The 2001 Westminster elections in Northern Ireland

The Elections

The 7 June 2001 general election was one of exceptional tedium in England, Scotland and Wales, where barely twenty seats changed hands. In Northern Ireland, however, the results were dramatic, with seven seats out of eighteen changing hands, and three others retained with only small majorities. The election was held on the same day as the local council elections. You may wish to look at the result of the predictions contest.(See spreadsheet archive.)

The results of this election were very good for the DUP and Sinn Fein, who increased their seats from two each to five and four respectively. The UUP had a disappointing result but found some comfort in reversing a by-election loss and claiming the scalp of UKUP leader Robert McCartney, and they were the largest party in both votes and seats. The SDLP found that not only had they failed to gain any seats, but they had slipped behind Sinn Fein for the first time ever.

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This map by Conal Kelly shows the winner in each constituency in 2001.

The Results

The details of each seat are on the relevant page; the totals for the whole of Northern Ireland were as follows:
Party Votes Share Seats won
UUP 216,839 26.8% 6 MPs (South Belfast, East Antrim, South Antrim, North Down, Lagan Valley, and Upper Bann)
DUP 181,999 22.5% 5 MPs (East Belfast, North Belfast, North Antrim, East Londonderry, and Strangford)
SF 175,392 21.7% 4 MPs (West Belfast, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Mid Ulster, and West Tyrone)
SDLP 169,865 21.0% 3 MPs (South Down, Foyle, Newry and Armagh)
Alliance 28,999 3.6%

UKUP 13,509 1.7%

Jim Dixon 6,843 0.8%

PUP 4,781 0.6%

NIWC 2,968 0.4%

Conservatives 2,422 0.3%

WP 2,352 0.3%

NIUP 1,794 0.2%

Robert Mason 1092 0.1%
Chris Carter 444 0.05%
Vote for Yourself Party 418 0.05%
Ulster Third Way 116 0.01%


Dixon ran as an anti-Agreement Unionist in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, with DUP support.
Mason is an East Antrim local councillor who also stood unsuccessfully in 1998 and 1997.
Carter has stood in a number of North Down elections since 1995, so far without success.
The Vote for Yourself Party is the creation of Rainbow George Weiss, who stood in all four Belfast constituencies, coming last in each case.
Ulster Third Way advocates independence for Northern Ireland.

I ran a predictions contest for this election which attracted 131 entries, including several prominent activists and a member of the Assembly. The results in Strangford, East Londonderry, South Antrim, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, and especially West Tyrone, came as a surprise to a majority of entrants. Nevertheless, four people, Cai Larsen, Seth Speirs, Killian Forde and Tom Nolan, all correctly guessed the winner in each one of the 18 seats. Cai Larsen had the best prediction of the local government elections of the four, and so was declared the overall winner.

See also: The Jenkins Report | 2001 local government election | List of all 2001 candidates

Other sites based at ARK: ORB (Online Research Bank) | CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) | Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey

Your comments, please! Send an email to me at

Nicholas Whyte, 9 June 2001; last updated 13 May 2003 by Tineke Vaes.

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Disclaimer: Nicholas Whyte 1998-2004 Last Updated on Wednesday, 12-Jan-2005 12:12