Ulster Unionist Party

Last updated

Ulster Unionist Party
AbbreviationUUP
Leader Doug Beattie
Chairman Jill Macauley
Deputy leader Robbie Butler
Founded3 March 1905
Preceded by Irish Unionist Alliance
HeadquartersStrandtown Hall
2–4 Belmont Road
Belfast
BT4 2AN
Youth wing Young Unionists
Women's wing Ulster Women's Unionist Council
Ideology
Political position Centre-right [3]
European affiliation European Conservatives and Reformists Party
National affiliation Conservative Party (1922–1972)
Colours  Blue
SloganFor the Union
House of Commons
(NI Seats)
0 / 18
House of Lords
2 / 784
NI Assembly
9 / 90
Local government in Northern Ireland [4]
74 / 462
Website
www.uup.org OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. [5] The party was founded in 1905, emerging from the Irish Unionist Alliance in Ulster. Under Edward Carson, it led unionist opposition to the Irish Home Rule movement. Following the partition of Ireland, it was the governing party of Northern Ireland between 1921 and 1972. It was supported by most unionist voters throughout the conflict known as the Troubles, during which time it was often referred to as the Official Unionist Party (OUP). [6] [7]

Contents

Under David Trimble, the party helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which ended the conflict. Trimble served as the first First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2002. However, it was overtaken as the largest unionist party in 2003 by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). As of 2022 it is the fourth-largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, after the DUP, Sinn Féin, and the Alliance Party. The party has been unrepresented in Westminster since losing its two seats in 2017. Since 2021 the party has been led by Doug Beattie.

Between 1905 and 1972, its peers and MPs took the Conservative Party whip at Westminster, in effect functioning as the Northern Irish branch of the party. This arrangement came to an end in 1972 over disagreements over the Sunningdale Agreement. The two parties have remained institutionally separate ever since, with the exception of the 2009–2012 Ulster Conservatives and Unionists electoral alliance.

History

The Ulster Unionist Party traces its formal existence back to the foundation of the Ulster Unionist Council in 1905.

Background: 1886 to 1905

Modern organised unionism emerged after William Ewart Gladstone's introduction in 1886 of the first of three Home Rule Bills in response to demands by the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1891, the Irish Conservative Party came to an end, merged into a new Irish Unionist Alliance (IUA) which also included the Irish Liberal Unionists, the latter having split from the Liberal Party over the issue of home rule. While usually dominated by unionists from Ulster, the IUA was often led by southern unionists. There were also some eighty members of the House of Lords who affiliated themselves with the IUA.

The Ulster Defence Union was also formed on 17 March 1893 to oppose the Liberal government’s plans for the Government of Ireland Bill 1893. [8] [9]

Although most unionist support was based in Ulster, especially within areas that later became Northern Ireland, in the late 19th and early 20th century there were unionist enclaves throughout all of Ireland. Unionists in Dublin and County Wicklow and in parts of County Cork were particularly influential.

1905 to 1921

In September 1904, the Conservative government of Arthur Balfour published proposals for limited devolution to Ireland which would not amount to home rule. Coming from Conservatives, these led to great alarm among Irish unionists, and in March 1905 the Ulster Unionist Council, which later became the Ulster Unionist Party, was formed as a co-ordinating organization for a new form of local political activity. [10] It largely subsumed the Ulster Defence Union.

From the beginning, the new organization had a strong association with the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organisation. The original composition of the Ulster Unionist Council was 25% Orange delegates; [11] however, this proportion was reduced through the years. The initial leadership of the Ulster unionists all came from outside what would later become Northern Ireland. In particular, from 1905 Colonel Saunderson was simultaneously leader of the Irish Unionist Alliance MPs and leader of the Ulster Unionist Council in Belfast. In 1906 he was succeeded in both roles by Walter Hume Long, a Dublin MP. Another Dubliner, Sir Edward Carson, one of the two Irish Unionist Alliance MPs for the Dublin University constituency, and Lord Midleton were also southern unionists active in both. Carson went on to become the first leader of the Ulster Unionist Party, from 1910. Throughout his years of leadership, he fought a sustained campaign against Irish Home Rule, including taking the lead in the formation of the Ulster Volunteers at the onset of the Home Rule Crisis in 1912.

In 1912, at Westminster the Home Rule Crisis led to the Liberal Unionist Party merging with the Conservatives, thus giving rise to the current name of the Conservative and Unionist Party, to which the Ulster Unionist Party was formally linked, to varying degrees, until 1985.

At the 1918 general election, Carson switched constituencies from Dublin University to Belfast Duncairn.

After the Irish Convention of 1917–1918 failed to reach an understanding on home rule, and even more after the Partition of Ireland under the Government of Ireland Act 1920, Irish unionism in effect split. Many southern unionist politicians quickly became reconciled with the new Irish Free State, sitting in its Senate or joining its political parties, while in Northern Ireland the existence of a separate Ulster Unionist Party became entrenched as it took control of the new Government of Northern Ireland, established in 1921.

Carson strongly opposed the partition of Ireland and the end of unionism as an all-Ireland political force, so he refused the opportunity to be Prime Minister of Northern Ireland or even to sit in the Northern Ireland House of Commons, citing a lack of connection with the new province. The leadership of the UUP and, subsequently, Northern Ireland, was taken by Sir James Craig.

Carson inspecting the UVF, F. E. Smith walking behind him, pre-1914 The Road To War Q81759.jpg
Carson inspecting the UVF, F. E. Smith walking behind him, pre-1914

The Stormont era: Part of the Conservative Party

1920–1963

Until almost the very end of its period of power in Northern Ireland, the UUP was led by a combination of landed gentry (The 1st Viscount Brookeborough, Hugh MacDowell Pollock and James Chichester-Clark), aristocracy (Terence O'Neill) and gentrified industrial magnates (The 1st Viscount Craigavon and J. M. Andrews – nephew of The 1st Viscount Pirrie). Only its last Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner, was from a middle-class background. During this era, all but 11 of the 149 UUP Stormont MPs were members of the Orange Order, as were all Prime Ministers. [12]

Sir James Craig, who in 1927 was created Viscount Craigavon, led the government of Northern Ireland from its inception until his death in November 1940 and is buried with his wife by the east wing of Parliament Buildings at Stormont. His successor, J. M. Andrews, was heavily criticised for appointing octogenarian veterans of Lord Craigavon's administration to his cabinet. His government was also believed to be more interested in protecting the statue of Carson at the Stormont Estate than the citizens of Belfast during the Belfast blitz. A backbench revolt in 1943 resulted in his resignation and replacement by Sir Basil Brooke (later Viscount Brookeborough), although Andrews was recognised as leader of the party until 1946.

Lord Brookeborough, despite having felt that Craigavon had held on to power for too long, was Prime Minister for one year longer. During this time he was on more than one occasion called to meetings of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland to explain his actions, most notably following the 1947 Education Act which made the government responsible for the payment of National Insurance contributions of teachers in Catholic Church-controlled schools. Ian Paisley called for Brookeborough's resignation in 1953 when he refused to sack Brian Maginess and Clarence Graham, who had given speeches supporting re-admitting Catholics to the UUP. [13] He retired in 1963 and was replaced by Terence O'Neill, who emerged ahead of other candidates, Jack Andrews and Faulkner.

1963–1972

In the 1960s, identifying with the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King Jr. and encouraged by attempts at reform under O'Neill, various organisations campaigned for civil rights, calling for changes to the system for allocating public housing and the voting system for the local government franchise, which was restricted to (disproportionately Protestant) rate payers. [14] [15] [16] [17] O'Neill had pushed through some reforms but in the process the Ulster Unionists became strongly divided. At the 1969 Stormont general election UUP candidates stood on both pro- and anti-O'Neill platforms. Several independent pro-O'Neill unionists challenging his critics, while the Protestant Unionist Party of Ian Paisley mounted a hard-line challenge. The result proved inconclusive for O'Neill, who resigned a short time later. His resignation was probably caused by a speech of James Chichester-Clark who stated that he disagreed with the timing, but not the principle, of universal suffrage at local elections.

Chichester-Clark won the leadership election to replace O'Neill and swiftly moved to implement many of O'Neill's reforms. Civil disorder continued to mount, culminating in August 1969 when Catholic Bogside residents clashed with the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Derry because of an Apprentice Boys of Derry march, sparking days of riots. Early in 1971, Chichester-Clark flew to London to request further military aid following the 1971 Scottish soldiers' killings.[ citation needed ] When this was all but refused, he resigned to be replaced by Brian Faulkner.

Faulkner's government struggled though 1971 and into 1972. After Bloody Sunday, the British Government threatened to remove control of the security forces from the devolved government. Faulkner reacted by resigning with his entire cabinet, and the British Government suspended, and eventually abolished, the Northern Ireland Parliament, replacing it with Direct Rule.

The liberal unionist group, the New Ulster Movement, which had advocated the policies of Terence O'Neill, left and formed the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland in April 1970, while the emergence of Ian Paisley's Protestant Unionist Party continued to draw off some working-class and more Ulster loyalist support.

1972–1995

Ulster Unionist Party, 1974. Troubled Images Exhibition, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, August 2010 Troubled Images Exhibition, Belfast, August 2010 (03).JPG
Ulster Unionist Party, 1974. Troubled Images Exhibition, Linen Hall Library, Belfast, August 2010

In June 1973 the UUP won a majority of seats in the new Northern Ireland Assembly, but the party was divided on policy. The Sunningdale Agreement, which led to the formation of a power-sharing Executive under Ulster Unionist leader Brian Faulkner, ruptured the party. In the 1973 elections to the Executive the party found itself divided, a division that did not formally end until January 1974 with the triumph of the anti-Sunningdale faction. Faulkner was then overthrown, and he set up the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI). The Ulster Unionists were then led by Harry West from 1974 until 1979. In the February 1974 general election, the party participated in the United Ulster Unionist Coalition (UUUC) with Vanguard and the Democratic Unionist Party, successor to the Protestant Unionist Party. The result was that the UUUC won 11 out of 12 parliamentary seats in Northern Ireland on a fiercely anti-Sunningdale platform, although they barely won 50% of the overall popular vote. This result was a fatal blow for the Executive, which soon collapsed.

Up until 1972 the UUP sat with the Conservative Party at Westminster, traditionally taking the Conservative parliamentary whip. To all intents and purposes the party functioned as the Northern Ireland branch of the Conservative Party. In 1972, in protest over the prorogation of the Parliament of Northern Ireland, the Westminster Ulster Unionist MPs withdrew from the alliance. [18] [19] [20] The party remained affiliated to the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, but in 1985, withdrew from it as well, in protest over the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Subsequently, the Conservative Party has organised separately in Northern Ireland, with little electoral success.

Under West's leadership, the party recruited Enoch Powell, who became Ulster Unionist MP for South Down in October 1974 after defecting from the Conservatives. Powell advocated a policy of 'integration', whereby Northern Ireland would be administered as an integral part of the United Kingdom. This policy divided both the Ulster Unionists and the wider unionist movement, as Powell's ideas conflicted with those supporting a restoration of devolved government to Northern Ireland. The party also made gains upon the break-up of the Vanguard Party and its merger back into the Ulster Unionists. The separate United Ulster Unionist Party (UUUP) emerged from the remains of Vanguard but folded in the early 1980s, as did the UPNI. In both cases the main beneficiaries of this were the Ulster Unionists, now under the leadership of James Molyneaux (1979–95).

Trimble leadership

David Trimble led the party between 1995 and 2005. His support for the Belfast Agreement caused a rupture within the party into pro-agreement and anti-agreement factions. Trimble served as First Minister of Northern Ireland in the power-sharing administration created under the Belfast Agreement.

Unusually for a unionist party, the UUP had a Catholic MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Sir John Gorman until the 2003 election. In March 2005, the Orange Order voted to end its official links with the UUP. Trimble faced down Orange Order critics who tried to suspend him for his attendance at a Catholic funeral for a young boy killed by the Real IRA in the Omagh bombing. In a sign of unity, Trimble and President of Ireland Mary McAleese walked into the church together.

In the 2001 general election, the Ulster Unionists lost a number of seats belonging to UUP stalwarts; for example, John Taylor, the former deputy leader of the party, lost his seat of Strangford to Iris Robinson.

The party's misfortunes continued at the 2005 election. The party held six seats at Westminster immediately before the 2005 general election, down from seven after the previous general election following the defection of Jeffrey Donaldson in 2004. The election resulted in the loss of five of their six seats. The only seat won by an Ulster Unionist was North Down, by Sylvia Hermon, who had won the seat in the 2001 general election from Robert McCartney of United Kingdom Unionist Party. David Trimble himself lost his seat in Upper Bann and resigned as party leader soon after. The ensuing leadership election was won by Reg Empey.

Empey leadership

In May 2006 UUP leader Empey attempted to create a new assembly group that would have included Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) leader David Ervine. The PUP is the political wing of the illegal Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). [21] [22] [23] Many in the UUP, including the last remaining MP, Sylvia Hermon, were opposed to the move. [24] [25] The link was in the form of a new group called the 'Ulster Unionist Party Assembly Group' whose membership was the 24 UUP MLAs and Ervine. Empey justified the link by stating that under the d'Hondt method for allocating ministers in the Assembly, the new group would take a seat in the Executive from Sinn Féin.

Following a request for a ruling from the DUP's Peter Robinson, the Speaker ruled that the UUPAG was not a political party within the meaning of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. [26]

The party lost 9 seats in the 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election, retaining 18 MLAs. [27] Empey was the only leader of one of the four main parties not to be re-elected on first preference votes alone in the Assembly elections of March 2007.

In July 2008, the UUP and Conservative Party announced that a joint working group had been established to examine closer ties. On 26 February 2009, the Ulster Unionist Executive and area council of Northern Ireland Conservatives agreed to field joint candidates in future elections to the House of Commons and European Parliament under the name "Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force" (UCUNF). The agreement meant that Ulster Unionist MPs could have sat in a Conservative Government, renewing the relationship that had broken down in 1974 over the Sunningdale Agreement and in 1985 over the Anglo-Irish Agreement. [28] [29] [30] The UUP's sole remaining MP at the time, Sylvia Hermon, opposed the agreement, stating she would not be willing to stand under the UCUNF banner. [31]

In February 2010, Hermon confirmed that she would not be seeking a nomination as a UCUNF candidate for the forthcoming general election. [32] On 25 March 2010, she formally resigned from the party and announced that she would be standing as an independent candidate at the general election. [33] As a result, the UUP were left without representation in the House of Commons for the first time since the party's creation. At the 2010 general election, UCUNF won no seats in Northern Ireland (while Hermon won hers as an independent). The UCUNF label was not used again.

Following the election, Empey resigned as leader. He was replaced by Tom Elliott as party leader in the subsequent leadership election. During the leadership election, it emerged that a quarter of the UUP membership came from Fermanagh and South Tyrone, the constituency of Elliott. [34] The Dublin-based political magazine, the Phoenix , described Elliott as a "blast from the past" and said that his election signified "a significant shift to the right" by the UUP. [35] Shortly after his election, three 2010 general election candidates resigned: Harry Hamilton, Paula Bradshaw and Trevor Ringland. [36] Bradshaw and Hamilton subsequently joined the Alliance Party. [37]

2011–2021

UUP Headquarters - Strandtown Hall, Belfast Strandtown Hall, 2-4 Belmont Road, Belfast.jpg
UUP Headquarters - Strandtown Hall, Belfast

The party lost two seats in the 2011 Assembly elections and won fewer votes than the nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) (although it won more seats than the SDLP). Two of its candidates, Bill Manwaring and Lesley Macaulay, subsequently joined the Conservative Party. In the 2011 local elections it lost seats to the Alliance Party east of the Bann and was also overtaken by them on Belfast City Council. [38]

Tom Elliott was criticised for comments he made in his victory speech where he described elements of Sinn Féin as "scum". [39] Elliott resigned in March 2012 saying some people had not given him a 'fair opportunity' to develop and progress many party initiatives. [40] Mike Nesbitt was elected leader on 31 March 2012, beating the only other candidate, John McCallister, by 536 votes to 129. [41]

In the 2014 European election Jim Nicholson held his MEP seat, although his percentage of the vote decreased to 13.3% (-3.8%). The party gained 15 seats in the local elections that same day. They polled 16.1% (+0.9%), making it the only party to increase its vote share.

At the 2015 general election, the UUP returned to Westminster, gaining the South Antrim seat from the DUP and Fermanagh & South Tyrone (where they had an electoral pact with the DUP not standing) from Sinn Féin. [42]

In 2016, the UUP and the SDLP decided not to accept the seats on the Northern Ireland Executive to which they would have been entitled and to form an official opposition to the executive. This marked the first time that a devolved government in Northern Ireland did not include the UUP.

In the 2016 European Union referendum the UUP was the only unionist party to support the remain campaign, the UUP Executive passing a motion on 5 March 2016 that the party "believes that on balance Northern Ireland is better remaining in the European Union, with the UK Government pressing for further reform and a return to the founding principle of free trade, not greater political union. The Party respects that individual members may vote for withdrawal." [43] [44]

At the 2017 general election the UUP lost both of its Commons seats, losing South Antrim to the DUP and Fermanagh & South Tyrone to Sinn Féin. [45] The party polled 10.3% (-5.7%) and failed to take any other seats.

In the 2019 local elections the UUP polled 14.1% (-2.0) winning 75 council seats, 13 fewer than in 2014. [46]

They lost their single MEP at the 2019 European Parliament elections following the retirement of Jim Nicholson. [47] Danny Kennedy stood as the UUP candidate polling 9.3% (-4.0%). Steve Aiken succeeded Robin Swann as leader in November 2019. [48]

The party increased its vote share to 11.7% (+1.4%) in the 2019 general election, but failed to re-gain a seat. Their best result was in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, where Tom Elliott lost to Sinn Féin by 57 votes. The UUP currently has no representation in the House of Commons.

Beattie leadership

Steve Aiken resigned on 8 May 2021, and Doug Beattie was elected as leader on 17 May 2021. [49] Beattie, a former soldier, is perceived as a progressive unionist, and it was predicted that, following his election as leader, the party would reclaim some of the centre-ground which they had lost to the Alliance Party. [50]

After Beattie became leader, a number of new members joined the party including former Belfast PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston, Derry and Strabane DUP councillor Ryan McCready, former Independent Irish Senator Ian Marshall, Belfast Alliance Party councillor Carole Howard and Belfast PUP councillor John Kyle . [51] [52] [53] [54] [55]

In October 2021, Newry and Mourne UUP councillor Harold McKee resigned from the party because of Beattie's promotion of 'liberal values'. [56]

In January 2022 Beattie made what some saw as a misogynistic joke about DAERA minister Edwin Poots and his wife. After this it was found that he had made other controversial jokes on social media, before entering politics, and he made a statement apologizing. [57] [58]

The party nominated 27 candidates across all 18 constituencies for the 2022 Assembly election, an increase of three from the 2017 election. [59] They received 96,390 votes, 11.2% of the total, down 1.7% from the 2017 Assembly election. They had 9 MLAs elected, down 1 from 2017 after Roy Beggs Jr lost his seat in East Antrim to Alliance. [60]

Leaders

ImageNameTenureNotes
Photograph of Colonel Edward James Saunderson MP 2.png Colonel Edward Saunderson 19051906Also leader of the Irish Unionist Party
Walter Hume Long, 1st Viscount Long portrait.jpg Walter Hume Long 19061910Also leader of the Irish Unionist Party
Sir Edward Carson, bw photo portrait seated.jpg Sir Edward Carson 19101921Also leader of the Irish Unionist Party
James Craig, 1st Viscount Craigavon.jpg The Viscount Craigavon 192119401st Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
John Miller Andrews.jpg J. M. Andrews 194019432nd Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
No image.svg The Viscount Brookeborough 194319633rd Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
No image.svg Captain Terence O'Neill 196319694th Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
James Chichester-Clark 1970.jpg James Chichester-Clark 196919715th Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
No image.svg Brian Faulkner 197119746th and final Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
No image.svg Harry West 19741979
No image.svg James Molyneaux 19791995
David Trimble.jpg David Trimble 19952005 First Minister of Northern Ireland
Official portrait of Lord Empey crop 2.jpg Sir Reg Empey 20052010
Tom Elliott.png Tom Elliott 20102012
Mike Nesbitt.png Mike Nesbitt 20122017
Robin Swann 2020.jpg Robin Swann 20172019
Steve Aiken (2020).png Steve Aiken 20192021
Doug Beattie.png Doug Beattie 2021present

Structure

The UUP is organised around the Ulster Unionist Council, which was from 1905 until 2004 the only legal representation of the party. Following the adoption of a new Constitution in 2004, the UUP has been an entity in its own right, however the UUC still exists as the supreme decision-making body of the Party.[ citation needed ] In autumn 2007 the delegates system was done away with, and today all UUP members are members of the Ulster Unionist Council, with entitlements to vote for the Leader, party officers and on major policy decisions.[ citation needed ]

Each constituency in Northern Ireland forms the boundary of a UUP constituency association, which is made up of branches formed along local boundaries (usually district electoral areas). There are also four 'representative bodies', the Ulster Women's Unionist Council, the Ulster Young Unionist Council, the Westminster Unionist Association (the party's Great Britain branch) and the Ulster Unionist Councillors Association. Each constituency association and representative body elects a number of delegates to the executive committee, which governs many areas of party administration such as membership and candidate selection.[ citation needed ]

The UUP maintained a formal connection with the Orange Order from its foundation until 2005, and with the Apprentice Boys of Derry until 1975.[ citation needed ] While the party was considering structural reforms, including the connection with the Order, it was the Order itself that severed the connection in 2004. The connection with the Apprentice Boys was cut in a 1975 review of the party's structure as they had not taken up their delegates for several years beforehand.[ citation needed ]

Youth wing

The UUP's youth organisation is the Young Unionists, which was re-constituted by young activists in March 2004 as a rebrand of the Ulster Young Unionist Council. The UYUC was formed in 1946 and disbanded twice, in 1974 and 2004. There is a Young Unionist student association in Queen's University Belfast. [61]

Representatives

Parliament of the United Kingdom

Members of the House of Commons as of December 2019: The UUP lost its two seats in the 2017 election. South Antrim went to the DUP while Fermanagh and South Tyrone went to Sinn Féin. It failed to regain any seats at the 2019 election.

Members of the House of Lords as of June 2017:

Northern Ireland Assembly

Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly as elected in May 2022:

Party leadership

Northern Ireland Executive Ministers

PortfolioName
Minister of Health Robin Swann

Party spokespersons

The current Party spokespersons include:

ResponsibilityName
Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Rosemary Barton
Communities Andy Allen
Education Robbie Butler
Economy John Stewart
Finance Steve Aiken
Health Alan Chambers
Infrastructure Roy Beggs Jnr
Justice Doug Beattie
Mental Health Robbie Butler

Party officers

The current party officers are:

ClassificationName
Leader Doug Beattie
Party ChairmanJill Macauley
Party Vice ChairmanRoy McCune
Assembly Group Representative Robbie Butler
Westminster Representative Lord Empey
Party TreasurerDavid Riddell
Chairman of the Councillors' AssociationSam Nicholson
Leader's Nominee Tom Elliott
Leader's Nominee Jenny Palmer
Members' NomineeGeorge White
Members' NomineeJoshua Lowry
Members' NomineeBethany Ferris

Electoral performance

Westminster

Map showing seat results in Northern Ireland Westminster elections 1997-2019 Northern Ireland election seats 1997-2019.svg
Map showing seat results in Northern Ireland Westminster elections 1997–2019
Election House of Commons Share of votesSeats+/-Outcome
1922 32nd57.2%
10 / 13
Increase2.svg 10Government (with Conservative)
1923 33rd49.4%
10 / 13
Steady2.svgOpposition
1924 34th83.8%
10 / 13
Steady2.svgGovernment (with Conservative)
1929 35th68.0%
9 / 13
Decrease2.svg 1Opposition
1931 36th56.1%
11 / 13
Increase2.svg 2National government
1935 37th64.9%
9 / 13
Decrease2.svg 2National government
1945 38th61.0%
9 / 13
Steady2.svgOpposition
1950 39th62.8%
10 / 12
Increase2.svg 1Opposition
1951 40th59.4%
9 / 12
Decrease2.svg 1Government (with Conservative)
1955 41st68.5%
10 / 12
Increase2.svg 1Government (with Conservative)
1959 42nd77.2%
12 / 12
Increase2.svg 2Government (with Conservative)
1964 43rd63.2%
12 / 12
Steady2.svgOpposition
1966 44th61.8%
9 / 12
Decrease2.svg 3Opposition
1970 45th54.3%
8 / 12
Government (with Conservative) until end of 1973, when whip and alliance with Conservative withdrawn caused snap election.
Feb 1974 46th32.3%
7 / 12
Decrease2.svg 1Opposition
Oct 1974 47th36.5%
6 / 12
Decrease2.svg 1Opposition
1979 48th36.6%
5 / 12
Decrease2.svg 1Opposition
1983 49th34.0%
11 / 17
Increase2.svg 6Opposition
1987 50th37.8%
9 / 17
Decrease2.svg 2Opposition
1992 51st34.5%
9 / 17
Steady2.svgOpposition
1997 52nd32.7%
10 / 18
Increase2.svg 1Opposition
2001 53rd26.7%
6 / 18
Decrease2.svg 4Opposition
2005 54th17.7%
1 / 18
Decrease2.svg 5Opposition
2010 55th15.2%
0 / 18
Decrease2.svg 1
2015 56th16.0%
2 / 18
Increase2.svg 2Opposition
2017 57th10.3%
0 / 18
Decrease2.svg 2
2019 58th11.7%
0 / 18
Steady2.svg

Stormont

ElectionBodyFirst preference votesVote %SeatsOutcome
1921 1st Parliament 343,34766.9%
40 / 52
UUP majority
1925 2nd Parliament 211,66255.0%
32 / 52
UUP majority
1929 3rd Parliament 148,57950.8%
37 / 52
UUP majority
1933 4th Parliament 73,79143.5%
36 / 52
UUP majority
1938 5th Parliament 187,68456.8%
39 / 52
UUP majority
1945 6th Parliament 180,34250.4%
33 / 52
UUP majority
1949 7th Parliament 237,41162.7%
37 / 52
UUP majority
1953 8th Parliament 125,37948.6%
38 / 52
UUP majority
1958 9th Parliament 106,17744.0%
37 / 52
UUP majority
1962 10th Parliament 147,62948.8%
34 / 52
UUP majority
1965 11th Parliament 191,89659.1%
36 / 52
UUP majority
1969 12th Parliament 269,50148.2%
36 / 52
UUP majority
1973 1973 Assembly 258,79035.8%
31 / 78
Largest party; coalition with SDLP and Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
1975 Constitutional Convention 167,21425.4%
19 / 78
Largest party
1982 1982 Assembly 188,27729.7%
26 / 78
Largest party
1996 Forum 181,82924.2%
30 / 110
Largest party
1998 1st Assembly 172,22521.3%
28 / 108
Largest party; coalition
2003 2nd Assembly 156,93122.7%
27 / 108
Direct rule
2007 3rd Assembly 103,14514.9%
18 / 108
Coalition
2011 4th Assembly 87,53113.2%
16 / 108
Coalition
2016 5th Assembly 87,30212.6%
16 / 108
Opposition
2017 6th Assembly 103,31412.9%
10 / 90
Coalition
2022 7th Assembly 96,39011.2%
9 / 90
Subject to negotiation

Local government

ElectionFirst-preference voteVote %Seats
1973 255,18717.0%
194 / 517
1977 166,97130.0%
176 / 526
1981 175,96526.4%
151 / 526
1985 188,49729.5%
189 / 565
1989 193,06431.3%
194 / 565
1993 184,08229.0%
197 / 582
1997 175,03628.0%
185 / 575
2001 181,33623.0%
154 / 582
2005 126,31718.0%
115 / 582
2011 100,64315.2%
99 / 583
2014 101,38516.1%
88 / 462
2019 95,32014.1%
75 / 462

European Parliament

ElectionFirst-preference voteVote %Seats
1979 125,16921.9%
1 / 3
1984 147,16921.5%
1 / 3
1989 118,78522.0%
1 / 3
1994 133,45922.8%
1 / 3
1999 119,50717.6%
1 / 3
2004 91,16416.6%
1 / 3
2009 82,89217.0%
1 / 3
2014 83,43813.3%
1 / 3
2019 53,0529.3%
0 / 3

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sylvia Hermon</span>

Sylvia Eileen, Lady Hermon is a retired Unionist politician from Northern Ireland. She served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency of North Down from 2001 to 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jim Allister</span> Politician

James Hugh Allister is a British Unionist politician and barrister in Northern Ireland. He founded the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) political party in 2007, leading the party since its formation. Allister has served as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for North Antrim since 2011, and is the TUV’s only representative in the Assembly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Belfast North (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1922 onwards

Belfast North is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current MP is John Finucane of Sinn Féin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Belfast South (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1922 onwards

Belfast South is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current MP is Claire Hanna of the SDLP.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Down (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1950 onwards

North Down is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current MP is Stephen Farry of the Alliance Party. Farry was elected to the position in the 2019 general election, replacing the incumbent Sylvia Hermon. Hermon had held the position since being elected to it in the 2001 general election, but chose not to contest in 2019.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Reg Empey</span> Northern Ireland politician (born 1947)

Reginald Norman Morgan Empey, Baron Empey,, best known as Reg Empey, is a Unionist politician from Northern Ireland, who was the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) from 2005 to 2010. He was the chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party from 2012 to 2019. Empey was also twice Lord Mayor of Belfast and was a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for East Belfast from 1998 to 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Elliott (politician)</span> United Kingdom politician

Thomas Beatty Elliott is an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) politician who has been a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for Fermanagh and South Tyrone since 2022, having previously served from 2003 to 2015. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Fermanagh and South Tyrone from 2015 to 2017, and was the leader of the UUP between 2010 and 2012.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election</span>

The 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election was held on Wednesday, 7 March 2007. It was the third election to take place since the devolved assembly was established in 1998. The election saw endorsement of the St Andrews Agreement and the two largest parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin, along with the Alliance Party, increase their support, with falls in support for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

The Northern Ireland Conservatives is a section of the United Kingdom's Conservative Party that operates in Northern Ireland. The party won 0.03% of the vote in the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election and 0.7% of the vote in the 2019 United Kingdom General election in Northern Ireland.

The Ulster Conservatives and Unionists, officially registered as the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists – New Force (UCUNF), was an electoral alliance in Northern Ireland between the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and the Conservative Party.

The fourth Northern Ireland Assembly was the unicameral devolved legislature of Northern Ireland following the 2011 assembly election on 5 May 2011. This iteration of the elected Assembly convened for the first time on 12 May 2011 in Parliament Buildings in Stormont, and ran for a full term.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2010 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland</span>

The 2010 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland occurred on 6 May 2010 and all 18 seats in Northern Ireland were contested. 1,169,184 people were eligible to vote, up 29,191 from the 2005 general election. 57.99% of eligible voters turned out, down 5.5 percentage points from the last general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2005 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland</span>

The 2005 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 5 May 2005 and all 18 seats in Northern Ireland were contested. 1,139,993 people were eligible to vote, down 51,016 from the 2001 general election. 63.49% of eligible voters turned out, down 5.1 percentage points from the last general election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2013 Mid Ulster by-election</span>

A by-election for the UK House of Commons constituency of Mid Ulster in Northern Ireland was held on 7 March 2013. The election was triggered by the resignation of Martin McGuinness, who had been elected to the seat in 1997 as the Sinn Féin candidate. The election was won by Francie Molloy, also of Sinn Féin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2015 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland</span>

The 2015 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 7 May 2015 and all 18 seats were contested. 1,236,765 people were eligible to vote, up 67,581 from the 2010 general election. 58.45% of eligible voters turned out, an increase of half a percentage point from the last general election. This election saw the return of Ulster Unionists to the House of Commons, after they targeted 4 seats but secured 2.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election</span>

The 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election was held on Thursday, 2 March 2017. The election was held to elect members (MLAs) following the resignation of deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in protest over the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal. McGuinness' position was not filled, and thus by law his resignation triggered an election.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election</span> Election held in Northern Ireland

The 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election was held on 5 May 2022. It elected 90 members to the Northern Ireland Assembly. It was the seventh assembly election since the establishment of the assembly in 1998. The election was held three months after the Northern Ireland Executive collapsed due to the resignation of the First Minister, Paul Givan (DUP), in protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2019 Newry, Mourne and Down District Council election</span> 2019 Northern Ireland local election

The 2019 election to the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, part of the Northern Ireland local elections that were held on 2 May 2019 returned 41 members to the council via Single Transferable Vote.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2019 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland</span> Result of Northern Ireland element of the UK General Election

The 2019 United Kingdom general election was held on 12 December 2019 to elect all 650 members of the House of Commons, including 18 seats in Northern Ireland. 1,293,971 people were eligible to vote, up 51,273 from the 2017 general election. 62.09% of eligible voters turned out, down 3.5 percentage points from the last general election. For the first time in history, traditional Irish nationalist parties won more seats than traditional unionist parties.

References

  1. 1 2 Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "Northern Ireland/UK". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  2. "Nesbitt says NI needs liberal progressive politicians". Belfast Newsletter. Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  3. Ari-Veikko Anttiroiko; Matti Mälkiä (2007). Encyclopedia of Digital Government. Idea Group Inc (IGI). pp. 394–. ISBN   978-1-59140-790-4. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  4. "Local council political compositions". Open Council Data UK. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  5. "NI parties step on election trail". BBC News. 5 April 2005. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  6. "Abstracts of Organisations – 'U'". Conflict Archive on the Internet . University of Ulster. 23 September 2015. Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  7. "Ulster Unionist Party". Politics 97. BBC. 1997. Archived from the original on 6 May 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  8. Alvin Jackson, Colonel Edward Saunderson: land and loyalty in Victorian Ireland (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 116
  9. Ulster Defence Union, Belfast Weekly News, October 21, 1893, failteromhat.com, accessed 4 January 2023
  10. Graham Walker, A History of the Ulster Unionist Party: Protest, Pragmatism and Pessimism (Manchester Studies in Modern History, 2004), p. 17
  11. John Harbinson (1973) The Ulster Unionist Party, 1882–1973. Belfast: Blackstaff Press ISBN   0-85640-007-6
  12. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Bloomfield, Ken (2007). A Tragedy of Errors. ISBN   9781846310645.
  14. "Archived copy". PBS . Archived from the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. Curtis, Jennifer (28 July 2014). Human Rights as War by Other Means. ISBN   9780812246193.
  16. Tonge, Jonathan (2 December 2013). Northern Ireland. ISBN   9781317875185. Archived from the original on 15 December 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  17. "BBC – History – The Troubles, 1963 to 1985". Archived from the original on 3 October 2019. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  18. "Tories form Northern Ireland party". belfasttelegraph. ISSN   0307-1235. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  19. Dan Keohane (2000), Security in British Politics 1945–99, p. 183.
  20. Stuart Bell and Anthony Seldon, The Heath Government 1970–74: A Reappraisal.
  21. "What is the UVF?". BBC News. 14 September 2005. Archived from the original on 22 December 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  22. McDonald, Henry (8 January 2007). "David Ervine". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 19 January 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  23. McKittrick, David (26 July 2005). "Feuding loyalists bring the fear back to Belfast". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 15 December 2005. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  24. "Row as Ervine joins UUP grouping". BBC News. 15 May 2006. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  25. "MP 'distressed' over Ervine move". BBC News. 17 May 2006. Archived from the original on 8 March 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  26. "UUP-PUP link 'against the rules'". BBC News. 11 September 2006. Retrieved 9 April 2010.
  27. DUP top in NI assembly election Archived 21 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine , BBC News Online , 12 March 2007.
  28. "Lady Hermon under 'no pressure'". BBC News. 27 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
  29. Devenport, Mark (12 May 2009). "Profile: Jim Nicholson". BBC News Online . Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  30. David Cameron launches biggest Conservative shake-up for decades Archived 23 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine The Daily Telegraph (London), 23 July 2008.
  31. Hermon: why she rejected Tory deal Archived 11 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine Belfast Telegraph, 14 May 2009.
  32. UUP MP Lady Sylvia Hermon rejects UCUNF candidacy Archived 27 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine BBC News, 23 February 2010.
  33. MP Lady Sylvia Hermon quits Ulster Unionists Archived 28 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine BBC News, 25 March 2010.
  34. "Legal threat to the UUP leadership race ebbs". Belfast Telegraph. 17 September 2010. Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  35. "Phoenix Magazine – Subscriber – Login" (PDF).
  36. "Troubled backdrop to UUP conference". www.newsletter.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  37. "Queen tribute singer Harry Hamilton with Alliance Party". BBC News. 14 January 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  38. "The 2011 Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland". Ark - Northern Ireland Elections. Retrieved 27 December 2022.
  39. "DUP and Sinn Féin top polls in NI Assembly elections". The Irish Times. 5 May 2011. Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  40. Purdy, Martina (9 March 2012). "UUP leader Tom Elliott quitting as party leader". BBC News Online . Archived from the original on 8 March 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  41. "Mike Nesbitt is new Ulster Unionist leader". BBC News Online . 31 March 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  42. "Election 2015 results: Northern Ireland". BBC News. 6 May 2015. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  43. Ulster Unionist Party. "Statement from the Ulster Unionist Party on EU Referendum". Ulster Unionist Party. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  44. "Ulster Unionist Party supports staying in EU". Belfast Telegraph. 5 March 2016. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  45. "Election 2017 results: Northern Ireland". BBC News. 9 June 2017. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  46. "The 2019 Local Government Elections in Northern Ireland". Ark Northern Ireland Elections. 13 May 2019.
  47. "UUP members will decide if they want someone else to lead, says Swann". belfasttelegraph. ISSN   0307-1235. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  48. "Steve Aiken takes over as new leader of Ulster Unionist Party". BBC. 9 November 2019. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  49. belfastlive.co.uk (17 May 2021). "Doug Beattie named new leader of the UUP". BelfastLive. Archived from the original on 21 May 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  50. "Doug Beattie: Who is the new leader of the UUP?". BBC News . 17 May 2021.
  51. "Former PUP councillor Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston joins Doug Beattie's UUP". Belfast Telegraph. 2 June 2021.
  52. "Ryan McCready: Ex-DUP councillor joins Ulster Unionists". BBC News. 5 July 2021.
  53. "Former Senator Ian Marshall joins Ulster Unionist Party". RTE News. 27 July 2021.
  54. "Alliance councillor Carole Howard defects to UUP". BBC News. 13 December 2021.
  55. "Dr John Kyle joins UUP weeks after quitting PUP". BBC News. 10 February 2022.
  56. "UUP councillor quits over party's 'liberal values'". BBC News. 30 October 2021.
  57. "Doug Beattie 'deeply ashamed' by past tweets". BBC News. 24 January 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  58. "Doug Beattie to continue as Ulster Unionist leader after 'horrific' tweets". The Guardian. 25 January 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  59. "NI election 2022: Candidates announced for assembly poll". BBC News. 8 April 2022.
  60. "Northern Ireland Assembly Election Results 2022". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2022.
  61. "QUB Young Unionists". Queens Students Union.

Further reading