Armagh (UK Parliament constituency)
|Former County constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Replaced by||Newry and Armagh and Upper Bann|
|Created from||Mid Armagh, North Armagh and South Armagh|
|Replaced by||Mid Armagh, North Armagh and South Armagh|
The Act of Union 1800 provided for the Parliament of Ireland to be merged with the Parliament of Great Britain, to form the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The 300 seats in the Irish House of Commons were reduced to 100 Irish members in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The thirty-two Irish counties retained two seats in Parliament.
Members of ParliamentEdit
|1922||Sir William Allen||Ulster Unionist|
|1948 by-election||Richard Harden||Ulster Unionist|
|1954 by-election||C. W. Armstrong||Ulster Unionist|
|1959||John Maginnis||Ulster Unionist|
|Feb 1974||Harold McCusker||Ulster Unionist|
Politics and history of the constituencyEdit
The union took effect on 1 January 1801. There was no new election for the members of the 1st Parliament of the United Kingdom, as the House of Commons was composed of members elected to the previous Parliaments of Ireland and Great Britain. The constituencies consisted of the whole of County Armagh, excluding the part in the Parliamentary borough constituency of Armagh City.
Catholics were excluded from taking Irish seats in Parliament from 1691 until 1829. See Catholic emancipation for further details.
Catholics, who were otherwise qualified to vote, had to take various oaths before doing so; under Acts of 1691 and 1703. An Act of 1727 prohibited "papists" from voting at all. They were not again permitted to qualify to vote until 1793.
Before 1885 there was a restrictive property based franchise. In 1829 the traditional county 40 shilling freehold landowning qualification was changed to a £10 qualification (which was an increase to five times the previous level). It was not until the householder franchise was introduced for county elections, in the electoral reforms which took effect in 1885, that most (but not all) adult males became voters.
In these circumstances most members of parliament came from a limited number of Protestant aristocratic and gentry families. There were few contested elections.
In the first half century or so after the union this constituency was fairly evenly balanced between Whig/Liberal and Tory/Conservative parties. Thereafter the area became more Conservative.
A new seat was created in 1922 when as part of the establishment of the devolved Stormont Parliament for Northern Ireland, the number of MPs in the Westminster Parliament was drastically cut. The seat consisted of the entirety of County Armagh. In 1983 most of it became part of the Newry and Armagh constituency, with part going to Upper Bann.
From its inception Armagh had a unionist majority, though by the 1970s the nationalist vote was in the mid 30s%.
In 1951, it was one of the last four seats to be uncontested in a UK general election, and in 1954 it saw the last uncontested by-election in the UK.
In 1974 the Ulster Unionist Party repudiated the Sunningdale Agreement and so did not reselect the pro Sunningdale MP, John Maginnis. Instead they ran Harold McCusker, who held the seat until 1983. He was then elected for Upper Bann, which contained part of Armagh.
In two-member elections the bloc voting system was used. Voters could cast a vote for one or two candidates, as they chose. The two candidates with the largest number of votes were elected.
After 1832, when registration of voters was introduced, a turnout figure is given for contested elections. In two-member elections, when the exact number of participating voters is unknown, this is calculated by dividing the number of votes by two. To the extent that voters did not use both their votes this will be an underestimate of turnout. If the electorate figure is unknown the last known electorate figure is used to provide an estimate of turnout.
Where a party had more than one candidate in one or both of a pair of successive elections change is calculated for each individual candidate, otherwise change is based on the party vote.
Elections in the 1970sEdit
|Republican Clubs||Thomas Moore||2,310||3.5||−4.7|
|Republican Clubs||Malachy McGurran||5,138||8.2||+1.5|
|Republican Clubs||Thomas Moore||4,129||6.7||N/A|
|NI Labour||Erskine Holmes||8,781||12.9||N/A|
Elections in the 1960sEdit
|Independent Republican||Charles McGleenan||13,467||28.0||+5.0|
|Independent Republican||John Lynch||12,432||23.0|
|NI Labour||Samuel Ewart||6,523||12.0|
Elections in the 1950sEdit
|Sinn Féin||John Lynch||6,823||14.5|
|UUP||C. W. Armstrong||38,617||64.4|
|Sinn Féin||Tomás Mac Curtain||21,363||35.6|
- At the 1954 Armagh by-election, C. W. Armstrong was elected unopposed. This was the last unopposed Parliamentary election anywhere in the UK.
Elections in the 1940sEdit
Elections in the 1930sEdit
|Independent Republican||Charles McGleenan||16,284||32.4|
Elections in the 1920sEdit
|Ulster Liberal||William Todd||13,052||32.6||n/a|
|Sinn Féin||James McKee||11,756||28.8|
Elections in the 1880sEdit
|Conservative||St John Thomas Blacker||2,275||24.1||N/A|
|Conservative||William Edward Hercules Verner||1,781||18.9||−21.8|
|Turnout||4,724 (est)||68.1 (est)||−5.3|
|Liberal gain from Conservative||Swing||+10.8|
Elections in the 1870sEdit
|Conservative||Edward Wingfield Verner||3,527||40.7||N/A|
|Liberal||Frederick William McBlaine||1,673||19.3||N/A|
|Turnout||5,171 (est)||73.4 (est)||N/A|
|Conservative||Edward Wingfield Verner||Unopposed|
- Caused by Verner's death.
Elections in the 1860sEdit
- Caused by Close's resignation.
Elections in the 1850sEdit
|Turnout||937 (est)||16.7 (est)||N/A|
|Conservative gain from Whig||Swing||N/A|
Elections in the 1840sEdit
- At the 1847 general election, Verner and Caulfeild were elected unopposed.
Elections in the 1830sEdit
Elections in the 1820sEdit
|Tory||John Ynyr Burgess||730||9.03||N/A|
Elections in the 1810sEdit
- At the 1815 Armagh by-election, Henry Caulfeild was elected unopposed.
Elections in the 19th centuryEdit
- At the 1807 general election, Richardson and Brownlow were elected unopposed.
- At the 1807 Armagh by-election, Brownlow was elected unopposed.
- At the 1802 and 1806 general elections, Archibald Acheson and Henry Caulfeild were elected unopposed.
- Archibald Acheson and Robert Camden Cope were co-opted as non-partisans in 1801.
- Smith, Henry Stooks (1842). The Register of Parliamentary Contested Elections (Second ed.). Simpkin, Marshall & Company. pp. 214–215. Retrieved 15 September 2018 – via Google Books.
- "Newry Telegraph". 24 August 1847. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 15 September 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- "Armagh (County)". Evening Mail. 12 July 1852. p. 2. Retrieved 15 September 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- Walker, B.M., ed. (1978). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. ISBN 0901714127.
- "The Representation of Co. Armagh". Dublin Daily Express. 5 April 1880. p. 5. Retrieved 18 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive.
- The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844–50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
- Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
- Who's Who of British members of parliament: Volume I 1832–1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
- Northern Ireland Parliamentary Election Results 1921–1972, compiled and edited by Sydney Elliott (Political Reference Publications 1973)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 2)
- For the exact definition of Northern Ireland Parliament constituency boundaries see http://www.election.demon.co.uk/stormont/boundaries.html