The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments will shortly be closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.


Notional 2005 Results:
SDLP: 19668 (46%)
SF: 14494 (33.9%)
DUP: 6046 (14.1%)
UUP: 988 (2.3%)
Other: 1553 (3.6%)
Majority: 5174 (12.1%)

2005 Result:
SDLP: 21119 (46.3%)
SF: 15162 (33.2%)
DUP: 6557 (14.4%)
Soc: 1649 (3.6%)
UU: 1091 (2.4%)
Rainbow: 31 (0.1%)
Majority: 5957 (13.1%)

Boundary Changes: Foyle ceases to be co-terminous with Derry City, losing the wards of Banagher and Claudy to East Londonderry.

Profile: Foyle covers Derry/Londonderry itself, the second city in Ulster, and the large village of New Buildings to the South. Derry has boomed in recent years with large amounts of new building and investment, but there remains a high level of unemployment and reliance on benefit. Historically this was a textile area, and the chemical company DuPont continue to produce Lycra and Kevlar (somewhat ironically the material for bulletproof clothing) here, employment though is now more dependent on the booming high tech industry.

The western side of the city around the old walled city is the catholic core of Derry. Despite redevelopment there is still much deprivation here in places like the Bogside and Creggan, these are the core of Republican Derry and come with many historical resonances from the Troubles. It was here in 1972 that 14 people were shot on Bloody Sunday. In many places the housing is dominated by the famous political murals commemorating the Troubles (most famously here the Derry Free Corner mural, a remnant of the Free Derry area controlled by the IRA until crushed by the British Army in Operation Motorman).

Across the river the Waterside area was traditionally more protestant, that has dwindled over the years as protestants have abandoned the west of Derry – now only the Fountain Estate remains as a protestant enclave in Derry, though there is a middle class protestant population dotted around the city and the village of New Buildings is overwhelmingly protestat. Overall Foyle is about three quarters catholic.

This was once the stronghold of John Hume, the leader of the SDLP, who served as MP here from its creation in 1983 until 2005 when Hume’s successor as SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, also succeeded to his seat.

portraitCurrent MP: Mark Durkan (SDLP) born 1960, Derry. Educated at St. Columb’s College and Queens University Belfast. Former aide to John Hume. Chairman of the SDLP 1990-1995. Member of the NI Assembly since 1998. NI Minister of Finance 1999-2001. Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland 2001-2002. Leader of the SDLP 2001-2010. First elected as MP for Foyle in 2005.

portraitMartina Anderson (Sinn Fein) Born 1962, Derry. Former IRA volunteer, convicted in 1986 of conspiracy to case explosions. Released in 1998 under the Good Friday Agreement. MLA for Foyle since 2007.
portraitDavid Harding (UCUNF) Vet. Coleraine councillor.

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at

63 Responses to “Foyle”

1 2
  1. Eamonn McCann is standing again, this time under the “People Before Profit” banner –

    It seems that the “Socialist Environmental Alliance” banner is finally defunct.

  2. Alderman Maurice Devenney has been selected by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) as their parliamentary candidate for Foyle:

  3. SDLP Hold= 5,000 maj

  4. I still expect the SDLP majority to come down a bit, but they should hold here (and really need to!) Perhaps a 3-4,000 majority this time.

  5. Foyle
    • SDLP 20000
    • SF 16000
    • DUP 6000
    • PBP 1200
    • UCUNF 1000
    • ALL 200

    SDLP Hold 4,000 maj.

    probably overestimating Alliance (insignificantly), would also expect there to be a touch more tactical voting by unionists.

  6. Prediction:- SDLP (HOLD)

  7. Is Mark Durkan still the SDLP Westminster leader?

  8. Good prediction by Shaun. I think the answer is yes, Harry.

  9. The inclusion of the working-class border town of Strabane within this constituency’s boundaries from 1983 to 1997 (as discussed upthread) must have been the reason why SDLP leader John Hume held the seat during that time, as they are the working-class party in NI. Hume is the only SDLP MP Strabane has had.

  10. “as they are the working-class party in NI”

    Clearly not for all the working class – they are the ‘constitutional Nationalist’ party in NI therefore their appeal is only to the Catholic working class otherwise we would expect them to be dominant in the Shankill. Obviously they do have woeking class Catholic support but tend to be stronger amongst middle class catholics relative to Sinn fein, hence their strength in South Belfast. In this seat Sinn Fein’s stongest areas are places like the Creggan and they are strong in the town of Strabane too. Strabane town is not large enough anyway to have decided the result in this constituency, but if it was still included I guess the SDLP majority over Sinn Fein would be narrower

  11. The SDLP held three Assembly seats in their stronghold, although Eamonn McCann of People Before Profit (i.e. the SWP) put up a surprisingly strong challenge for the last one. SF took two, again, and the DUP the other seat. Surprising to see only one unionist candidate – I know the UUP are very weak here, but they might as well stand someone.

  12. The proposed changes keep this fairly safe for the SDLP, although the margin drops a little with the inclusion of some rural wards in the north of Strabane district. It could be a genuine SDLP/ Sinn Fein marginal if Durkan throws in the towel. Details in my post here:

  13. More weird proposals from the Commission here. Rather than add 3 wards from County Tyrone which look to Strabane, why don’t they actually return Claudy and Banagher, two wards in Derry City Council which look to Derry and were in the seat until 2010?

1 2