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election2001
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South Belfast
UUP hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
South includes the most affluent and hence non-sectarian parts of the city, such as down and off the Malone Road for example, although it also includes the mixed area around Queen's University and some working class enclaves such as the Sandy Row. Overall it has avoided the worst of The Troubles, but their ever present threat was brought home brutally by the murder in 1981 of the Belfast South MP Robert Bradford. Since then the seat has been held by the Ulster Unionist and top Orangeman Martin Smyth, usually comfortably but against nine opponents in 1997, and in the fluid situation of Northern Irish politics it is very hard to predict the shape of the contest next time, although a Unionist of some kind will win, with the Ulster Unionist party and Martin Smyth the most likely to fit that bill.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Rev Martin Smyth, who quit as UUP whip over his opposition to the power-sharing Good Friday Agreement, has been MP here since 1982, when he succeeded the murdered Revd Robert Bradford. In March 2000 he ran David Trimble close in a UUP leaderhip challenge, polling 43 per cent. An uncharismatic, soft-spoken hardliner, he was born in 1931, educated at Methodist College, Belfast, Magee University, Londonderry, and Trinity College, Dublin, and was a Presbyterian minister for 25 years. In 2000 he welcomed his Party's defeat by Paisleyite Revd William McCrae in the South Antrim byelection, a sign of the inevitable polarisation of Ulster politics as the general election approaches.

2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Rev Martyn Smith
UUP hold
WP Paddy Lynn 204 0.54%
SF Alex Maskey 2,894 7.63%
SDLP Alasdair McDonnell 11,609 30.59%
Wom Monica McWilliams 2,968 7.82%
PUP Dawn Purvis 1,112 2.93%
All Geraldine Rice 2,042 5.38%
UUP Rev Martyn Smith 17,008 44.81%
I Rainbow George Weiss 115 0.30%
Candidates representing 8 parties stood for election to this seat.

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