HC Deb 09 July 1974 vol 876 cc463-4W
Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was (1) the date on which the number of Members of Parliament representing Ulster constituencies was fixed at 12, (2) the size or the total Ulster electorate on that date and on 28th February 1974, and (3) the average size of each Ulster constituency on that date and on 28th February 1974.

Dr. Summerskill

I have been asked to reply.

The Government of Ireland Act 1920 provided that Northern Ireland should be represented at Westminster by 12 Members sitting for county and borough constituencies and one sitting for a university constituency. The university seat was abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1948. The provisions of the Act of 1920 first took effect in the General Election held on 15th November 1922.

The electorate of the county and borough constituencies was then 608,877; on 28th February 1974 it was 1,041,886. In 1922 there were nine county and borough constituencies, of which three elected two Members each; the average electorate for the constituencies was 67,653 and for each Member returned 50,740. In 1974 the 12 single-Member constituencies had an average electorate of 86,824.