1969 Northern Ireland general election

The 1969 Northern Ireland general election was held on Monday 24 February 1969. It was the last election to the Parliament of Northern Ireland before its abolition by the Northern Ireland Constitution Act 1973.

1969 Northern Ireland general election

← 1965 24 February 1969 1973 →

All 52 seats to the House of Commons of Northern Ireland
27 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Blank Blank
Leader Terence O'Neill Eddie McAteer
Party UUP Nationalist
Leader since 25 March 1963 2 June 1964
Leader's seat Bannside Foyle (Lost)
Last election 36 seats, 59.1% 9 seats, 8.2%
Seats won 36[nb 1] 6
Seat change Steady Decrease3
Popular vote 269,501 42,315
Percentage 48.2% 7.6%
Swing Decrease10.9% Decrease0.6%

  Third party Fourth party
  Blank Blank
Leader Tom Boyd Gerry Fitt
Party NI Labour Republican Labour
Leader since 1958 1964
Leader's seat Belfast Pottinger (Lost) Belfast Dock
Last election 2 seats, 20.4% 2 seat, 1.0%
Seats won 2 2
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 45,113 13,115
Percentage 8.1% 2.4%
Swing Decrease12.3% Increase1.4%

Northern Ireland general election 1969.png
Election results by constituency

Prime Minister before election

Terence O'Neill
UUP

Elected Prime Minister

Terence O'Neill
UUP

Unlike previous elections that produced a large unambiguous majority for the Ulster Unionist Party, this one gave more complex results. The Ulster Unionists were divided over a variety of reforms introduced by Prime Minister Terence O'Neill and this division spilled over into the election with official Ulster Unionist candidates standing either in support of or opposition to O'Neill and a number of independent pro O'Neill Unionists standing against opposing candidates. The results left O'Neill without a clear majority for his reforms and he resigned not long afterwards.

This was the first (and only) election since the 1929 general election to see changes to the constituencies. The Queen's University of Belfast seat was abolished and four new constituencies were created in the suburbs of Belfast to compensate for population growth there.

ResultsEdit

23 13 6 3 3 2 2
UUP (Pro-O'Neill) UUP (Anti-O'Neill) Nationalist IU I
Party Popular vote Seats
Votes % ±pp Won +/−
Ulster Unionist Party (Total) 269,501 48.2 -10.9 36 ±0
Ulster Unionist Party (Pro-O'Neill) 154,320 27.6 N/A 23 N/A
Ulster Unionist Party (Anti-O'Neill) 115,181 20.6 N/A 13 N/A
Independent Pro-O'Neill Unionist 86,052 15.6 N/A 3 N/A
NI Labour 45,113 8.1 –12.3 2 ±0
Nationalist Party 42,315 7.6 -0.6 6 -3
National Democratic Party 26,009 4.6 -0.1 0 -1
People's Democracy 23,645 4.2 N/A 0 N/A
Independent 21,977 3.9 +3.9 3 +2
Protestant Unionist Party 20,991 3.8 N/A 0 N/A
Republican Labour Party 13,115 2.4 +1.4 2 ±0
Ulster Liberal Party 7,337 1.3 -2.6 0 -1
People's Progressive 57,785 0.6 N/A 0 N/A
Votes cast / turnout 559,047 71.9% 52

Electorate: 912,087 (778,031 in contested seats); Turnout: 71.9% (559,087).

Votes summaryEdit

Popular vote
UUP (Pro-O'Neill)
44.1%
UUP (Anti-O'Neill)
17.1%
Labour
8.07%
Nationalist
7.57%
National Democratic
4.65%
Independent
3.84%
Peoples' Democracy
4.23%
Protestant Unionist
3.75%
Independent Unionist
2.49%
Republican Labour
2.35%
Ulster Liberal
1.31%
People's Progressive
0.54%

Seats summaryEdit

Parliamentary seats
UUP (Pro-O'Neill)
44.23%
UUP (Anti-O'Neill)
25.00%
Nationalist
11.54%
Ind. Pro-O'Neill Unionist
5.77%
Independent
5.77%
Labour
3.85%
Republican Labour
3.85%

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ 23 Ulster Unionist MPs were pro-O'Neill, while 13 of them were anti-O'Neill. The results left O'Neill without a clear majority for his reforms and he resigned not long afterwards.

ReferencesEdit