Belfast Shankill (UK Parliament constituency)

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

Shankill, 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 to 1918 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.

Boundaries and Boundary Changes

This constituency comprised the western half of North Belfast, and contained the then Shankill ward and the south-western 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 strongly unionist, but with significant labour support. The unionists ran a candidate from the Ulster Unionist Labour Association, a group affiliated with the Unionist Party, as a Labour Unionist. He easily won the seat. Sam Kyle, the Belfast Labour Party candidate, was in second place. Sinn Féin demonstrated republican weakness in the seat by receiving only 534 votes at the 1918 election.

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. This constituency, in republican theory, was incorporated in a four-member Dáil constituency of Belfast North.

Members of Parliament

1918 Samuel McGuffin Labour Unionist
1922 constituency abolished


General Election 1918: Belfast Shankill
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Unionist Samuel McGuffin 11,840 73.8 N/A
Belfast Labour Sam Kyle 3,674 22.9 N/A
Sinn Féin Michael Carolan 534 3.3 N/A
Majority 8,166 50.9 N/A
Turnout 16,048 69.9 N/A
Labour Unionist win (new seat)


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

External links

See also

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