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election2001
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Mid Ulster
SF hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
Following the boundary changes which came into effect throughout the United Kingdom (perhaps not the best description where a majority of voters in this constituency, and certainly its MP are concerned) in 1997, Mid Ulster is now so strongly nationalist and Catholic that Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein could cope with the 22 per cent of the vote which went to Denis Haughey of the SDLP and still beat the incumbent Democratic Unionist William McCrea. In no constituency could there be a less of a meeting of minds than this, with its face-off between an ardent republican leader and a member of Ian Paisley's diehard "loyalist" party. McCrea is already back in Parliament, having defeated the Ulster Unionists' David Burnside in the South Antrim byelection of September 2000. It looks as if McGuinness, now established as sitting member (although he has of course not taken his seat because that would involve an oath of allegiance to the Crown) and a leading player in the more familiar, if doubtfully advancing "peace process", will be endorsed with a larger margin in 2001.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Martin McGuinness, dubbed by his Protestant near-namesake, Ken Maginnis, "the Godfather of Godfathers", unexpectedly won in 1997 on the highest turnout of any UK constituency (86 per cent), feeding traditional Unionist suspicions of the time-honoured 'vote-early-vote-often' principle, and of the graveyard vote being mobilised as well. A curly-haired, ascetic and supposedly strong church-goer, he was born in 1950 in Derry's Bogside and attended the Christian Brothers' Technical College, Derry, leaving at 16 to work as a butcher's assistant. Endeavouring with Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, to demonstrate that "the war is over", he took office as Education Minister in the power-sharing executive in 1999. But he has been denied integration at Westminster by the refusal of MPs to back attempts to allow him and Adams to evade the Oath of Allegiance.

2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Martin McGuinness
SF hold
WP Francie Donnelly 509 1.02%
SDLP Eilis Haughey 8,376 16.77%
DUP Ian McCrea 15,549 31.14%
SF Martin McGuinness 25,502 51.07%
Candidates representing 4 parties stood for election to this seat.

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