Belfast Telegraph

Constituency: South Down


Electorate Seats Total Poll Turnout Valid Poll Spoiled Votes
75,685 1 51,082 67.49% 50,893 189

Vote Distribution

Count 1

Count Results

  1
Chris Hazzard Chris Hazzard SF 20328
Margaret Ritchie Margaret Ritchie * SDLP 17882
Diane Forsythe Diane Forsythe DUP 8867
Harold McKee Harold McKee UUP 2002
Andrew McMurray Andrew McMurray AP 1814
  1
Chris Hazzard Chris Hazzard SF 20328
Margaret Ritchie Margaret Ritchie * SDLP 17882
Diane Forsythe Diane Forsythe DUP 8867
Harold McKee Harold McKee UUP 2002
Andrew McMurray Andrew McMurray AP 1814

Constituency Profile

Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard could pose the biggest threat to Margaret Ritchie's safe and secure seat in South Down.

The former SDLP leader took 42% of the total vote in 2015, with Mr Hazzard the only candidate in any way snapping at her heels.

But the Sinn Fein man's profile has increased substantially in the last two years — in part due to his time as Infrastructure Minister.

Ms Ritchie's share was actually squeezed during the General Election in 2015, falling by just over 6%.

That was mainly due to the swathes of unionist competition, as she took 18,077 votes, which saw her overall vote fall by just over 2,500.

And it will be a fresh face for the DUP trying to increase the party's share of the unionist vote this time around.

It's setting aside party stalwart Jim Wells, in favour of first timer Diane Forsythe — despite having no previous political experience.

Ulster Unionist Harold McKee will return to try and secure the largest unionist vote once again, just three months after losing his Assembly seat.

Mr Wells said he had stood in 17 elections in South Down in 35 years, and if he had run on June 8 it would have been his fifth campaign in just over two years.

Alliance councillor Andrew McMurray will be hoping for a greater shot at a double-digit voter share for the party, this time around.

And it's a tighter field this time around, with former Ukip man Henry Reilly and the Conservatives not standing.

On the Ballot

Diane Forsythe

Diane Forsythe

Democratic Unionist Party

First timer Diane Forsythe is replacing veteran DUP man and former Stormont minister Jim Wells as the party candidate, although she has no previous political experience. The Kilkeel woman is a mother-of-three, a keen runner and plays in a pipe band. Her father Glyn Hanna is a member on Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. DUP leader Arlene Foster said she would have all the "experience and know-how" of Jim Wells behind her.

Chris Hazzard

Chris Hazzard

Sinn Fein

Former Minister for Infrastructure Chris Hazzard was co-opted to the Northern Ireland Assembly at the age of 27 to replace Willie Clarke in 2012. He retained his seat in 2016 when he joined the Northern Ireland Executive. The MLA was re-elected in the constituency in March 2017. Mr Hazzard, from Drumaness, is completing a PhD at Queen’s on Irish political dynamics in the post-war era.

Harold McKee

Harold McKee

Ulster Unionist Party

Former MLA Harold McKee from Kilkeel was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in May 2016 and sat on the Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. He lost his seat to Sinn Fein in the snap Assembly election earlier this year. The former councillor stood unsuccessfully for election to Westminster in 2015. A former quarry manager and farmer, he opposed the introduction of a National Park for the Mournes.

Andrew McMurray

Andrew McMurray

Alliance Party

The Alliance Party selected Castlewellan man Andy McMurray as its newest councillor for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to represent the Slieve Croob area in 2016. Mr McMurray, who is married with two children, is an outdoor instructor and youth worker at the Ardnabannon Outdoor Education Centre.

Margaret Ritchie

Margaret Ritchie (Outgoing)

Social Democratic and Labour Party

A former parliamentary assistant and political researcher to then MP for South Down, Eddie McGrady, and a former Down District councillor, Margaret Ritchie was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2003 and again in 2007 when she was appointed Minister for Social Development - the sole SDLP member of the then Northern Ireland Executive. She resigned her Stormont seat in 2012 after she was elected as MP for South Down in 2010. She was returned as MP for the area in 2015. A former SDLP leader, she has served as a member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in Westminster.


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

Visit Our Elections Hub

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph