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Results & Constituencies
 
 South Down
Other SDLP hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Eddie McGrady SDLP 24,136 46.3 -6.6
Mick Murphy Sinn Fein 10,278 19.7 +9.3
Dermot Nesbitt UUP 9,173 17.6 -15.2
Jim Wells DUP 7,802 15.0  
Betty Campbell Alliance Party NI 685 1.3 -2.2
Majority 13,858 26.6
Turnout 52,074 70.8 +0.1

Description
South Down is largely rural and covers an area from the mouth of Strangford Lough near the town of Downpatrick, along the coast including the holiday resort of Newcastle, the Mourne Mountains and then from Kilkeel to the Irish border, up Carlingford Lough to Warrenpoint and inland past the outskirts of Newry and Banbridge, returning north-east to include Ballynahinch.

The main industries in the constituency are tourism and agriculture. Sheep are reared in the hills and elsewhere beef, pork, cereals and potatoes are produced. There is a fishing industry based in Kilkeel, Annalong and Ardglass while forestry and mineral workings also provide some rural employment. Warrenpoint is an expanding port with a roll-on/roll-off freight terminal.

The Mourne Mountains and surrounding parts form an area of outstanding natural beauty. Above Newcastle is the highest peak of the Mournes, Slieve Donard, and inland are the forest parks of Castlewellan and Tollymore.

Eddie McGrady has held this seat for the SDLP since 1987. In that year he defeated Enoch Powell, who had been Ulster Unionist MP for the seat since 1974, after he left the Conservative Party, and whose agent was then a youthful Jeffrey Donaldson.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 South Down
SDLP hold
Name Party Votes %
Eddie McGrady SDLP 26,181 52.9
Dermott Nesbitt UUP 16,248 32.8
Mick Murphy Sinn Fein 5,127 10.4
Julian Crozier Alliance Party NI 1,711 3.5
Rosaleen McKeon Natural Law 219 0.4
Majority 9,933 20.1
Turnout 49,486 70.7
 
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