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Foyle (constituency)
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Foyle (constituency)

Foyle is a Parliamentary Constituency in the House of Commons and also an Assembly constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Table of contents
1 Boundaries
2 Westminster elections
3 Assembly and Forum elections
4 Politics and History of the constituency


The seat was created in boundary changes in 1983, as part of an expansion of Northern Ireland's constituencies from 12 to 17, and was predominantly made up from the old Londonderry constituency. Since further revisions in 1995 (when it lost parts of the district of Strabane to the West Tyrone constituency) it now covers exactly the same area as Derry city.

The name comes from the River Foyle which the city lies on and is used to avoid the contentious names of Derry or Londonderry.

Proposed Boundary changes

At the time of writing the Boundary Commission has published provisional recommendations for modifying the boundaries of constituencies in Northern Ireland. It proposes to transfer two rural wards in Derry to the East Londonderry constituency. However the proposals are likely to come under public scrutiny and it is possible that arguments will be successfully made for maintaining co-terminous boundaries with local government districts.

Westminster elections

The Member of Parliament since the 1983 general election is John Hume of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. He has announced he will retire at the next general election.

Assembly and Forum elections

The six MLAs for the consituency elected in the 2003 election are:

In the 1998 election the six MLAs elected were:

Changes 1998-2003

In the 1996 election to the Northern Ireland Peace Forum, 5 Forum members were elected from Foyle. They were as follows:

Politics and History of the constituency

For the history of the equivalent constituency prior to 1983, please see Londonderry (constituency).

The constituency is overwhelming nationalist and in many elections has often had the strongest vote for the SDLP in the entire of Northern Ireland. Unionists of various parties routinely poll around 20%-25% in elections.

There had been much speculation that with the gradual retirement of John Hume from politics, the SDLP vote might collapse. In the Northern Ireland Assembly Election, 2003 the SDLP lost 11.5% of the vote and were only narrowly ahead of Sinn Fein. With Hume standing down from the Westminster seat at the next general election there is much speculation about the possibility of Sinn Fein taking it for the first time.