Belfast Duncairn (UK Parliament constituency)

Belfast Duncairn
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members one
Replaced by Belfast North
Created from Belfast North

Duncairn, a division of Belfast, was a UK parliamentary constituency in Ireland. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Boundaries and boundary changes

This constituency comprised the eastern half of North Belfast, and contained the then Duncairn ward and the north-eastern part of the then Clifton ward of Belfast Corporation.[1]

Prior to the 1918 general election and after the dissolution of Parliament in 1922, the area was part of the Belfast North constituency.


The constituency was a strongly unionist area. There was no real chance of a republican or nationalist candidate being elected. Carson was the Unionist leader in the House of Commons. His chief opponent was Major William Hamilton Davey, recently returned from France following the armistice. A barrister in civilian life, Major Davey stood for Home Rule and retained his deposit. During the course of the campaign Carson mistakenly referred to Major Davey as a 'Sinn Féiner' which led to damages being awarded to Major Davey in a his subsequent legal action for slander.

The First Dáil

Sinn Féin contested the general election of 1918 on the platform that instead of taking up any seats they won in the United Kingdom Parliament, they would establish a revolutionary assembly in Dublin. In republican theory every MP elected in Ireland was a potential Deputy to this assembly. In practice only the Sinn Féin members accepted the offer.

The revolutionary First Dáil assembled on 21 January 1919 and last met on 10 May 1921. The First Dáil, according to a resolution passed on 10 May 1921, was formally dissolved on the assembling of the Second Dáil. This took place on 16 August 1921.

In 1921, Sinn Féin decided to use the UK-authorised elections for the Northern Ireland House of Commons and the House of Commons of Southern Ireland as a poll for the Irish Republic's Second Dáil. Duncairn was, in republican theory, incorporated in a four-member Dáil constituency of Belfast North.

Members of Parliament

1918 Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Henry Carson Irish Unionist
1921 (b) Thomas Edward McConnell Ulster Unionist
1922 constituency abolished


General Election 14 December 1918: Belfast Duncairn
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Irish Unionist Rt Hon Sir Edward Henry Carson 11,637 81.05 N/A
Irish Nationalist William Hamilton Davey 2,449 17.06 N/A
Sinn Féin Dr Russell McNab 271 1.89 N/A
Majority 9,188 64.00 N/A
Turnout 19,085 75.23 N/A
Irish Unionist gain from new seat Swing N/A
By-Election 23 June 1921: Belfast Duncairn
Party Candidate Votes % ±
UUP Thomas Edward McConnell Unopposed N/A N/A
UUP hold Swing N/A

See also


  1. Redistribution of Seats (Ireland) Act 1918, Second Schedule, Part I

External links

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