Election 2015: East Londonderry

Mussenden Temple, East Londonderry
Mussenden Temple, East Londonderry

East Londonderry constituency result is fairly easy to predict, and is unlikely to provide any shocks.

Gregory Campbell delivered a knock-out blow to the Ulster Unionist Party in 2001 when he ousted William Ross, who had held the seat for the UUP since the constituency was formed in 1983.

Mr Ross later threw down a challenge in 2010, this time representing the TUV.

However, he failed to halt Mr Campbell’s trail of electoral successes.

He attracted just 2,572 votes, about one tenth of the number which he had polled when at the peak of his success.

The party he left after switching allegiance to the TUV continued to see its support decline, and in 2010 the UUP’s Lesley McCauley was beaten down to third place by Sinn Fein’s candidate Cathal O hOisin.

The count at that time was marred by a dissident terrorist bomb bid at the count centre: Templemore sports complex in Londonderry.

The device was placed in a hijacked taxi and the count centre was sealed throughout the night.

Meanwhile, candidates for both Foyle and East Londonderry and their supporters were stuck inside, while Army technical officers carried out a controlled explosion.

This time round, the UUP contender is William McCandless – a councillor in the new Causeway Coast and Glens supercouncil, who switched allegiance from the DUP to the Ulster Unionists in 2012.

The principal town in this mainly rural constituency is Coleraine, and the estimated population of East Londonderry in 2013 was nearly 100,000.

On census day, almost 42 per cent declared themselves Catholic and 53 per cent were Protestant or other non-Catholic Christians.

A little over half (54 per cent) were employed.

While it looks almost certain Mr Campbell will be elected again this time around, it is worth noting that turnout has steadily declined since 1983.

On that occasion, more than 76 per cent of the electorate came out to register their choice for MP.

In 2010 the turnout for Westminster was just over 55 per cent, and the following year’s Assembly election saw just 54.1 per cent vote.

Caoimhe Archibald replaces the more high-profile Cathal O hOisin as Sinn Fein candidate.

The SDLP is fielding a better-known candidate in Gerry Mullan, a former mayor of Limavady.

He won a seat on the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council in 2014.

While Alliance has no chance of springing any sort of surprise, their candidate Yvonne Boyle will be hoping to the build on the 1,922 votes secured by Barney Fitzpatrick in 2010.

Despite coming in last, Alliance did enjoy an increase in the percentage of its vote (the only party besides Sinn Fein to have done so), with its share rising by 2.9 per cent per cent compared with its 2005 performance.

Further out on the fringes of the political scene, the Northern Ireland Conservatives are fielding Liz St Clair-Legge, and the Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol party is standing Neil Paine as its representative – one of four seats in the Province where the party’s candidates are making an appearance.


ARCHIBALD, Caoimhe (Sinn Fein)

BOYLE, Yvonne (Alliance)




PAINE, Neil Jason (Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol)

ST CLAIR-LEGGE, Elizabeth Anne (Conservatives)



• Gregory Campbell (DUP): 12,097

34.6%, down 8.3% on 2005

• C O hOisín (SF): 6,742

19,3%, up 3.2%

• Lesley Macaulay (UUP-Con): 6,218

17.8%, down 3.3%

• T Conway (SDLP): 5,399

15.5%, -1.6

• William Ross (TUV): 2,572


• B Fitzpatrick (Alliance): 1,922

5.5%, up 2.9%

Electorate: 63,220

Turnout: 55.5


• Gregory Campbell (DUP): 15,225, 42.9%

• David McClarty (UUP): 7,498, 21.1%

• John Dallat (SDLP): 6,077, 17.1%

• Billy Leonard (Sinn Fein): 5,709, 16.1%

• Yvonne Boyle (Alliance): 924, 2.6%

• Malcolm Samuel (Ind.): 71, 0.2%


• Gregory Campbell (DUP): 12,813, 32.1%

• Willie Ross (UUP): 10,912, 27.4%

• John Dallat (SDLP): 8,298, 20.8%

• Francie Brolly (Sinn Fein): 6,221, 15.6%

• Yvonne Boyle (Alliance): 1,625, 4.1%