The UKPollingReport election guide for 2010 has now been archived and all comments closed.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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Newry and Armagh

2005 Result:
SF: 20965 (41.4%)
SDLP: 12770 (25.2%)
DUP: 9311 (18.4%)
UU: 7025 (13.9%)
Ind: 625 (1.2%)
Majority: 8195 (16.2%)

No boundary changes

Profile: Contains the two cities of Newry and Armagh themselves and the south of County Armagh reaching down to the border with the Republic, what was once IRA bandit country where British troops feared to patrol. The deep south of this seat, Newry and towns like Crossmaglen and Bessbrook is solidly Catholic and generally associated with deprivation and poverty. To the north Armagh – the seat of Ireland’s protestant and catholic Archbishops – is more divided and the towns and villages of the north of the constituency towards the boundary with Upper Bann – places like Laurelvale and the crisp-manufacturing town of Tandragee – are staunchly protestant.

With a two-thirds Catholic majority overall Newry and Armagh is a strongly nationalist seat, though was briefly held by the UUP from 1983 thanks to a split in the nationalist vote. When the Unionist MPs resigned en masse in 1986 in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement it was the only seat that fell to the SDLP in the consequent by-elections. The unionist vote has further declined here since then, and even a single unionist candidate against a split nationalist vote would be unlikely to stand a chance now. It has been held by Sinn Fein since the retirement of the SDLP’s Seamus Mallon in 2005. It returns 3 Sinn Fein, 1 SDLP, 1 UUP and 1 DUP to the Assembly.

portraitCurrent MP: Conor Murphy (Sinn Fein) born 1963, Newry. Educated at St. Colman’s College and Queens University of Belfast. Sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in 1982 for IRA membership and possession of explosives. Newry and Armagh councillor 1989-1997. Assemblymember since 1998. First elected as MP for Newry and Armagh in 2005.

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated.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