Election 97
 East Antrim


Old constituency East Antrim
Current MP Roy Beggs
UUP 92 16,966
DUP 92 9,544
Alliance 92 9,132
Conservative 92 3,359
Elected party Ulster Unionist
East Antrim

Robert Waller writes

A Unionist seat in a Unionist county, East Antrim can still offer a close contest between the rival Ulster Unionists and the Democratic Unionist Party. This seat is a mixture of picturesque rural villages and an industrial heartland to the south that has suffered badly from recession.

East Antrim used to be part of Ian Paisley's DUP citadel of Antrim North, so it was expected that, in 1983, the DUP would be clear winners. Surprisingly, the Ulster Unionists won by a slender margin. Although the subsequent truce between the Unionist parties held until 1992, by that time the UUP's Roy Beggs had built up an almost unassailable majority, and he must be expected to win this time.