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Results & Constituencies
 
 South Antrim
Other UUP win (regained after DUP by-election victory)
Name Party Votes % +/- %
David Burnside UUP 16,366 37.1 -20.4
William McCrea DUP 15,355 34.8  
Sean McKee SDLP 5,336 12.1 -4.1
Martin Meehan Sinn Fein 4,160 9.4 +3.9
David Ford Alliance Party NI 1,969 4.5 -7.1
Norman Boyd NI Unionist 972 2.2  
Majority 1,011 2.3
Turnout 44,158 62.5 +4.7

Description
The constituency stretches from the outskirts of Belfast and the western border of the South Antrim constituency to Lough Neagh and the River Bann in the west. It takes Randalstown, Glengormley and Ballyclare - as well as the town of Antrim itself - which are the urban and industrial parts of the seat.

The area has suffered from the considerable decline in the synthetic fibre industry since the early 1970s. However, in recent years, the area has attracted investment from Korean manufacturing and electronics firms.

Nevertheless, the seat is predominantly rural, and agriculture is quite important here. Lough Neagh is the UK's largest freshwater lake and is an important tourist attraction.

This has been a staunchly unionist seat, with barely two in 10 electors identified as Catholics. The Ulster Unionists held it for some time and in 1997 it was the safest seat for any party in Northern Ireland, with the UUP taking 57.5% of the vote.

However, it became the site of a keenly contested by-election in 2000, in the wake of the death of Ulster Unionist Clifford Forsythe. The DUP put up the Rev Willie McCrea, a high profile figure fighting on a strong anti-Agreement ticket, who beat the UUP's David Burnside by 822 votes.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 South Antrim
UUP hold
Name Party Votes %
Clifford Forsythe UUP 23,108 57.5
Donovan McClelland SDLP 6,497 16.2
David Ford Alliance Party NI 4,668 11.6
Hugh Smyth PUP 3,490 8.7
Henry Cushinan Sinn Fein 2,229 5.5
Barbara Briggs Natural Law 203 0.5
Majority 16,611 41.3
Turnout 40,195 57.8
Parliamentary By-Election
 South Antrim
DUP gain
Name Party Votes %
William McCrea DUP 11,601 38.0
David Burnside UUP 10,779 35.3
Donovan McClelland SDLP 3,496 11.4
Martin Meehan Sinn Fein 2,611 8.5
David Ford Alliance Party NI 2,031 6.6
David Collins Natural Law 49 0.2
Majority 822 2.7
Turnout 30,567 43.0
 
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