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South Down
SDLP hold

Constituency Profile by Robert Waller
This is the constituency to which Enoch Powell turned after he abandoned British politics and the Conservative party in 1974, seeking a second career as an Ulster Unionist. He never played as prominent a role in Northern Ireland as he did in England, and in 1983 he was ejected from the Commons when his constituents, always close to fifty - fifty Catholic and Protestant, elected the SDLP's Eddie McGrady. Since then, minor boundary changes and demographic change (the proportion of Catholics in the province is steadily growing) has strengthened McGrady's position, as has his ability to restrict the Sinn Fein impact, although that did rise from a minuscule level to just over 10 per cent in 1997. With the possibility of a unionist split as well, the SDLP are strong favourites to hold on here in the Mountains of Mourne and by Carlingford Lough, with the towns of Downpatrick and Newcastle as the main urban centres, and including the main border crossing between Belfast and Dublin.

Personality Profile by Byron Criddle
Eddie McGrady, one of three SDLP MPs, won this seat from Enoch Powell in 1987. A bland accountant, born 1935, educated at a Catholic grammar school in Downpatrick and Belfast College of Technology, he is the SDLP's Whip, an easy enough job when the three of them aren't present for 90pc of the Commons votes, he in particular working as a good constituency MP.

2001 Results - General Election (7 June 2001)
Eddie McGrady
SDLP hold
All Betty Campbell 685 1.32%
SDLP Eddie McGrady 24,136 46.35%
SF Mick Murphy 10,278 19.74%
UUP Dermot Nesbitt 9,173 17.62%
DUP Jim Wells 7,802 14.98%
Candidates representing 5 parties stood for election to this seat.

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