- Northern Ireland local government elections, 1989
Northern Ireland 1973–98
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Interim bodies Northern Ireland Assembly (1973)
Northern Ireland Executive (1974)
Constitutional Convention (1975)
Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)
Northern Ireland Forum (1996)
Elections 1973 · 1975 · 1982 · 1996 Members 1973 · 1975 · 1982 · 1996 See also Anglo-Irish Agreement
New Ireland Forum
Northern Ireland by-elections, 1986
Northern Ireland sovereignty referendum, 1973
The elections took place after a turbulent period in Northern Irish politics. The signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in November 1985 had been followed by widespread protests by those in the Unionist community. In November 1985, the 18 Unionist controlled District Councils voted for a policy of adjournment in protest against the AIA and in February 1986 also refused to set the 'rates' (local government taxes). In September 1986 Unionist councillors considered but rejected the option of mass resignations but decided to continue to use council chambers as a forum to protest the agreement.
One new development on the Unionist side was the entry into Northern Ireland politics of the Conservative Party which was joined by three sitting Unionist councillors.
On the Irish Republican side, the Irish Independence Party had disbanded following poor election results in 1985. Sinn Féin had split in 1986 over the issue of sitting in the Irish parliament, Dáil Éireann, if elected. The dissenting faction had formed Republican Sinn Féin (RSF). Three of the fifty nine councillors elected for Sinn Féin in 1985 joined this grouping. The Remembrance Day bombing of 1987 had a negative impact on subsequent SF support. Irish Republicanism was also affected by the passing of the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act 1989 which disqualified candidates who refused to sign a declaration renouncing:
- "(a) any organisation that is for the time being a proscribed organisation specified in Schedule 2 to the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978: or
- (b) acts of terrorism (that is to say, violence for political ends) connected with the affairs of Northern Ireland"
RSF refused to sign the declaration and thus their twenty three candidates became ineligible.
Party Councillors Votes Total +/- % share Total Ulster Unionist 194 +5 31.3 193,064 SDLP 121 +19 21.0 129,557 Democratic Unionist 110 -32 17.7 109,342 Sinn Féin 43 -16 11.2 69,032 Alliance 38 +4 6.9 42,646 Independent 23 +14 3.8 23,617 Independent Unionist 15 +7 2.6 15,804 Workers' Party 4 0 2.1 13,078 Conservative 6 N/A 0.8 5,204 Progressive Unionist 3 0 0.6 3,839 Ulster Democratic 1 +1 0.4 2,413 Protestant Unionist 1 0 0.3 1,879 Protestant 1 +1 0.3 1,754 Labour '87 1 N/A 0.2 1,433 Ulster Popular Unionist 3 0 0.2 1,223 Independent Nationalist 0 -6 0.1 804 Independent Conservative 1 N/A 0.1 752 Independent Democratic Unionist 0 0 0.1 585 Independent Loyalist 0 0 0.1 351 Green (NI) 0 0 0.1 329 Independent Labour 0 0 0.1 293 Communist Party 0 0 0.0 175 National Front 0 0 0.0 68
The results were interpreted as "movement away from the extremes" with the UUP and SDLP increasing their lead over their rivals in the DUP and Sinn Féin respectively. A total of eleven councils saw the two top posts shared by parties from either side of the political/sectarian divide. The number of councils controlled by one party increased from two to six. The DUP retained control of Ballymena, with the UUP retained control of Banbridge and gained control of Antrim and Lisburn. The SDLP gained control of Down and Derry.
Court Party Candidate 1st Pref Progressive Unionist Hugh Smyth 2,533 Independent Unionist Elizabeth Seawright 1,408 Ulster Unionist Fred Cobain 1,170 Democratic Unionist Eric Smyth 1,006 Independent Unionist Joe Coggle 953 Ulster Unionist Herbert Ditty 897 Independent W. B. Smith 717 Democratic Unionist Ted Ashby 644 Independent Unionist Alfie Ferguson 509 Workers' Party Peter Cullen 367 Sinn Féin Joe Austin 240 Turnout 10,825 No change Pottinger Party Candidate 1st Pref Democratic Unionist Sammy Wilson 2,780 Ulster Unionist Margaret Clarke 1,480 Alliance Mervyn Jones 1,296 Independent Unionist Dorothy Dunlop 1,179 Ulster Unionist Reg Empey 864 Democratic Unionist F. Leslie 768 Sinn Féin Joe O'Donnell 629 Workers' Party S. Flanagan 541 Democratic Unionist Jim Walker 493 Ulster Unionist D. A. McNutt 420 Democratic Unionist J. Norris 263 National Front S. McCullough 27 Turnout 11,248 Independent Unionist gain from Democratic Unionist Victoria Party Candidate 1st Pref Alliance John Alderdice 2,933 Ulster Unionist Tommy Patton 2,845 Ulster Unionist Ian Adamson 1,730 Democratic Unionist Wallace Browne 1,374 Democratic Unionist Robin Newton 1,171 Ulster Unionist A. F. H. Montgomery 767 Alliance Danny Dow 732 Democratic Unionist I. Lewis 667 Alliance G. P. C. Thompson 533 Independent S. J. Walker 449 Workers' Party H. Jordan 333 Turnout 13,901 No change Balmoral Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist Margaret Crooks 2,163 Ulster Unionist Jim Kirkpatrick 1,818 SDLP Dorita Field 1,636 Democratic Unionist Joan Parkes 1,602 Independent Unionist Billy Dickson 1,177 Alliance Mark Long 1,105 Alliance John Montgomery 1,061 Democratic Unionist C. Bingham 599 Workers' Party Shaun McKeown 243 Turnout 12,160 Alliance gain from Democratic Unionist Castle Party Candidate 1st Pref SDLP Alban Maginness 2,301 Ulster Unionist John Carson 2,192 Independent Unionist Frank Millar 1,835 Democratic Unionist Nigel Dodds 1,779 Independent Unionist Nelson McCausland 1,163 Alliance Tom Campbell 1,053 Ulster Unionist Alfie Redpath 767 Workers' Party A. Kerr 496 Sinn Féin Bobby Lavery 453 Democratic Unionist S. Lowry 216 Labour '87 T. Galloway 103 Green (NI) M. O'Sullivan 95 Turnout 12,326 Independent Unionist gain from Democratic Unionist Oldpark Party Candidate 1st Pref SDLP Brian Feeney 2,426 Ulster Unionist Fred Proctor 1,850 Sinn Féin G. McGuigan 1,682 Workers' Party Seamus Lynch 1,639 Sinn Féin Paddy McManus 1,548 Sinn Féin W. J. McGarry 1,115 Ulster Loyalist Democratic P. J. Bird 837 Democratic Unionist S. Mulholland 805 Ulster Unionist William Gault 780 Alliance G. E. Jones 443 Ulster Loyalist Democratic W. Clark 71 Turnout 13,744 Ulster Unionist gain from Democratic Unionist Laganbank Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist J. J. Dixon Gilmore 1,496 SDLP Alasdair McDonnell 1,415 Alliance Steve McBride 1,107 Democratic Unionist Rhonda Paisley 1,036 Ulster Unionist Jim Clarke 854 Alliance M. S. Thomas 755 Ulster Unionist H. Fletcher 753 Sinn Féin J. P. Clinton 753 SDLP G. McGettrick 629 Workers' Party K. Smyth 479 Ulster Unionist M. A. Dickson 198 Democratic Unionist B. Horan 132 Labour '87 P. A. Hainsworth 109 Communist Party Barry Bruton 91 Turnout 10,179 No change Upper Falls Party Candidate 1st Pref SDLP Alex Attwood 3,292 Sinn Féin Alex Maskey 2,378 Sinn Féin T. M. Holland 2,329 Sinn Féin Mairtin O Muilleoir 1,435 SDLP Cormac Boomer 1,189 SDLP Peter Prendiville 713 Independent Cormac Boomer 378 Workers' Party J. Craig 380 Alliance Dan McGuinness 326 Democratic Unionist R. Morrow 283 Communist Party K. O'Donnell 84 Turnout 12,835 Sinn Féin gain from Alliance Lower Falls Party Candidate 1st Pref SDLP Joe Hendron 2,748 Sinn Féin Fra McCann 2,307 Sinn Féin E. Fitzsimons 1,765 Sinn Féin R. G. May 1,626 Sinn Féin Sean McKnight 1,428 Workers' Party Mary McMahon 1,093 SDLP Mary Muldoon 588 Alliance Derrick Crothers 135 Turnout 12,260 Social Democratic and Labour gain from Alliance
Castlereagh Central Party Candidate 1st Pref Democratic Unionist Peter Robinson 3,461 Ulster Unionist G.T.A. Dillon 914 Alliance R.P. Mitchell 909 Ulster Unionist E. Gray 453 Alliance A.M. Smith 446 Democratic Unionist A.S. Carson 277 Democratic Unionist J. Boyd 184 Democratic Unionist C. Moore 150 Democratic Unionist P. McNaughten 26 Turnout 6,820 No change Castlereagh East Party Candidate 1st Pref Democratic Unionist Iris Robinson 1,168 Democratic Unionist M.E. Anderson 938 Independent Unionist W.H. Abraham 756 Alliance W. Boyd 749 Ulster Popular Unionist T. Jeffers 509 Ulster Unionist J. Bell 501 Ulster Unionist A. Murray 312 Alliance M.J. Wilkes 257 Democratic Unionist J.W. Boyle 196 Democratic Unionist S.M. Robinson 122 Independent M.A.B. Brooks 40 Turnout 5,548 Ulster Popular Unionist gain from Ulster Unionist Independent Unionist gain from Ulster Unionist Castlereagh South Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist John Taylor 2,039 Democratic Unionist E.S. Harper 1,954 Alliance D.G. Andrews 1,364 Ulster Unionist J. Clarke 667 Alliance Geraldine Rice 605 Democratic Unionist B.M. Chambers 432 Ulster Unionist F.R. Kane 402 Ulster Unionist M. Luney 164 Democratic Unionist T.R. Scott 107 Democratic Unionist G.E. McCorkell 62 Turnout 7,796 Alliance gain from Democratic Unionist
Ballycastle Party Candidate 1st Pref Democratic Unionist Gardiner Kane 385 SDLP Michael O'Cleary 379 Independent S. Blaney 221 Independent A.D. McAuley 218 Ulster Unionist R.A. McPherson 218 Independent J. McShane 202 Independent C.P. McCaughan 160 SDLP N. McCurdy 93 Turnout 1,876 Independent gain from Sinn Féin Giant's Causeway Party Candidate 1st Pref Independent Unionist R.A. McIlroy 554 Democratic Unionist J.A. Rodgers 370 Independent Unionist P. McConaghy 319 Ulster Unionist R.E. Getty 304 Democratic Unionist G. Rodgers 137 Independent Unionist R. McIlvar 46 Turnout 1,730 No change The Glens Party Candidate 1st Pref SDLP Malachy McSparran 468 SDLP P.J. McBride 344 Sinn Féin James McCarry 331 Independent R.D. McDonnell 297 SDLP J.G.C. Mitchell 284 Democratic Unionist E. White 251 SDLP D. Anderson 188 Independent M.J. Brogan 168 Turnout 2,331 No change
Newry and Mourne
Antrim Line Party Candidate 1st Pref Alliance J.J. Rooney 908 Democratic Unionist Tommy Kirkham 800 Ulster Unionist J. Smith 775 Ulster Unionist W. Green 718 SDLP T. P. McTeague 684 Ulster Unionist I. Hunter 414 Democratic Unionist B. McDonnell 235 Workers' Party B. Harrison 142 Labour Party NI T. Davidson 111 Turnout 4,787 SDLP gain from Democratic Unionist Ballyclare Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist S. H. Turkington 969 Independent Unionist Arthur Templeton 863 Ulster Unionist T. J. Downes 721 Independent Unionist S. R. Cameron 565 Democratic Unionist S. Cameron 431 Democratic Unionist S. Gardiner 359 Alliance T. Strain 323 Independent L. Hardy 281 Turnout 4,512 Ulster Unionist gain from Independent Doagh Road Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist Fraser Agnew 761 Labour Party NI Bob Kidd 712 Democratic Unionist Billy Snoddy 604 Ulster Unionist A. Beattie 526 Alliance J. K. Blair 334 Independent Democratic Unionist D. Hollis 246 Ulster Unionist W. Wright 109 Sinn Féin L. Collins 96 Workers' Party J.J. Magee 78 National Front David Kerr 41 Turnout 3,507 Alliance gain from Democratic Unionist Manse Road Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist George Herron 1,762 Ulster Unionist J. Robinson 914 Alliance Gordon Mawhinney 725 Democratic Unionist S. D. Neill 713 Ulster Unionist J. A. Kell 303 Workers' Party B. Heaney 175 Independent Democratic Unionist T. M. Buchanan 99 Turnout 4,691 Alliance gain from Democratic Unionist Shore Road Party Candidate 1st Pref Ulster Unionist B. J. Gilliland 1,008 Ulster Unionist Ken Robinson 973 Democratic Unionist B. Boyd 950 Alliance W. J. McKimmon 769 Independent Democratic Unionist W. M. Ball 240 Labour Party NI D. Lowrie 164 Democratic Unionist J. Boyd 150 Turnout 4,254 No change
- ^ Chronology of the Anglo Irish agreement
- ^ a b Elliott, Sydney; Smith, F.J. (1992), Northern Ireland: The District Council Elections of 1989, Queen's University of Belfast
- ^ Sinn Fein background
- ^ Local Government Elections 1989, Northern Ireland Elections
- ^ The councillor had been elected in 1985 for the Newtownabbey Labour Party, which was a member of the Labour '87 coalition.
- ^ a b Responsibility sharing in local government
- ^ a b c d e f g h i Belfast City Council Elections 1985–1989, Northern Ireland Elections
- ^ a b c Castlereagh Council Elections 1985–1989, Northern Ireland Elections
- ^ a b c Moyle Council Elections 1985–1989, Northern Ireland Elections
- ^ a b c d e newtownabbey Council Elections 1985–1989, Northern Ireland Elections
- ^ a b c Stood under the "Labour '87" banner
Elections and referendums in Northern Ireland Elections Local government elections1973 · 1977 · 1981 · 1985 · 1989 · 1993 · 1997 · 2001 · 2005 · 2011 Referendums
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