Northern Ireland

Constituency Profile: East Derry

DUP’s Gregory Campbell predicted to hold seat despite protocol discontent

A change of MP in East Derry would be a major shock. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
A change of MP in East Derry would be a major upset for the DUP. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

A predominantly rural constituency, East Derry extends from the Sperrin Mountains in the south to the Atlantic Coast in the north, and from Eglinton village, 8.9km east-north-east of Derry city, in the west, to the River Bann in the east.

Its main towns are Limavady and Coleraine, Dungiven, Portstewart and Portrush.

East Derry has been represented by Gregory Campbell (DUP) since 2001. If Campbell (71) is re-elected on July 4, he will become the north’s longest serving MP in the British House of Commons.

In the 2019 general election, Mr Campbell received 15,765 votes, a majority of 9,607 – albeit this was an 8% drop from the 2017 general election.

With Mr Campbell looking safe to hold his seat, possibly with a further reduced majority, the vote to note in East Derry is that of the second place candidate – maybe even third and fourth place candidates.

In the 2019 general election, only 264 votes separated Cara Hunter, SDLP (6,185 votes), Dermot Nicholl, Sinn Féin (6,128), and Chris McCaw, Alliance (5,921).

In addition, in the 2022 Assembly elections, Sinn Féin and Alliance polled exceptionally well.

Richard Stewart-Brown, an Alliance councillor for Causeway DEA on Causeway Coast and Glens Council, is the party’s Westminster candidate on July 4.

The SDLP candidate in East Derry, Cara Hunter, is high profile north coast MLA.

Sinn Féin candidate, Kathleen McGurk is a sitting councillor in Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

The TUV is the new horse in the East Derry race – another point of note. The party’s candidate is Allister Kyle, a sitting councillor in the Causeway DEA of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

In the 2022 Assembly elections, TUV candidate, Jordan Armstrong, obtained 2,959 first preference votes – 6.67% of the total votes cast.

Deputy leader of Aontú, Gemma Brolly is also standing, her party’s first time fielding a Westminster candidate in the constituency.

Businessman Glen Miller is replacing 2019 UUP candidate Richard Holmes.

Claire Scull is representing the Conservative and Unionist Party and Jen McCahon is representing the Green Party.

There is speculation in East Derry this will be Gregory Campbell’s last election.

East Derry
East Derry