October 1974 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland

← Feb. 1974 10 October 1974 1979 →

12 seats in Northern Ireland of the 635 seats in the House of Commons
  First party Second party
Leader Harry West William Craig
Party UUP Vanguard
Leader since Jan. 1974 1973
Leader's seat Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Belfast East
Seats won 6 3
Seat change Decrease 1 Steady
Popular vote 256,0653 92,622
Percentage 36.5% 13.1%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Gerry Fitt Ian Paisley
Leader since 1970 1971
Leader's seat Belfast West Antrim North
Seats won 1 1
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 154,193 59,451
Percentage 22.4% 8.5%

The October 1974 United Kingdom general election in Northern Ireland was held on 10 October with 12 MPs elected in single-seat constituencies using first-past-the-post as part of the wider general election in the United Kingdom.


This was the second general election to take place in 1974, as Harold Wilson who was leading a minority government sought to secure a majority for the Labour Party. He was successful, but only by a very narrow margin, which dissipated over the course of the parliament.

In Northern Ireland, the United Ulster Unionist Council continued to support an arrangement between the Ulster Unionist Party, the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party and the Democratic Unionist Party not to contest against each other in their joint opposition to the Sunningdale Agreement, while former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Brian Faulkner led the new Unionist Party of Northern Ireland in favour of a coalition-based executive under the Agreement. Enoch Powell, formerly an MP for Wolverhampton South West from 1959 to February 1974, was elected for Down South. Powell had left the Conservative Party in opposition to the accession of the United Kingdom to the European Communities.

On the nationalist side, the SDLP held its seat in Belfast West, and stood aside in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, allowing for the defeat of UUP leader Harry West by Independent Nationalist Frank Maguire.

Party MPs Votes
No. Change No. % Change
UUP 6 Decrease 1 256,053 36.5% Increase 4.2
Vanguard 3 Steady 92,622 13.1% Increase 2.5
SDLP 1 Increase 1 154,193 22.4% Steady
DUP 1 Steady 59,451 8.5% Increase 0.3
Independent Nationalist 1 Increase 1 32,795 4.7% Increase 4.7
Alliance 0 Steady 44,644 6.4% Increase 3.2
Republican Clubs 0 Steady 21,633 3.1% Increase 1.0
Unionist Party NI 0 Steady 20,454 3.1% Decrease 10.0[a 1]
NI Labour 0 Steady 11,539 1.6% Decrease 0.6
Independent Unionist 0 Steady 4,982 0.7% Increase 0.7
Marxist–Leninist (Ireland) 0 Steady 540 0.1% Increase 0.1
Independent 0 Steady 3536 0.5% Decrease 3.1
Total 12 Steady 703,042 100 Steady
  1. ^ Comparison with the Pro-Assembly Unionists.

MPs elected

Constituency Party MP
Antrim North DUP Ian Paisley
Antrim South UUP James Molyneaux
Armagh UUP Harold McCusker
Belfast East Vanguard William Craig
Belfast North UUP John Carson
Belfast South Vanguard Robert Bradford
Belfast West SDLP Gerry Fitt
Down North UUP Jim Kilfedder
Down South UUP Enoch Powell
Fermanagh and South Tyrone Independent Nationalist Frank Maguire
Londonderry UUP William Ross
Mid Ulster Vanguard John Dunlop


  1. ^ Walker, Brian Mercer (1992). Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland, 1918–1992 (New History of Ireland). Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. pp. 30–31. ISBN 0901714968.
  2. ^ "Elections to the United Kingdom Parliament held in Northern Ireland: General Election 1974 October". ElectionsIreland.org. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Westminster election, 10 October 1974". ARK: Northern Ireland Elections. Retrieved 16 February 2019.