Belfast Telegraph

Constituency: Foyle


Electorate Seats Total Poll Turnout Valid Poll Spoiled Votes
70,324 1 46,136 65.60% 45,965 171

Vote Distribution

Count 1

Count Results

  1
Elisha McCallion Elisha McCallion SF 18256
Mark Durkan Mark Durkan * SDLP 18087
Gary Middleton Gary Middleton DUP 7398
Shaun Harkin Shaun Harkin PBPA 1377
John Doherty John Doherty AP 847
  1
Elisha McCallion Elisha McCallion SF 18256
Mark Durkan Mark Durkan * SDLP 18087
Gary Middleton Gary Middleton DUP 7398
Shaun Harkin Shaun Harkin PBPA 1377
John Doherty John Doherty AP 847

Constituency Profile

Number crunchers looking at the Foyle constituency will have already worked out that this could very well be the year that Sinn Fein take this seat from the SDLP who have held it since 1983.

Despite a reduction in the number of candidate vying for the unionist vote which will increase the DUP's Gary Middleton vote, this will still be a two-horse race between SDLP's Mark Durkan and Sinn Fein's candidate Elisha McCallion.

Mrs McCallion shook the foundations of the Foyle Arena count centre in March when she topped the poll with an impressive 9,205 first preference votes in the Assembly elections.

She was closely followed by her running mate Raymond McCartney with over 7,000 votes leaving the two SDLP candidates, Party Leader Colum Eastwood and Mark H Durkan in their wake.

If the party can garner their supporters to come out and vote for Mrs McCallion in the same volume then the SDLP's Mark Durkan will have a real fight on his hands.

On the face of it Mr Durkan enjoyed a handsome victory in 2015 with 17,725 votes which was over 6,000 more that Sinn Fein's Gearóid Ó hEára but the results of the Assembly elections prove that Foyle is no longer the SDLP safe seat it once was.

Even the absence of a Ulster Unionist candidate as well as UKIP and NI Conservatives will do nothing to improve the DUP's Gary Middleton's chances of being elected.

Unionist voters have long ago realised that the demographics of this constituency means no  unionist candidate will be elected and so many chose to use their vote tactically to keep Sinn Fein out.

The Alliance party is fielding John Doherty as its candidate but there is little appetite for the party in this constituency polling just 835 votes in 2015 but People Before Profit's Shaun Harkin is unlikely to fare any better.

On the Ballot

John Doherty

John Doherty

Alliance Party

Born and raised in Foyle, John Doherty was educated at St Columb's College and Magee. Having initially received a Law Degree in 2015, he is now studying for a Master's Degree in Commercial Law. A cross-border worker, he has a personal interest in keeping the border open and avoiding a hard Brexit.

Mark Durkan

Mark Durkan (Outgoing)

Social Democratic and Labour Party

A native of Derry, Mark Durkan started to work for John Hume as his Westminster Assistant in 1984. In 1990 he became Chairperson of the SDLP, serving until 1995, and was elected to Derry City Council in 1993. He was a key member of the SDLP team during the negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 for Foyle and was appointed to the Northern Ireland Executive as Minister for Finance and Personnel. In 2001 he replaced Seamus Mallon as Deputy First Minister. He also succeeded John Hume as SDLP Leader. He became the MP for Foyle in 2005. He stood down as party leader in February 2010 to be replaced by Margaret Ritchie. In November 2010 he also resigned from the Assembly to concentrate on his role as MP for Foyle. He has served as a member of the Select Committee on Exiting the European Union.

Shaun Harkin

Shaun Harkin

People Before Profit Alliance

Shaun Harkin is a long-time socialist organiser, trade unionist, and writer. He is a member of the Socialist Workers Party, the People Before Profit Alliance, and UNISON Community Branch. He was the campaign organiser for Eamonn McCann's successful election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in May last year and is the North West Ireland PBPA organiser.

Elisha McCallion

Elisha McCallion

Sinn Fein

First elected as Derry Councillor in 2005, Elisha McCallion is a former Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council. She topped the poll in the snap Assembly election earlier this year, securing the late Martin McGuinness's Sinn Fein seat in Foyle. The first Mayor of the new DCSDC on its formation in 2015 and strong advocate of women, community and youth empowerment, the new MLA is married with three children.

Gary Middleton

Gary Middleton

Democratic Unionist Party

Gary Middleton was co-opted to the Northern Ireland Assembly in April 2015 to replace Maurice Devenney and was subsequently elected in May 2016 and again in March 2017. Before being an MLA, he was elected to Derry City Council in 2011 and served as deputy mayor. He was also elected to the new Derry City and Strabane District Council and appointed DUP Group leader in 2014.


  • Awaiting Results
  • Democratic Unionist Party
  • Sinn Fein
  • Independent

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