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 ElectionsIreland.org > Results > General Elections > Westminster (Northern Ireland)

Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament
held in Northern Ireland

The Elections section of the ARK (Northern Ireland social and political archive) website, run by Nicholas Whyte, is highly recommended for further information on elections in Northern Ireland.


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8 June


There was a major re-organisation of the constituency boundaries in Northern Ireland following partition (1st Review), and these were used for the 1922 general election onwards. The next major change was not until the 1950 election (2nd review), which saw the elimination of two-member constituencies and the seat for Queen's University Belfast. For the 1983 general election another re-organisation came into play to reflect the loss of devolved power in Northern Ireland (3rd Review), increasing the number of seats from 12 to 17. Another seat was added for the 1997 general election (4th Review).

There were proposals for further changes to the boundaries of Westminster constituencies in Northern Ireland (5th Review). Three Public Local Enquiries were held in September 2005, and the Commission published its revised proposals on 24 May 2006. However, on 16 November 2006 it was announced the final recommendations would be defered until a review of Local Government boundaries had been completed. On 3 October 2007 the Commission announced it had submitted its final recommendations to the Secretary of State. Possibly this was prompted by a widespread belief that a General Election might be imminent; however, the Northern Ireland Executive had already announced on 6 July 2007 that it planned to conduct a review of local government in Northern Ireland. On the completion of this review, the Commission will decide whether an interim review is necessary.

Details can be found at the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland website, and there is also a useful analysis of the proposals on Nicholas Whytes' Elections site.

The 2013 Review of UK Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland published provisional proposals on 13 September 2011 (6th Review) for revised constituencies as part of the UK-wide review following the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011. This Act reduced the number of UK constituencies from 650 to 600, with less variation in electorate than had previously been allowed. The proposals reduce the number of seats in Northern Ireland to 16 from 18, entailing significant changes to boundaries.


In 1918 the deposit for parliamentary elections and by elections was set at £150. Every candidate was required to pay this deposit, but it was returned if at least one eighth (12.5%) of the vote was received. It was not until 10 October 1985 that the deposit was changed, with an increase to £500. However, the threshold was reduced to one twentieth (5%) of the vote. The requirement was also introduced that Parliamentary candidates should be endorsed by at least ten electors.

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