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Belfast South

Notional 2005 Results:
SDLP: 11158 (30.7%)
DUP: 10909 (30%)
UUP: 8040 (22.1%)
SF: 3089 (8.5%)
Alliance: 2574 (7.1%)
Other: 555 (1.5%)
Majority: 249 (0.7%)

2005 Result:
SDLP: 10339 (32.3%)
DUP: 9104 (28.4%)
UU: 7263 (22.7%)
SF: 2882 (9%)
Alliance: 2012 (6.3%)
Rainbow: 235 (0.7%)
Workers: 193 (0.6%)
Majority: 1235 (3.9%)

Boundary Changes: Like other Belfast seats expands out, taking in four wards from Castlereagh, Carryduff from Strangford and 2 wards from East Belfast.

Profile: Covers Belfast city centre and the suburbs to the south. On the out skirts this is pleasant suburbia, moving inwards it becomes younger and trendier, taking in Queens University. At the same time, it also covers more deprived areas of bedsits and flats as it moves towards the city centre itself.

Around half the population is protestant, though it also has the highest proportion of people who do not identify with either community thanks to the university and the comparatively high proportion of ethnic minorities. With a unionist majority – albeit a narrow one – this is traditionally a Unionist seat. In 2005 however the UUP rejected the offer of an electoral pact with the DUP and the resultant split allowed the SDLP to take the seat on just under a third of the vote.

Returns 2 SDLP, 1 DUP, 1 UUP, 1 SF and 1 Alliance to the Northern Ireland assembly. These include the Alliance’s Anna Lo, the first member of an ethnic minority elected at national level in Northern Ireland.

portraitCurrent MP: Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) born 1949, Cushendall. Educated at University College Dublin. Former GP. Belfast councillor 1977-1981 and again from 1985. Contested North Antrim in 1970 for the National Democrats. Contested Belfast South 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001. First elected as MP for Belfast South 2005. Deputy leader of the SDLP since 2004.

Candidates:
portraitAlex Maskey (Sinn Fein) Born 1952. Educated at St Malachys College. Former labourer in Belfast docks. Interned twice in the 1970s. Belfast councillor since 1983, he became the first Republican Lord Mayor of Belfast in 2002. MLA for Belfast West 1998-2003, for Belfast South since 2003. Contested Belfast South 2001, 2005. He survived an assassination attempt in 1987.
portraitAnna Lo (Alliance) born 1950, Hong Kong. Social worker. MLA for South Belfast since 2007. Awarded an MBE in 1999 for Services to Ethnic Minorities
portraitAlasdair McDonnell (SDLP) born 1949, Cushendall. Educated at University College Dublin. Former GP. Belfast councillor 1977-1981 and again from 1985. Contested North Antrim in 1970 for the National Democrats. Contested Belfast South 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2001. First elected as MP for Belfast South 2005. Deputy leader of the SDLP since 2004.
portraitPaula Bradshaw (UCUNF)
portraitAdam McGibbon (Green)
portraitJimmy Spratt (DUP)

NB - The constituency guide is now archived and is no longer being updated. The new guide is at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/2015guide