Northern Ireland Forum

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Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue
Coat of arms or logo
Preceded byNorthern Ireland Assembly (1982)
Succeeded byNorthern Ireland Assembly
Party List PR
Meeting place
Interpoint Centre, Belfast, July 2010 (01).JPG
3rd Floor, Interpoint, 20-24 York Street, Belfast

The Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue was a body set up in 1996 as part of a process of negotiations that eventually led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

The forum was elected, with five members being elected for each Westminster Parliamentary constituency for Northern Ireland, under the D'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation. There was also a "topup" of two seats for the ten parties polling most votes; this ensured that two loyalist parties associated with paramilitary groups were represented. See members of the Northern Ireland Forum for a complete list.

Election results[edit]

1996 Northern Ireland Forum election
← 1982 30 May 1996 1998 →

All 110 seats to the Northern Ireland Forum
56 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  David Trimble Washington D.C.jpg DrIanPaisley.jpg Nobel Peace prize winner John Hume 1998 from Wash. DC. (50184861292).jpg
Leader David Trimble Ian Paisley John Hume
Party Ulster Unionist DUP SDLP
Leader since 8 September 1995 30 September 1971 28 November 1979
Leader's seat Upper Bann North Antrim Foyle
Seats won 30 24 21
Popular vote 181,829 141,413 160,786
Percentage 24.2% 18.8% 21.4%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Gerry Adams, 1997.jpg Official portrait of Lord Alderdice crop 2.jpg No image.png
Leader Gerry Adams John Alderdice Robert McCartney
Party Sinn Féin Alliance UK Unionist
Leader since 13 November 1983 3 October 1987 1995
Leader's seat West Belfast East Belfast North Down
Seats won 17 7 3
Popular vote 116,377 49,176 27,774
Percentage 15.5% 6.5% 3.7%

  Seventh party Eighth party Ninth party
  No image.png
Leader Hugh Smyth Gary McMichael Monica McWilliams
Pearl Sagar
Party PUP Ulster Democratic NI Women's Coalition
Leader since 1979 1994 1996
Leader's seat Top-up seat Top-up seat Top-up seats
Seats won 2 2 2
Popular vote 26,082 16,715 7,731
Percentage 3.5% 2.2% 1.0%

1996 Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue election.svg
Seats won by each party per constituency. Voters elect 5 forum members from the 18 constituencies. Each constituency is shaded according to the vote share of the largest party.

Northern Ireland Forum 1996.png
Percentage of seats gained by each of the party

Chief Executive before election


Chief Executive after election


The results of the election were:

Northen Ireland Forum.svg
Party Votes Vote % List seats Top-up seats Total seats Seats %
Ulster Unionist 181,829 24.2 28 2 30 27.3
SDLP 160,786 21.4 19 2 21 19.1
DUP 141,413 18.8 22 2 24 21.8
Sinn Féin 116,377 15.5 15 2 17 15.5
Alliance 49,176 6.5 5 2 7 6.4
UK Unionist 27,774 3.7 1 2 3 2.7
PUP 26,082 3.5 0 2 2 1.8
Ulster Democratic 16,715 2.2 0 2 2 1.8
NI Women's Coalition 7,731 1.0 0 2 2 1.8
Labour coalition 6,425 0.9 0 2 2 1.8
Green (NI) 3,647 0.5 0 0 0
NI Conservatives 3,595 0.5 0 0 0
Workers' Party 3,530 0.5 0 0 0
Ulster Independence 2,125 0.5 0 0 0
Democratic Left 1,215 0.2 0 0 0
Democratic Partnership 1,046 0.1 0 0 0
Independent McMullan 927 0.1 0 0 0
Independent Chambers 567 0.1 0 0 0
Natural Law 389 0.1 0 0 0
Independent DUP 388 0.1 0 0 0
Independent Arthur Templeton 350 0.1 0 0 0
Independent Voice 204 0.0 0 0 0
Communist Party 66 0.0 0 0 0
Ulster Christian Democrats 31 0.0 0 0 0
Total 745,296 90 20 110

All parties shown.

Note: The Democratic Unionist Party was listed on the ballot paper as "Democratic Unionist Party DUP Ian Paisley"

  Ulster Unionist Party: 30 seats
  Democratic Unionist Party: 24 seats
  Social Democratic and Labour Party: 21 seats
  Sinn Féin: 17 seats
  Alliance: 7 seats
  UKUP: 3 seats
  Ulster Democratic: 2 seats
  NI Women's Coalition: 2 seats
  Labour: 2 seats
  PUP: 2 seats

List candidates[edit]

Top-up candidates were elected from lists supplied by each party. The highest-placed candidates who had not already won election through a constituency won the top-up seats. In the table below, the top-up candidates elected through the regional list are shown in bold, while candidates elected in constituencies are shown in italics. Candidates in normal type were not elected.

Party Regional list candidates[1]
Ulster Unionist David Trimble, John Taylor, John Gorman, Antony Alcock, Jack Allen, Fred Parkinson, Josias Cunningham, Dennis Rogan, James Cooper, Jim Nicholson
SDLP John Hume, Seamus Mallon, Eddie McGrady, Joe Hendron, Jonathan Stephenson, Dorita Field, Margaret Ellen, Patricia Walsh, Marietta Farrell, Rosaleen Hughes, Anne McQuillan
DUP [1] Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson, William McCrea, Nigel Dodds, Sammy Wilson, Gregory Campbell, Eric Smyth, Ruth Allen, Harry Smith, William McClure
Sinn Féin Lucilita Bhreatnach, Pat Doherty, Rita O'Hare, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Bairbre de Brún, Mitchel McLaughlin, Gearóid Ó hEára, Joe Cahill, Dodie McGuinness
Alliance John Alderdice, Seamus Close, Sean Neeson, Steve McBride, Eileen Bell, Anne Gormley, Elizabeth McCaffrey, Mary Clark-Glass, Susan O'Brien, Wendy Watt
UK Unionist Robert McCartney, Cedric Wilson, Conor Cruise O'Brien, Patrick Roche, Ronnie Crawford, Alan Field, Valerie Kinghan, Stephen Nicholl, Graeme Jardin, Freda Woods
PUP Hugh Smyth, David Ervine, Billy Hutchinson, William Smith, David Kirk, Patricia Laverty, Dawn Purvis, Edward Kinner, Gusty Spence, Winston Churchill Rea
Ulster Democratic Gary McMichael, John White, David Adams, Joe English, Tommy Kirkham, David Nicholl, Robert Girvan, Thomas English, Ester McCracken English, Elizabeth Cathcart McIlwaine
NI Women's Coalition Monica McWilliams, Pearl Sagar, Anne Campbell, Kathleen Fearon, Sheila Fairon, Joan Cosgrove, Diane Greer, Brenda Callaghan, Felicity Huston, Mairead Abraham
Labour coalition Malachi Curran, Hugh Casey, Mark Langhammer, John McLaughlin, Lucy Simpson, Peter Hadden, Margaret Lawrence, Fionnuala Harbinson, Michael Duffy, David Morrison
Green (NI) Paddy McEvoy, Peter Emerson, Jenny Jones, Nuala Ahern, Molly Scott, Robin Harper
NI Conservatives Barbara Finney, Esmond Birnie
Workers' Party Tom French, John Lowry, Marian Donnelly, Ellen Rush, Margaret Smith, Tommy Owens, Brendan Heany, Eilish Duffy, Vivian Hutchinson, Michael McCorry
Ulster Independence Hugh Ross, Josephine Fulton-Challis, Sandra Jones, Walter Millar, David Kerr, Dierdre Speer-White, Ken Kerr, Donal Casey, Kenneth McClinton, Norman McLelland
Democratic Left Mary McMahon, Seamus Lynch, Patrick John McClean, Gerry Cullen, Veronica McEneaney, Frank McElroy, Teresa McVeigh, Jean Craig, Mary Vernon, Monica Hynds
Democratic Partnership David Bleakley, Paul Smyth, Maureen McCaughan, Adrian McKinney, Pearl Snowden, Edwin Sloan, Charles McKee, William Lewis, Erin Tunney
Independent McMullan Oliver McMullan, John Robb, John McDowell, Wesley H. Holmes, William Dunbar, William Cunning, Helen Craig, Philip Dugdale, Charles Maunsell, Sinead McMullan
Independent Chambers Alan Chambers, Joseph Coggle, Mary Chambers, James Arbuthnot, Robert Irvine, Violet Chambers, Linda Chambers, William Chambers, Ruth Patty, Pearl Brown
Natural Law James Anderson, Thomas Mullins, Richard Johnson, John Patrick Lyons, John Small
Independent DUP Thomas Henry O'Brien, William Baxter, Cecil Braniff, Tara Martin Alexandra, Stuart William O'Brien
Independent Arthur Templeton N/A
Independent Voice Andrew Thompson, Sarah Thompson, Bernard McGrath, Susan McGrath, Edward Phillips, Trevor Richards, Christopher Carter, Fidelma Carter, Betty Carter, Susan Carter
Communist Party N/A
Ulster Christian Democrats N/A

Votes summary[edit]

Popular vote
Ulster Unionist
Sinn Féin
United Kingdom Unionist
Progressive Unionist
Ulster Democratic
Women's Coalition

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Ulster Unionist
Sinn Féin
United Kingdom Unionist
Progressive Unionist
Ulster Democratic
Women's Coalition


  1. ^ "1996 Elections - List of Candidates". Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2007.


External links[edit]