The 2005 Westminster elections in Northern Ireland

The Elections

The 5 May 2005 general election saw Tony Blair's Labour government returned to power with a decreased majority. In Northern Ireland, the results were much more seismic, with six seats out of eighteen changing hands. 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, now by far the largest party in Northern Ireland and with half of the parliamentary seats in their camp. For Sinn Fein it marked consolidation rather than advance; though their vote was up on the 2001 Westminster election it was only about the same as for the Assembly election in 2003 and down from the European election in 2004. The UUP came third in terms of votes but won only one seat, losing among others their leader David Trimble. The SDLP managed to hold their ground, losing Newry and Armagh but making the surprising gain of South Belfast.

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This map by Conal Kelly shows the winner in each constituency in 2005.

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
DUP 241,856 33.7% 9 MPs (East Belfast, North Belfast, East Antrim, North Antrim, South Antrim, Lagan Valley, East Londonderry, Strangford and Upper Bann)
SF 174,530 24.3% 5 MPs (West Belfast, Fermanagh and South Tyrone, Mid Ulster, Newry and Armagh, and West Tyrone)
UUP 127,314 17.7% 1 MP (North Down)
SDLP 125,626 17.5% 3 MPs (South Belfast and South Down, Foyle)
Alliance 28,291 3.9%

Kieran Deeny 11,905 1.7%
Conservatives 2,718 0.4%

WP 1,669 0.2%

SEA 1,649 0.2%

Vote for Yourself etc 890 0.1%
Gerry Markey 625 0.1%

Liam Kennedy 147 0.02%

Chris Carter 211 0.03%

Malcolm Samuel 71 0.01%


Deeny is an independent member of the Assembly for West Tyrone. Markey is described as "a former singer and guitarist for Newry group "The Spartans"; a former member of the merchant navy who went on to have his own engineering company and, now retired, has decided to enter politics.
Kennedy is a lecturer at Queen's University who also stood on a Human Rights platform in 1997, then as now opposed to paramilitary punishment beatings. Carter has stood in a number of North Down elections since 1995, so far without success.
Samuel was previously an important figure in the early history of the Ecology Party (now the Greens).

I ran a predictions contest for this election which attracted 345 entries. The results in Foyle, South Antrim, and especially South Belfast, came as a surprise to a majority of entrants. Nevertheless, ten people, Glyn Roberts, Andrew Lane, Tom Hagans, Robert Little, Justin Savage, Andrew Dawson, George McDowell, William Dukelow, Darragh Doherty and Roy McGivern, all correctly guessed the winner in each one of the 18 seats. The contest winner will depend on who gets the most accurate prediction of the local council elections.

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, 7 May 2005.

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Disclaimer: Nicholas Whyte 2005 Last Updated on Saturday, 08-May-2010 15:41