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Newry and Armagh
SDLP hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
Seamus Mallon has based his important role in northern Irish politics in this majority Catholic and nationalist seat on the border with the Republic since his byelection victory in 1986. There has been danger if the nationalist vote is split between his SDLP and the more extreme Provisional Sinn Fein at the same time as the unionist vote is undivided, as happened when Newry and Armagh was first created as a seat in 1983, and in 1997 a seven per cent swing from SDLP to PSF reduced Mallon's majority to less than 5,000. However, with the Catholic vote at around two thirds of the whole and not declining, a unionist revival of any kind here now seems mathematically and politically almost impossible.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Seamus Mallon, a schoolteacher, has held Newry and Armagh since a January 1986 by-election, when the seat was the only one lost by the Unionist parties, whose 15 MPs had resigned in protest against the November 1985 Anglo-Irish agreement. Locally born in 1936, and educated at Christian Brothers Abbey Gramar School, Newry, and St Joseph's College of Education, Belfast, he has been deputy leader of the SDLP since 1978. He is a more pragmatic nationalist than his more intense and 'greener' leader, John Hume - as reflected in Mallon's overt criticisms of Sinn Fein/IRA. In July 1998, having been the chief nationalist negotiator in the talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement in April, the new Assembly elected him second minister of the new Northern Ireland executive-government. He had been present 25 years earlier to watch a similar occasion with the roles performed by Brian Faulkner and Gerry Fitt. The details man to Hume's broad-brush leader, Mallon has about him the tortured air of a long-suffering advocate of a cause - constitutional nationalism - whose time has not yet come, but who is borne along on the expectation of its eventual arrival.

2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Seamus Mallon
SDLP hold
DUP Paul Berry 10,795 19.41%
SDLP Seamus Mallon 20,784 37.37%
UUP Sylvia McRoberts 6,833 12.28%
SF Conor Murphy 17,209 30.94%
Candidates representing 4 parties stood for election to this seat.

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