West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

West Tyrone Constituency

General Election 2001:   Sinn Féin MP's Pat Doherty, Michelle Gildernew and Martin Mc Guinness emerge victorious from the count centre at Omagh Leisure Centre.

General Election 2001: Sinn Féin MP's Pat Doherty, Michelle Gildernew and Martin Mc Guinness emerge victorious from the count centre at Omagh Leisure Centre.

This constituency includes the whole of Strabane and Omagh District Councils. The MP has been Pat Doherty since the 2001 election; he defeated William Thompson (UUP) who won the seat when it was created for the 1997 election. SF hold three Assembly seats here, and the DUP, UUP and SDLP one each (the UUP and SDLP gained from the DUP and independent MLA Kieran Deeny in 2011; the DUP and SF both gained from the UUP and SDLP in 2007; Deeny had gained his seat from the SDLP in 2003).

When it was created in 1995, West Tyrone actually included more of the old Mid Ulster constituency than does the new Mid Ulster, and also parts of the old Foyle. No changes were made in 2010.

West Tyrone's population in the 2001 census was 86,200 (14th of the 18 constituencies).

  • The average age was 34.15 (15th highest).
  • 64.21% described themselves as Catholic (3rd of 18 constituencies); 13.41% as Presbyterian (13th highest), 11.12% as Church of Ireland (15th highest), 1.32% as Methodist (13th highest) and 2.49% as members of other Christian denominations (16th highest). 7.31% were "no religion or religion not stated" (2nd lowest).
  • The translation into "Community background" was 67.79% Catholic (3rd out of 18), 31.26% Protestants and other Christians (16th highest), 0.19% other religions and philosophies (15th highest) and 0.76% none (lowest).

2011 Assembly Election (six seats)

Barry McElduff (SF) 6,008 (15.3%)
Pat Doherty MP (SF) 5,630 (14.3%)
Michaela Boyle (SF) 5,053 (12.9%)
Thomas Buchanan (DUP) 5,027 (12.8%)
Ross Hussey (UUP) 4,072 (10.4%)
Allan Bresland (DUP) 4,059 (10.3%)
Joe Byrne (SDLP) 3,353 (8.5%)
Declan McAleer (SF) 3,008 (7.7%)
Paddy McGowan (Independent) 1,145 (2.9%)
Eugene McMenamin (Independent) 1,096 (2.8%)
Eric Bullick (Alliance) 852 (2.2%)

SF 19,699 (50.1%, +7.6%) 3 seats
DUP 9,086 (23.1%, +1.7%) 1 seat (-1)
UUP 4,072 (10.4%, +2.5%) 1 seat (+1)
SDLP 3,353 (8.5%, -6.0%) 1 seat (+1)
Independents 2,241 (5.7%) (-1)
Alliance 852 (2.2%)

Electorate: 62,970
Votes cast: 40,323 (64.0%); spoilt votes 1020 (2.5%)
Valid votes 39,282; quota: 5,615

Two changes here, the only constituency where this was true. The SDLP managed to regain the seat they lost to independent MLA Kieran Deeny in 2007, despite the interventions of two former SDLP members running as independents. The UUP regained the seat they lost to the DUP in 2007.

2011 local government elections

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Omagh and Strabane council areas were as follows:

SF 17,187 (43.5%)
DUP 7,663 (19.4%)
UUP 5,521 (14.0%)
SDLP 4,548 (11.5%)
IRSP 666 (1.7%)
Alliance 322 (0.8%)
Independents 3,562 (9%)

In a six-seat STV election, this pattern of votes would probably have returned three SF seats, and one each for the DUP, UUP and SDLP.


2010 Westminister Election

Candidate Elected: Pat Doherty

Eligible Electorate: 61,148
Votes Polled: 37,632
Valid Votes: 37,275
Invalid Votes: 357
Turnout: 61.54%

Name Party Votes % +/-

  • Pat Doherty, Sinn Fein 18,050 (48.4%; +9.5%)
  • Thomas Buchanan, Democratic Unionist Party 7,365 (19.8%; +2.0%)
  • Ross Hussey, Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force 5,281 (14.2%; +7.3%)
  • Joe Byrne, Social Democratic & Labour Party 5,212 (14.0%; +4.9%)
  • Michael Bower, Alliance Party 859 (2.3%; +2.3%)
  • Ciaran McClean, Independent 508 (1.4%; +1.4%)

Majority 10,685 (28.7%); Turnout 37,275 (61.0%; -14.2%)

2007 Assembly Election

*Barry McElduff (SF) 6971 (16.8%)
*Pat Doherty MP (SF) 6709 (16.2%)
Claire McGill (SF) 4757 (11.5%)
*Thomas Buchanan (DUP) 4625 (11.2%)
Allan Bresland (DUP) 4244 (10.2%)
*Kieran Deeny (Independent) 3776 (9.1%)
*Derek Hussey (UUP) 3686 (8.9%)
Josephine Deehan (SDLP) 2689 (6.5%)
*Eugene McMenamin (SDLP) 2272 (5.5%)
Seamus Shields (SDLP) 1057 (2.5%)
Joseph O'Neill (RSF) 448 (1.1%)
^Robert McCartney (UKUP) 220 (0.5%)

*Elected in 2003 from West Tyrone
^Elected in 2003 from North Down SF 18,437 (44.5%, +5.9%) 3 seats (+1)
DUP 8,869 (21.4%, +3.9%) 2 seats (+1)
SDLP 6,018 (14.5%, -0.1%) (-1)
Ind 3,776 (9.1%, -5.6%) 1 seat
UUP 3,686 (8.9%, -4.7%) (-1)
RSF 448 (1.1%)
UKUP 220 (0.5%)

Electorate 58,367
Votes cast 41,839 (71.7%); spoilt votes 385 (0.9%)
Valid votes 41,454; quota 5,923


This was the least expected result of the election in 2007 (as it had been in 2003). For the UUP to be eclipsed by the DUP was not completely unexpected, but for the SDLP to fail to win a seat, despite having over a quota of first preferences, was pretty incredible. Their internal transfers dribbled away, and Kieran Deeny picked up from all over the place to keep his seat.

2005 Westminster election (5 May, 1 seat)

*@Pat Doherty (Sinn Fein) 16,910 (38.9% -1.9%)
@Kieran Deeny (Independent) 11,905 (27.4%)
@Thomas Buchanan (DUP) 7,742 (17.8%)
@Eugene McMenamin (SDLP) 3,949 (9.1% -19.6%)
@Derek Hussey (UUP) 2,981 (6.9% -23.5%)

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

If these votes were cast in a six-seat STV election, SF would have won three seats, Kieran Deeny two and the DUP one.

2005 Local Government Election (5 May)

Sinn Fein 18,703 (43.4%)
DUP 8,246 (19.1%)
SDLP 7,698 (17.9%)
UUP 5,814 (13.5%)
PUP 64 (0.1%)
Independents 2,588 (6.0%)

If these votes were cast in a six-seat STV election, SF would win three and the DUP, SDLP and UUP one each.

2003 Assembly election (26 November; six seats)

Kieran Deeney (Ind) 6158 (14.8%)
*Pat Doherty (SF) 6019 (14.4%)
*Barry McElduff (SF) 5642 (13.5%)
Thomas Buchanan (DUP) 4739 (11.4%)
Brian McMahon (SF) 4450 (10.7%)
*Derek Hussey (UUP) 3733 (8.9%)
*Eugene McMenamin (SDLP) 3465 (8.3%)
*Joe Byrne (SDLP) 2645 (6.3%)
Derek Reaney (DUP) 2547 (6.1%)
Bert Wilson (UUP) 1934 (4.6%)
Roy Reid (PUP) 233 (0.6%)
Steven Alexander (Alliance) 164 (0.4%)
SF 16,111 (38.6%, +4.5%) 2 seats
DUP 7,286 (17.5%, +0.1%) 1 seat
Ind 6,158 (14.8%) 1 seat (+1)
SDLP 6,110 (14.6%, -11.1%) 1 seat (-1)
UUP 5,667 (13.6%, -2.1%) 1 seat
PUP 233 (0.6%)
Alliance 164 (0.4%, -1.8%)

Electorate 57,795
Votes cast 42,328 (73.2%); spoilt votes 599 (1.4%)
Valid votes 41,729; quota 5,962


Reaction:
Every election produces some surprise results and this was the biggest of 2003 - independent candidate Kieran Deeny, campaigning for the retention of the hospital in Omagh, topped the poll. Most people had forecast that one of the two SDLP seats was vulnerable to Sinn Fein; in fact it fell to Deeny.

West Tyrone had lost 8.92% of its electorate in the great electoral register shake-out, varying from 16.42% in the Lisanelly ward of Omagh to 4.29% in the Glenderg ward of Strabane. 3 constituencies lost fewer voters, 14 lost more.

2001 Westminster Election (7 June; 1 seat)

@Pat Doherty (Sinn Fein) 19,814 (40.8%)
*Willie Thompson (UUP) 14,774 (30.4%)
@Brid Rodgers (SDLP) 13,942 (28.7%)

Electorate: 60,739; votes cast: 48,964 (80.6%); spoilt votes: 434 (0.8%)
Valid votes: 48,530; SF majority 5,040

* outgoing MP
@ Member of the Assembly

A particularly dramatic SF gain; the SDLP had foolishly been talking up their chances here, but in the event came third. A six-seat Assembly election on these figures would give two seats each to SF, the UUP and the SDLP, though only a very small increase in the SF vote would give them three seats and the SDLP one.

2001 Local Government Election (7 June)

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Omagh and Strabane council areas were as follows:

SF 19,398 (40%)
SDLP 10,009 (21%)
UUP 7,733 (16%)
DUP 7,657 (16%)
WP 211 (0.4%)
Inds 3,088 (6%)
Total valid votes 48,096 (79.1% of electorate)

It is easy enough to extrapolate from the local council elections because the West Tyrone constituency includes two whole district councils. The votes cast would have given the two Unionist parties a seat each, and probably one to the SDLP and three to Sinn Féin.

1998 Assembly Election (25 June; six seats)

*Oliver Gibson (DUP) 8,015
#Pat Doherty (SF) 7,027
*Joe Byrne (SDLP) 6,495
*Barry McElduff (SF) 4,963
*Derek Hussey (UUP) 4,622
Seamus Devine (SF) 3,676
Eugene McMenamin (SDLP) 3,548
Alastair Patterson (UUP) 2,615
Pat McDonnell (SDLP) 1,772
*Paddy McGowan (Ind Community) 1,269
Ann Gormley (Alliance) 1,011
Johnny McLaughlin (Pro-Agreement Socialist) 570
Laurence O'Kane (Community and Environmental Conservation Campaign) 171
Tommy Owens (WP) 157
Robert Johnstone (NLP) 40 SF 15,666 (34.09%) 2 seats
SDLP 11,815 (25.71%) 2 seats
DUP 8,015 (17.44%) 1 seat
UUP 7,237 (15.75%) 1 seat
Ind Comm 1,269 (2.76%)
Alliance 1,011 (2.20%)
Soc 570 (1.24%)
CECC 171 (0.37%)
WP 157 (0.34%)
NLP 40 (0.09%)

Electorate 59,081
Votes cast: 46,913 (79.4%); spoilt votes 962 (2.1%)
Valid votes: 45,951; quota 6,565

The most predictable result in Northern Ireland. Barry McElduff finished with 5,997 votes, far ahead of his running mate Seamus Devine's 4,088.

* elected in 1996 Forum/talks election from West Tyrone
# elected in 1996 Forum/talks election as a 'top-up' candidate.

1997 Local Government Election

First preference votes cast in the whole of the Omagh and Strabane council areas were as follows:

Sinn Féin 13,388 votes (32%)
Social Democratic and Labour Party 9,588 votes (23%)
Ulster Unionist Party 8,770 votes (21%)
Democratic Unionist Party 6,080 votes (15%)
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 926 votes (2%)
Labour 711 votes (2%)
Workers Party 457 votes (1%)
Democratic Left 148 votes (0.48%)
Ulster Independence Movement 42 votes (0.10%)
Others 1469 votes (4%)
Total valid votes 41,580 (71.08% of electorate)

1997 Westminster Election (one seat)

William Thompson (Ulster Unionist Party) 16,003 (35%)
ƒJoe Byrne (Social Democratic and Labour Party) 14,842 (32%)
Pat Doherty (Sinn Féin) 14,280 (31%)
Ann Gormley (Alliance Party of Northern Ireland) 829 (2%)
Tommy Owens (Workers' Party) 230 (0.50%)
Robert Johnstone (Natural Law Party) 91 (0.20%)
Turnout 46,275 (79.55%)

ƒ member of the Forum

1996 Forum Election (five seats)

Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 11,622 (28%); Joe Byrne, Paddy McGowan elected
Sinn Féin (SF) 11,516 (28%); Barry McElduff elected
Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) 7,327 (18%); Derek Hussey elected
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 6,727 (16%); Oliver Gibson elected
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) 1,081 (3%)
Labour (Lab) 792 (2%)
Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) 397 (1%)
United Kingdom Unionist Party (UKUP) 292 (1%)
Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) 238 (1%)
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) 185 (0.45%)
Green Party 158 (0.39%)
Workers Party (WP) 169 (0.41%)
Democratic Left (DL) 130 (0.32%)
Conservative Party (Con) 119 (0.29%)
Ulster Independence Movement (UIM) 107 (0.26%)
Natural Law Party (NLP) 45 (0.11%)
Independent Chambers 30 (0.07%)

Electorate: 57,348; votes cast: 41,146 (71.7%); spoilt votes: 211 (0.5%); valid votes: 40,935

Fermanagh & Omagh District Council

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