1920 Londonderry Borough Council election
Londonderry COA.svg

← 1914 Thursday 15 January 1920 1925 →

All 40 seats to Londonderry Borough Council
21 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
 
Party Ulster Unionist Sinn Féin Nationalist
Seats won 19 10 10

1920 Londonderry Borough Council election (most voted party by electoral area).svg

Mayor before election

Robert Newton Anderson
Irish Unionist

Mayor after election

Hugh O'Doherty
Independent Nationalist

An election to Londonderry Borough Council took place on Thursday 15 January 1920 as part of that year's Irish local elections.

As a result, Unionists lost control over Londonderry borough council, which for the first time passed into the control of the city's Catholic majority. The various Nationalist parties in the city contested the election on a pan-nationalist front, emphasizing the national question of Irish self-government, as well as issues over housing.[1]

The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1919 had seen the introduction of a PR electoral system for local government elections in Ireland. Turnout was high, at 93.5%. Despite the new electoral system only 2.8% of ballots were spoiled.[2] Whilst Unionists won nearly 60% of the popular vote, this was connected to the Nationalist dominated West Ward going uncontested.

Nationalist control of the council wouldn't last however, and following the partition of Ireland the Northern Irish Government restored the older, and less representative ward based system.[2]

Results by party

Party Seats ± First Pref. votes FPv% ±%
Sinn Féin-Nationalist front 21
(10 SF, 10 N, 1 Ind N)
4,066 41.78
Ulster Unionist 19 5,666 58.22
Totals 40 9,732 100%

North Ward

The Unionists put forward 7 candidates, and Nationalists 5. The Unionists gave instructions that their candidates should be voted for in alphabetical order. In the first round Unionist candidates 1,923 votes (59.72%), and Nationalists 1,297 (40.28%).[3][4]

North Ward - 11 seats[3]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Ulster Unionist James Ballantine 52.04 1,687
Nationalist Richard Doherty 499
Independent Nationalist Hugh C. O'Doherty 461
Ulster Unionist R. A. Deane 20 1407
Nationalist Edward McCafferty 216 217
Ulster Unionist Sir John McFarland 85 87
Nationalist Daniel O'Donnell 81 81
Ulster Unionist H. N. Greenway 78 36
Ulster Unionist S. W. Kennedy 67 75
Ulster Unionist H. S. Robinson 60 63 63 63 64 64 64 65 65 69 312
Nationalist William Joseph O'Donnell 40 40 58 81 81 205 218 218 218 218 218
Ulster Unionist B. K. Gilliland 21 35
Electorate: 3,586   Valid: 3,220   Spoilt: 22   Quota: 269   Turnout: 3,242  

Waterside Ward

In Waterside ward 6 Unionists and 3 Nationalists were returned. Anderson and Bradley, topping the poll, were appointed as Aldermen. Unionists were advised to vote and allocate their preferences for Unionist candidates alphabetically.[5]

Waterside Ward - 9 seats[5]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Ulster Unionist Alexander Anderson 37.85 974
Sinn Féin Cathal Bradley 15.51 399
Ulster Unionist William H. Elliot 10.61 273
Ulster Unionist James Blair 7.15 184 880
Nationalist F. O'Sullivan 9.83 252 252 260
Ulster Unionist Thomas McCully 3.89 100 113 113 121 721
Ulster Unionist J. H. Pollock 0.54 14 17 17 21 32 32 487
Ulster Unionist D. P. Thompson 2.64 68 70 70 73 77 77 84 313
Nationalist Margaret Morris 7.54 194 196 226 226 227 228 228 228 228
Nationalist Robert J. Donaghey 4.47 115 115 218 218 224 225 226 226 226
Electorate: ~   Valid: 2573   Spoilt: 28   Quota: 258   Turnout: 2601  

South-East Ward

South-East Ward - 12 seats[6]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Ulster Unionist H. Babington 50.44 1939
Irish Nationalist James Bonner 24.56 944
Irish Nationalist W. J. Barclay 5.98 230 232 830
Irish Nationalist Robert McAnaney 5.54 213 214 217 217 225 226 230 231 235 235 348
Irish Nationalist Michael Cosgrove 4.29 165 166 196 198 696
Sinn Féin James Gallagher 3.67 141 141 146 148 152 158 172 172 409
Irish Nationalist Cou Doherty 3.02 116 117 128 129 153 156 537
Ulster Unionist John Burns 1.01 39 45 46 1358
Ulster Unionist John G. Magee 0.42 16 17 17 19 19 21 22 29 29 514
Ulster Unionist T.G. Blair 0.36 14 1631
Ulster Unionist David Mitchell 0.31 12 14 14 15 15 16 16 17 17 22
Ulster Unionist James Hamilton 0.21 8 14 14 28 28 1071
Ulster Unionist Henry G. McCay 0.18 7 13 13 14 14 20 20 786
Electorate: -   Valid: 3844 (98.94%)   Spoilt: 41 (1.06%)   Quota: 296 (7.70%)   Turnout: 3885  

West Ward

The combined Sinn-Fein/Nationalist ticket put up 8 candidates for the 8 seats in the West Ward. The Unionist grouping in the city did not put up any candidates, resulting in there being no contest and the Sinn-Fein/Nationalist candidates being all successful.[7]

West Ward - 8 seats[7][8]
Party Candidate FPv% Count
1
Irish Nationalist Con Bradley No contest
Irish Nationalist Anthony Carlin No contest
Irish Nationalist P. Hogarty No contest
Irish Nationalist W. Logue No contest
Irish Nationalist Patrick Meenan No contest
Irish Nationalist James McLean No contest
Irish Nationalist Joseph McKernan No contest
Irish Nationalist D. J. Shiel No contest
Electorate: -   Valid:   Quota:  

References

  1. ^ McCabe, Conor (2010). "The Irish Labour Party and the 1920 local elections". Saothar. 35: 7–20. JSTOR 23200073 – via JSTOR.
  2. ^ a b Laffan, Michael (1999). The Resurrection of Ireland: The Sinn Féin Party, 1916–1923. Cambridge University Press. p. 327. ISBN 9781139426299.
  3. ^ a b "Keen party voting in Derry". The Irish Times. 20 January 1920. p. 6.
  4. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001480/19200120/063/0003 – via British Newspaper Archive. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Results | From 17th Jan 1920 | Londonderry Sentinel | Publication | Londonderry, Northern Ireland | Location | British Newspaper Archive" – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001480/19200122/068/0003 – via British Newspaper Archive. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ a b https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001480/19200106/032/0003 – via British Newspaper Archive. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001123/19200121/011/0003 – via British Newspaper Archive. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)