|Mid-Ulster shown in blue.|
many years. Some of the most prominent Stormont MLAs simultaneously serve as MPs in the House of Commons, or as local councillors. In late 2012, the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who for years sat as both an MLA and an (abstentionist) MP for Mid-Ulster, announced that he would resign from the latter post as part of the Sinn Féin party's policy of ending double-jobbing amongst its members.
While McGuinness and Sinn Féin wished that the newly vacant seat be filled by co-option, the rules of Westminster required a by-election. McGuinness was formally appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead (the only means through which a Westminster MP can resign their seat) on 2 January 2013, with the by-election scheduled for 7 March.
Traditionally a safe Sinn Féin seat, Mid-Ulster was held by McGuinness in the 2010 Westminster election with a comfortable 52% of the vote. None of the other parties, nationalist or unionist, came anywhere close to unseating him.
|Vote shares won by each candidate in 2010. Click to enlarge.|
|Vote shares won by each candidate in 2013. Click to enlarge.|