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election2001
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East Belfast
DUP hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
The highest proportion of Protestant and unionist residents anywhere in Northern Ireland are to be found in east Belfast (over 95 per cent), and this seat which stretches from working class terraces to extensive middle class suburban areas, and includes Stormont, that symbol of the Protestant political ascendancy of much of the twentieth century. Since 1979 this seat has been in the hands of Ian Paisley's long serving No.2 in the DUP, Peter Robinson, and his grip on it has never seemed firmer, as the province continues to face an uncertain future, and the unionist majority in Northern Ireland, minority in the whole of Ireland, feels more embattled than ever.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Peter Robinson won this seat for the Paisleyites in 1979. Inappropriately dubbed 'an altar boy to the Revd. Ian Paisley', while he mirrors Paisley's intransigent hostility to power sharing, he currently sits in the Northern Ireland Executive as Regional Development Minister, and could well come to balance the UUP's David Trimble as his party's more cerebral, pragmatic equivalent. A slight, uncharismatic man who neither smokes nor drinks, but likes Diet Coke and breeding Koi carp, he was briefly an estate agent until running Paisley's Party, having been propelled into hardline Loyalist politics as a teenager by the killing of a friend by an IRA bomb. Born 1948 and educated at Annadale Grammar School and Castlereagh College of Further Education, he votes progressively with Labour on social and economic issues and with the Conservatives on foreign and defence policy, but claims to be 'a traditional Carson-style Unionist', with his politics 'based on conviction not expediency'. Such rhetoric is the obligatory stuff of Ulster politics, and Carson's symbolically-defiant statue stands at Stormont in his constituency.

2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Peter Robinson
DUP hold
All David Alerdice 5,832 15.84%
WP Joe Bell 123 0.33%
C Terry Dick 800 2.17%
PUP David Ervine 3,669 9.96%
SDLP Ciara Farren 880 2.39%
UUP Tim Lemon 8,550 23.22%
SF Joe O'Donnell 1,237 3.36%
DUP Peter Robinson 15,667 42.54%
I Rainbow George Weiss 71 0.19%
Candidates representing 9 parties stood for election to this seat.

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