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Results & Constituencies
 
 West Belfast
Other Sinn Fein hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Gerry Adams Sinn Fein 27,096 66.1 +10.2
Alex Attwood SDLP 7,754 18.9 -19.8
Eric Smyth DUP 2,641 6.4  
Chris McGimpsey UUP 2,541 6.2 +2.8
John Lowry Workers Party 736 1.8 +0.2
David Kerr Ulster Third Way 116 0.3  
Rainbow Weiss Vote 4 Yourself 98 0.2  
Majority 19,342 47.2
Turnout 40,982 68.7 -5.4

Description
Of all the seats in Northern Ireland, this has one of the largest proportion of Catholic residents though it also includes part of the loyalist Shankill Road.

Many of Belfast's best known neighbourhoods are in this constituency. These include the republican strongholds of the Falls Road, Andersonstown, Ballymurphy, Springfield and Divis Flats.

There is a great deal of poverty, with over half the housing stock in the constituency coming from the public sector, and very high unemployment.

Although he has never taken his seat in the commons, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has won the Westminster election in the constituency on three occasions.

Firstly in 1983, when the nationalist vote split between Joe Hendron of the SDLP and outgoing MP Gerry Fitt, who stood as an Independent. He held the seat in 1987, but lost to Mr Hendron in 1992. However, in 1997, Mr Adams retook the seat with a much increased vote share, and a majority of nearly 8,000.

At the 1998 Assembly election, Sinn Féin again topped the poll, with both Mr Adams and Mr Hendron being elected here, as well as the health minister in the devolved Executive, Bairbre de Brun.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 West Belfast
Sinn Fein gain from SDLP
Name Party Votes %
Gerry Adams Sinn Fein 25,662 55.9
Joe Hendron SDLP 17,753 38.7
Frederick Parkinson UUP 1,556 3.4
John Lowry Workers Party 721 1.6
Liam Kennedy Independent 102 0.2
Mary Daly Natural Law 91 0.2
Majority 7,909 17.2
Turnout 45,885 74.1
 
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