Election 97
 Mid Ulster


Old constituency Mid Ulster (with substantial changes)
Current MP William McCrea
DUP 92 23,181
SDLP 92 16,994
Sinn Fein 92 10,248
Independent 92 1,996
Alliance 92 1,506
Elected party SDLP
Mid Ulster

Robert Waller writes

This rural seat is one of the most interesting and controversial in Northern Ireland, with an electoral history marked by factionalism, abstentionism, disqualification and general controversy. When the Sinn Fein winner of 1955, Tom Mitchell, was disqualified in 1955 (as a convicted felon) a split in the nationalist vote allowed Unionist George Forrest to take the seat. He died in 1969, and the seat was won by Bernadette Devlin (now McAliskey) who stood as a Nationalist Unity candidate.

The unity did not last, and the Ulster Unionists took the seat back in 1974, after which it passed to the DUP in 1983. Since then, the nationalist split has ensured continued unionist dominance, and although there was a brief possibility that Bernadette McAliskey's daughter, who is in prison awaiting trial over alleged terrorist offences, would stand for the seat unopposed by Sinn Fein and the SDLP, the latter refused to stand down. It therefore looks like another term in parliament for Democratic Unionist William McCrea.