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East Belfast

Notional 2005 Results:
DUP: 18254 (52.6%)
UUP: 9881 (28.5%)
Alliance: 3966 (11.4%)
SF: 1001 (2.9%)
Con: 668 (1.9%)
SDLP: 644 (1.9%)
Other: 305 (0.9%)
Majority: 8373 (24.1%)

2005 Result:
DUP: 15152 (49.1%)
UU: 9275 (30.1%)
Alliance: 3746 (12.2%)
SF: 1029 (3.3%)
SDLP: 844 (2.7%)
CON: 434 (1.4%)
Workers: 179 (0.6%)
Rainbow: 172 (0.6%)
Majority: 5877 (19%)

Boundary Changes: Gains Dundonald and the surrounding wards (Ballyhanwood, Carrowreagh, Enler and Graham’s Bridge) from Strangford. Loses Hillfoot and Wynchurch to Belfast South.

Profile: East Belfast represents the heartland of working-class protestantism in Ulster, the seat is dominated by the Harland and Wolff shipyard and its giant cranes and it is mainly a skilled working class area. The are some middle class areas, most notably the sterotypically posh Cherryvalley and the Stormont area, home to the Northern Ireland Assembly which is sited on an estate out to the east of Belfast itself.

This is the most protestant constituency in Ulster, what catholic population there is here is concentrated in the deprived working class enclave of Short Strand, which has its own peace line to defend it from neighbouring protestant estates, and scattered in the more mixed middle class areas.

Under Peter Robinson this is a safe DUP seat, though the Alliance have historically enjoyed some of their strongest performances – in 1979 they came within 1000 votes of winning and in 1987 they managed their highest ever share of the vote – 32%. Returns 3 DUP, 1 UUP (the party leader, Sir Reg Empey) 1 Alliance and 1 PUP (a legacy of David Ervine, who was an assemblyman for this constituency until his death) to the assembly.

portraitCurrent MP: Peter Robinson (DUP) born 1948, Belfast. Educated at Annadale Grammar and Castlereagh College of Further Education. Former estate agent. Castlereagh councillor 1977-2007. First elected as MP for East Belfast in 1979. Member of the NI Assembly 1982-1986 and from 1998. Minister for Regional Development 1999-2000, 2001-2002. Minister for Finance 2007-2008. Deputy leader of the DUP since 1980, apart from a brief period after his prosecution for unlawful assembly for leading a mob into the Republic of Ireland that assaulted two policemen and held a military drill in a town square. He became leader of the DUP and First Minister of Northern Ireland following Ian Paisley returement in 2008. Married to Iris Robinson, former MP for Strangford.

Candidates:
portraitPeter Robinson (DUP) born 1948, Belfast. Educated at Annadale Grammar and Castlereagh College of Further Education. Former estate agent. Castlereagh councillor 1977-2007. First elected as MP for East Belfast in 1979. Member of the NI Assembly 1982-1986 and from 1998. Minister for Regional Development 1999-2000, 2001-2002. Minister for Finance 2007-2008. Deputy leader of the DUP since 1980, apart from a brief period after his prosecution for unlawful assembly for leading a mob into the Republic of Ireland that assaulted two policemen and held a military drill in a town square. He became leader of the DUP and First Minister of Northern Ireland following Ian Paisley returement in 2008. Married to Iris Robinson, former MP for Strangford.
portraitTrevor Ringland (UCUNF) Born 1959, Belfast. Educated at Larne Grammar School and Queens University. Solicitor. Former Rugby Union international, playing 31 times for Ireland and 4 times for the British and Irish Lions. Awarded the MBE for services to the community 2009.
portraitDavid Vance (Traditional Unionist Voice) Born Bessbrook. Educated at Queens University. Former deputy leader of the UK Unionist Party.
portraitNiall O Donnghaile (Sinn Fein)
portraitMary Muldoon (SDLP)
portraitNaomi Long (Alliance)

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. It will be replaced by a new guide in 2013, once the fate of the boundary review is finally settled.