Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Northern Ireland Boundaries, part one

The new boundaries for the 18 Northern Ireland parliamentary constituencies are to be announced at the end of next week. That will be fun...

Meantime, I've finally got around to looking at the plan to merge the current 26 local councils in NI into a mere seven, since that too will provide some redistricting excitement. My good friend Conal Kelly sent me this map of the basic reform some time ago:



Obviously there will be some adjustments to this map before the new councils come into being. I can fairly confidently forecast, for instance, that the Newcastle area (and maybe even Downpatrick?) will be moved from the South East to Southern districts, and in compensation the large but thinly populated part of Lisburn council that used to be in County Down pre-1973 will move from East to South East. Also since the new parliamentary boundaries to be published next week will further extend the Belfast parliamentary constituencies into the suburbs, it would seem sensible for Belfast City Council to do the same: prime candidates for absorption being Twinbrook/Poleglass, chunks of Castlereagh, and maybe also Glengormley.

So it is premature to do anything like merging the votes cast in the 2005 elections, and census results from 2001, and trying to work out what the new councils would look like if the people voting for them were to vote exactly the same way as in 2005. That hasn't stopped Conal Kelly from doing the first two, and me from doing the thrid step, as follows:

South East
Down, Castlereagh, Ards, North Down
25.2% Catholic, 69.9% Protestant (2001)
36% DUP, 20% UUP, 1% UKUP, 1% PUP, 12% Alliance, 3% Green, 1% NIWC, 5% Ind, 14% SDLP, 6% SF (2005)
22 DUP, 12 UUP, 1 UKUP, 7 Alliance, 2 Green, 1 NIWC, 3 Inds, 8 SDLP, 4 SF

East
Antrim, Lisburn, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey
26.8% Catholic, 68.7% Protestant (2001)
40% DUP, 22% UUP, 1% UUC, 1% Con, 10% Alliance, 2% Newtownabbey Ratepayers, 3% Ind, 9% SDLP, 11% SF (2005)
25 DUP, 14 UUP, 6 Alliance, 1 Newtownabbey Ratepayer, 2 Ind, 5 SDLP, 7 SF

North East
Coleraine, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Moyle, Larne
28.4% Catholic, 68.8% Protestant (2001)
43% DUP, 23% UUP, 4% Alliance, 6% Ind, 12% SDLP, 11% SF (2005)
26 DUP, 14 UUP, 2 Alliance, 4 Inds, 7 SDLP, 7 SF

Belfast
47.2% Catholic, 48.6% Protestant (2001)
25% DUP, 13% UUP, 3% PUP, 7% Alliance, 1% Green, 1% WP, 1% Ind, 16% SDLP, 29% SF (2005)
16 DUP, 8 UUP, 2 PUP, 4 Alliance, 1 Ind, 10 SDLP, 19 SF

South
Armagh, Craigavon, Newry and Mourne, Banbridge
55% Catholic, 43% Protestant (2001)
23% DUP, 20% UUP, 1% Alliance, 1% Green, 5% Ind, 22% SDLP, 27% SF (2005)
14 DUP, 12 UUP, 3 Inds, 13 SDLP, 16 SF

South West
Fermanagh, Omagh, Dungannon, Cookstown
61.7% Catholic, 37% Protestant (2001)
21% DUP, 18% UUP, 1% Socialist, 4% Ind, 17% SDLP, 40% SF (2005)
13 DUP, 11 UUP, 2 Inds, 10 SDLP, 24 SF

North West
Strabane, Derry, Limavady, Magherafelt
68.8% Catholic, 29.9% Protestant (2001)
20% DUP, 8% UUP, 1% UUC, 1% Socalist Environmental Alliance, 3% Ind, 29% SDLP, 37% SF (2005)
12 DUP, 5 UUP, 1 SEA, 2 Inds, 17 SDLP, 23 SF

As ever, for more information on election in Northern Ireland see my website.
Tags: elections, world: northern ireland
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