Mid Antrim was a UK Parliament constituency in Ireland which returned one Member of Parliament from 1885 to 1922, using the first past the post electoral system.
Boundaries and boundary changes
This county constituency comprised the central part of County Antrim, specifically the baronies of Glenarm Lower, Toome Lower, part of the barony of Antrim Lower and parts of the parishes of Connor and Ahoghill. It was bounded to the north by Antrim North, to the west by Londonderry South, to the south by Antrim South and Antrim East and to the east by the sea.
Prior to the United Kingdom general election, 1885 and from the dissolution of Parliament in 1922 the area was part of the Antrim constituency.
In terms of the then local government areas the constituency in 1929 comprised parts of the Rural Districts of Ballymena, Ballymoney and Larne. The division also included the whole of the Urban District of Ballymena.
The constituency was a predominantly Unionist area. It was also a safe seat for the O'Neill family. All three of the MPs who represented the constituency were related. In 1918 the Unionists defeated Sinn Féin by about 4 to 1.
From 1886 to 1974 the Conservative and Unionist members of the United Kingdom House of Commons formed a single Parliamentary party.
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. Elections to both assemblies were conducted not under the first past the post system, but instead under the Single Transferable Vote. Mid Antrim was incorporated in a seven-member constituency of Antrim.
Members of Parliament
- Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1801–1922, edited by B.M. Walker (Royal Irish Academy 1978)
- Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume II 1886–1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1978)
- Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume III 1919–1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1979)
- Northern Ireland Parliamentary Election Results 1921–1972, compiled and edited by Sydney Elliott (Political Reference Publications 1973)
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "A" (part 2)