The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments closed. The new Election Guide for the 2015 election is now online at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide. The old site is archived at the UK Web Archive.
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Mid Ulster

2005 Result:
SF: 21641 (47.6%)
DUP: 10665 (23.5%)
SDLP: 7922 (17.4%)
UU: 4853 (10.7%)
Workers: 345 (0.8%)
Majority: 10976 (24.1%)

No boundary changes

Profile: A rural seat to he west of Lough Neagh. The main towns are Cookstown, Coalisland, Maghera and Magherafelt, but the seat is mainly small rural villages. This was one of the few seats in Northern Ireland that were competitive between the Unionist and Nationalist parties, and whose winner has often been decided by electoral pacts and vote splitting. It was won by Sinn Fein in the 1950s, but their candidate was unseated due to being in prison for IRA membership. It was subsequently held by the Ulster Unionists until Bernadette Devlin took it as a nationalist Unity candidate in the 1969 by-election. Devlin faced SDLP opposition in 1974 and the seat again fell to the Unionists. The seat has become increasingly Catholic, by 1997 even a Unionist pact couldn’t prevent it falling to Sinn Fein and, with the end of the DUP/UUP pact in 2005 it became a safe Sinn Fein seat.

portraitCurrent MP: Martin McGuinness (Sinn Fein) born 1950, Derry. Former Provisional IRA commander in Derry, he was second-in-command during the events of Bloody Sunday and gave evidence to the Saville Inquiry in 2003. Took part in secret talks between the IRA and British government in 1972 before being arrested and convicted of IRA membership in the Republic of Ireland in 1973 after being caught with a car containing explosives and ammunition. Sinn Fein’s chief negotiator since the 1990s, elected as MP for Mid-Ulster in 1997 (though like all Sinn Fein MPs has refused to take his seat). Member of the Northern Ireland assembly since 1998 and Sinn Fein’s senior minister, Gerry Adams not having accepted a role within the executive. He was minister of Education during the first period of devolved rule from 1998-2002 and has been Deputy First Minister since 2007 – a partnership with Ian Paisley that proved surprisingly convivial, at least in public.

Candidates:
portraitIan Butler (Alliance) internet bookseller.
portraitSandra Overend (UCUNF)
portraitIan McCrea (DUP) Born 1976, Maghera, the son of Willie McCrea, MP for South Antrim and former MP for Mid Ulster. Educated at Rainey Endowed Grammar School. Cookstown councillor since 2001. MLA for Mid Ulster since 2007.

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.