several notorious families from both sides are well known in Greater Manchester]

  2. SF MP for West Tyrone has resigned, after he offended people with his Kingsmill post.

  3. Small bit of history, I believe Barry McElduff is the first MP to resign because of something he posted on social media.

    He won’t be the last.


    The BCNI accidentally – and temporarily – posted a map of its revised proposals.

    AFAIK it’d give the DUP 10 MPs; but, stop any chances of Ind Hermon or the Alliance winning a seat.

    Belfast would retain 4 seats.

  5. Life is breathed into BR

  6. Alliance Cllr Paddy Brown has been convicted of drink driving (his motorbike).

    He was fined £250 and disqualified from driving for a year.

    He has been asked to resign by the DUP, who asked why the Cllr had not revealed his conviction earlier (as it occurred over 6 months ago). The Cllr has now referred himself to the Standards Board.

  7. Still no news on the date of the West Tyrone by-election…

    When was the last time a by-election took so long after the resignation of an MP to be called?

  8. It’s today.

    A man has been by arrested after producing a hand gun at a polling station and intimidating polling staff.

  9. Comfortable win for Sinn Fein, with a pretty healthy turnout of 55%

    SF: 47%
    DUP: 24%
    SDLP: 18%
    UUP: 8%
    Alliance: 3%

  10. Ian Paisley Jr has survived his recall ballot. Narrowly, but he’s survived.

    Tough to see under what circumstances an MP could actually get recalled. Perhaps if we hadn’t had a snap election, it might have happened to Simon Danczuk? Maybe?

  11. So the DUP is holding the government to ransom over Brexit. Personally I always thought May’s deal with them would turn out to be a big mistake. They need to be very careful indeed not to overplay their hand. If they don’t drop the gun to May’s head, if I were her I’d do the following:

    – stop all MLA salaries IMMEDIATELY

    – stop the £2 billion cash bung IMMEDIATELY

    – introduce emergency legislation to extend full abortion rights and gay marriage to NI, which will sail through the commons.

    At least some good may come of this awful impasse.

    The most likely result of May being brought down is some kind of Corbyn government and he could be expected to prioritise moves to help a united Ireland come about.

  12. Agreed. Ok so I can sort of ‘get’ gay marriage, but the situation re: abortion in NI is ridiculous and harmful. We now have the fairly preposterous situation where its the Catholics in NI who now back these social reforms (so they can be in step with the Republic of course).

    It makes me laugh whenever I hear Foster witter on about how NI shouldn’t be treated differently. It’s always been ‘different’, and the DUP are at the forefront of these demands to be exceptional, as and when it suits of course.

  13. Also, a united Ireland would be yet another policy position that Corbyn would be (rather unwittingly of course) in complete agreement with a huge number of English people who you really wouldn’t expect him to be in agreement with.

  14. The thing about the Ulster question is that, whatever politicians’ personal views, it is crucial to the continuing peace process for the British government to remain officially impartial on the issue at all times. It’s long been clear that the Labour leadership fails to appreciate this, but Brexit and a dependence on DUP votes are sending the Tories down the same path.

    In hindsight, John Major did remarkably well to keep talks open in the 1996-7 period, when his government was similarly reliant on the DUP at Westminster.

  15. “The thing about the Ulster question is that, whatever politicians’ personal views, it is crucial to the continuing peace process for the British government to remain officially impartial on the issue at all times.”

    Also it is crucial that nationalists and moderate unionists are represented in parliament. Now that the SDLP, Alliance and UUP have lost all their seats that leaves the hardline loyalist DUP as the sole spokesmen for NI at Westminster, plus a fairly inconsequential independent Lady Hermon. That is very bad for the continuing peace process and were I a NI nationalist or moderate unionist I’d feel incredibly upset about it.

    For the sake of democracy and peace I’d now favour trying to persuade SF to take their seats, fudging the oath if need be.

  16. “In hindsight, John Major did remarkably well to keep talks open in the 1996-7 period, when his government was similarly reliant on the DUP at Westminster.”

    Major was reliant on the UUP, who were much more moderate and flexible. The DUP had only 3 seats from 92 to 97, the UUP had 9.

    Historically Ian Paisley and the DUP were closer to the right wing of the Labour party that the Tories and mostly voted with Labour during the Major government. Paisley himself had much warmer relations with Blair than Major, calling him “a real family man”.

  17. Aontu are to field candidates in the local elections.

    They appear to be an anti-abortion nationalist Party who now have 9 Cllrs (defectors from SF, the SDLP & FF & FG in the Republic).

  18. Could the DUP split over the Brexit Deal? Sammy Wilson has said a long extension would be a less worse choice than May’s deal but the DUP’s official spokesperson refused to support this position. And they are sources saying the government had an ambition in January to get 9 DUP votes but not Wilson.

  19. That seems to have backfired

  20. Diane Dodds still saying the DUP opposes the deal. With Rees-Moog requiring their backing to vote for the deal until they agree to vote for it may is unlikely to bring it back. Once they do through it will pass easily I suspect (she could just about win it without them by leaving it late and getting 25+ Labour mps as well.)

  21. Is this like your prediction MV2 would pass by 7

  22. Council candidates in NI:

    DUP 172
    SF 155
    UUP 117
    SDLP 85
    Alliance 84
    TUV 30
    Green 26
    UKIP 21
    Aontu 17
    PBP 12
    PUP 11
    Cons 9
    Workers 8
    Ind 72
    Others 22

  23. Early days but Alliance are the second biggest party in Northern Ireland so far!

    Hopefully this is the a turning point in Northern Irish politics, the start of some much-needed deradicalisation. I suppose when unionists and republicans have refused to co-operate and led to two years of home rule, the prospect of cross-community collaboration must sound pretty appealing.

  24. Cllrs elected:

    DUP 110
    SF 91
    UUP 73
    SDLP 54
    All 48
    TUV 6
    Green 6
    PBP 4
    PUP 2
    Aontu 1
    Ind 21

  25. Finally tally

    DUP 122 (-8)
    Sinn Fein 105 (=)
    UUP 75 (-13)
    SDLP 59 (-7)
    Alliance 53 (+21)
    Greens 8 (+4)
    TUV 6 (-7)
    People Before Profit 5 (+4)
    Progressive Unionist Party of NI 3 (-1)
    Aontú 1 (+1)
    Cross Community Labour Alternative 1 (+1)
    Ind 24 (+9)

  26. Northern Ireland region prediction:

    DUP: 1
    SF: 1
    Alliance: 1

    This one’s more of a hunch, but Alliance are transfer-friendly, and surely, after two years without a government because the DUP and Sinn Fein refuse to co-operate, the notion of cross-community reconciliation must be appealing.

  27. I suspect the SDLP will get the final seat

  28. The UUP & SDLP didn’t even make it to the final 4.

    TUV ahead of both after transfers, but Alliance should get the 3rd seat after DUP & SF.

  29. The DUP have confirmed that they agree with the UK proposal.

    Which means they were consulted – unlike when May was PM.

    Interestingly, Boris referred to the DUP as their “sister Party” at the DUP Reception at Tory Conference, which is a far cry from when the Cameroons banned the DUP from Tory Conf and DC had a failed UCUNF link-up with the UUP in the 2010 GE.

    The Tory PPCs parachuted into NI at the last minute in 2015 and 2017 did woefully even by their standards. [Tories actually came within a recount of winning North Down in 1992 with a DUP-style hardline PPC]

  30. No great surprise that the above poster is such a fan of the nasty, narrow minded, homophobic bigots of the DUP. It is to Cameron’s eternal credit that he told the DUP crackpots to get fucked.

  31. It’s again no surprise that Tristan of Chelsea hates facts.

    He obviously also overlooked their gay cllrs.

    The DUP are the only UK Party who has gained seats at Westminster at each of the last 3 General Elections.

  32. It thought it was “gay councillor”. In the singular.

    And no mattet how many there were, it doesn’t stop them being bigots. Would you say that the Labour Party having Jewish MPs proves they don’t have a Jewish problem?

  33. “The DUP have confirmed that they agree with the UK proposal.”

    Making it less likely that any of the Labour MPs who opposed May’s deal will vote for it.

    Boris can afford almost no opposition from the ERG and will also need the votes of most of the 21 whipless Tories to get it through. And that’s if the EU accept the proposal, which doesn’t look likely.

    “Boris referred to the DUP as their “sister Party” at the DUP Reception at Tory Conference”

    That’s very unwise and IMO the Tories will come to regret taking sides in NI in this way.

    “No great surprise that the above poster is such a fan of the nasty, narrow minded, homophobic bigots of the DUP. It is to Cameron’s eternal credit that he told the DUP crackpots to get fucked.”

    I believe that abortion law reform in NI will finally commence early next year, unless Stormont reconvenes. A pleasing consequence of the lack of a Tory majority, though it would surely have been much better not to have to impose it from above. Now that Eire has dragged itself into the 21st century on such matters, the homophobia etc in NI is surely on borrowed time.

  34. PT – No, the DUP had gay Cllrs even before the new (lesbian) one.

    The [in your words bigoted] Free Presbyterian wing of the DUP left almost en masse to join the TUV.

    But then many in England even on here appear to be oblivious to that, in the same way that they accused the DUP of being Loyalist gunmen when that was the PUP!

    I doubt the Labour Party will have Jewish MPs next time, so not the best example to cite, given what has happened in Bury, Liverpool & London.

  35. Strong rumours Arlene Foster will stand for Upper Bann, where the DUP MP is retiring.

    I guess there’s feck all to do in Stormont at the moment…

  36. So far I’d suggest Belfast South Very likely SDLP gain from DUP,
    Belfast North tossup (SF likely to unseat DUP Westminster leader)
    Belfast East lean DUP , strong alliance challenge to DUP

    City of Londonderry (Foyle) tossup (SF likely to hold off SDLP imo)
    North Down tossup – Prediction ??? (Candidates still to declare)

    Fermanagh and South Tyrone lean SF (UUP challenge)
    South Antrim lean DUP (UUP challenge, alliance trying to presenting itself as challenger)
    Upper Bann lean dup (probable UUP challenge, potential SF challenge which will be spun to reduce UUP threat)

    Most others would look fairly safe as you were imo, consider South Down but I don’t see it.

  37. There does seem to be a fair likelihood of the DUP losing 2-3 of their seats and, for the first time in history, the nationalist parties securing more seats than the unionists. That might prove a watershed in the journey towards re-unification. Brexit and the DUP’s rearguard action against social liberalisation may also be pushing younger protestants towards the Alliance.

    The above coupled with a likely Boris majority and the passing of his Brexit deal could well make this an election horribilis for the DUP.

  38. Lady Sylvia Hermon to stand down.
    I bet she didnt like the prospect of being portrayed as the Republican/IRA sponsored candidate by the DUP, which she surely would have been after both Sinn Fein amd SDLP stood down in her favour.
    Down North sure to be a DUP gain now I imagine.

    As a Tory, I am actually quite relaxed about the prospect of Sinn Fein winning seats. It makes it easier for us in the Commons to have a majority because they don’t take the seats. I’d be more annoyed by the SDLP or Alliance though.

  39. “Down North sure to be a DUP gain now I imagine.”

    As one of the traditionally more moderate protestant seats, perhaps a UUP candidate might be in with a shout? After all Lady Hermon was originally elected as UUP.

    “As a Tory, I am actually quite relaxed about the prospect of Sinn Fein winning seats. It makes it easier for us in the Commons to have a majority because they don’t take the seats.”

    The downside though is that the nationalist community not being represented in the commons is a major long term threat to the union (as of course SF well know).

    Hope you are well Shaun.

  40. The North Down seat is another where the Alliance Party may stand a chance.

    The most recent Lucid Poll survey for N Ireland had the Alliance on 20% of the vote, placing them comfortably ahead of the UUP or the SDLP, and likely to take the South Belfast Seat. They could take East Belfast or South Antrim, too.

  41. I disagree with HH & Robb and agree with Shaun.

    If anything the DUP may make a [another] gain in N Down.

    The UUP are standing down in N Belfast etc.

    The Alliance are always talked up in E Belfast and actually the tactical talk/games actually hindered the Alliance even more last time.

    Lady S was the most likely Ind to win – of Ind PPCs – but with her standing down and Sir Hugo also, East Devon now looks unlikely. Likewise Galloway is unlikely (although he was before Watson stood down).

    From memory that’ll make Frank Field the top Indy in the betting but I imagine Ladbrokes will have to re set the markets tomorrow.

    So far Shuker, Soubry + 5 have confirmed they’ll stand as Inds.

  42. “I disagree with HH & Robb and agree with Shaun.”

    Shaun also seems to be expecting DUP to lose seats overall.

    Though I was in no way making a prediction in any case – I know zilch about NI constituency dynamics.

  43. “So far Shuker, Soubry + 5 have confirmed they’ll stand as Inds.”

    IMO Soubry has a smidgen of a chance in Broxtowe, if the Lib Dems stand aside for her. She has been well known locally since her days on Central News in the 80s. The Tories and Labour are very evenly balanced in the seat and the combination of a fairly high Guardianista vote linked to the university, some Tory remainers and a fairly strong Lib Dem local base (for the East Mids) might conceivably be enough on a good day, especially if the Brexit party and Greens sap the Tories and Labour at the same time.

  44. HH – point taken.

    It’s just annoying when some (largely on Vote2012 than here and also in the broadcast media) keep referring to North Down as liberal.

    Perhaps compared to East Belfast, but it’s hardly Hampstead.

    Or that it has a history of electing Inds – well only well known former UUP members, of course.

    It’s a patriotic, wealthy Unionist seat. Not E Devon.

    The Alliance always talked it up – before Naomi kept talking up E Belfast – but peaked at 20%. After all the only time the Tories came close to winning here was with a hardline candidate with over 30% in 1992.

    Lady Sylvia has shed 10% at each of the last 2 GEs, so she would have lost. She was decent at questioning Blair over the on the runs, but has upset Unionists of late in the same way the Alliance has. They are no longer impartial: they always now side with the Nats.

    The DUP came within 1,000 votes here in 2017 so they must be the favourites.

    I suppose the Alliance/Greens could support an Ind PPC in a pact but if anything that may just make Unionists vote DUP as they did in South Belfast, which is more liberal middle class than here (which is conservative middle class).

    It doesn’t leave much time for a new UUP/Indy to get established though.

  45. Surely when this seat is described as ‘liberal’ it is understood that this is by reference to the rest of Northern Ireland? In the 1980s and 90s it was the Alliance Party’s best hope of a HoC seat, and they peaked at 25% (not 20%) in the 1995 by-election. The Alliance performed quite strongly here in the local elections this year, too.

    It was also unusual as a very-largely Unionist seat which voted Remain (albeit by a narrow margin). To put this into context, Unionists as a whole were reckoned to have voted by around 65:35 for Leave.

    The DUP got their highest ever share of the vote in North Down in 2017, at 38%, although I should mention that they’ve only contested the seat about 4 times. I’d expect them to be at around that level or lower this time, which would make it possible for either UUP or Alliance to take it.

    There’s very little polling of Northern Ireland, and as far as I’m aware, the Lucid Talk poll from late August is the most recent we have. That showed the Alliance as clear favourites in South Belfast, and in close contention in both East Belfast and South Antrim. I’d now add North Down to that list, too.

    As an aside, have to say that I love this graph of North Down’s electoral history:

  46. Yes, I was referring only to General Elections.

    The trend is clear: Hermon was shedding support and the DUP are increasing here. Even if they weren’t they start from a winning base, unlike the Alliance here.

    LucidTalk used to be decent, but there’s a decent critique of how wrong they were in the locals and Euros on Vote2012 and why (they show continual unwarranted bias to the Alliance)

    Their best hope is E Belfast, but they’ll probably lose for the third time there too (after predictions of breakthroughs).
    I realise many hope they’ll win, but they tend to be overrepresented amongst commentators and not representative of Ulster voters.

    The centre/Remain alliance works in Brighton, Bristol, Norwich etc but not in NI. Just look at the failed UCUNF and Alliance (who only won E Belfast once after getting support from the Loyalist PUP to defeat Robinson). After the flag issue they and most Unionists won’t touch the Alliance with a bargepole.

  47. “LucidTalk used to be decent, but there’s a decent critique of how wrong they were in the locals and Euros on Vote2012 and why (they show continual unwarranted bias to the Alliance)”

    No denying that Lucid talk got the 2019 Euros wrong, but they understated rather than overstated the Alliance vote, which was 18,5%, as opposed to the 11.3% found by LT in May.

    For what it’s worth, I make the Alliance Party strong favourites to take South Belfast. I’d certainly expect them to be in contention in the three other targets I’ve mentioned. And I think that Dodds will narrowly hold North Belfast against Sinn Fein, but that is certain to be a close one.

  48. Given Alliance’s clear rise in the polls, they are well in contention – and Brexit is one issue that has finally united some unionists and republicans (i.e. against it).

    It appears very fine margins between Alliance winning 0 and gaining 4 or 5, plus DUP look like being run close in one or two others where Alliance aren’t the main challenger so they, in particular, seem under threat.

    Though I’d imagine DUP’s campaigning and GOTV machines are 2nd to none, they’re a wily bunch it seems, so too soon to talk of their demise for sure.

  49. A bit of checking of the local election results for May 2019 for the North Down constituency shows just how hard the result is to predict in the absence of Sylvia Hermon. By my calculations, the first preference votes were:

    DUP 7,833 (28.5%)
    Alliance 7,149 (26%)
    UUP 5,504 (20%)
    Green 4,041 (14.5%)
    Other – mostly Independents 11%

    Turnout around 40-45%

    This is based on the results for the three Bangor electoral areas, plus Hollywood and Clandeboye.

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