Castlereagh council area is a kind of strange, makeyuppy area South of Belfast sort of centred around Carryduff and Dundonald. It has no natural centre and is half in and half out of Belfast. It is essentially a collection of suburbs and housing estates.

It is also, historically, a DUP and Unionist stronghold.

The 2011 election saw the political landscape at Castlereagh change dramatically. The DUP lost overall control of the council losing two council seats, one in Central and one in the East. The UUP also lost their sole representative in East. The Alliance party gained one in East and Central, while the Green party gained in East. There were no changes in the West or South areas, there was much speculation that demographic change would deliver a Sinn Féin a seat in South, however this didn’t happen. The SDLP had the sixth placed runner up, narrowly beaten by the UUP for the fifth seat.

The 2011 results and map were:

DUP: 10,390 (42.6%), 11 councillors

Courtesy of Conall Kelly - Ark

Courtesy of Conall Kelly – Ark

Alliance: 6,142 (25.2%), 6 councillors
UUP: 2,717 (11.2%), 3 councillors
SDLP: 2,681 (11.0%), 2 councillors
SF: 735 (3.0%)
Green: 716 (2.9%), 1 councillor

And so to the Census, figures below as always.

Every single ward saw a decrease in the protestant and an increase in the catholic percentage. Newtownbreda, Knockbracken, Hillfoot and Carryduff have witnessed huge swings. The overall swing was 13% with 10 of the 23 wards exceeding this.

This particular council has a notorious and unenviable reputation for refusing to share power with non unionists (ie: fenians), less than open council dealings and indeed, I haven’t even mentioned Iris Robinson and her “fundraising” for local entrepreneurs or her husband and his pure brilliance at land speculation.

Oh dear. I think I just did, sorry.

Catholic Change 2011 Protestant Change 2011 Swing Catholic % 2011
95II01 Ballyhanwood 1.5% -6.7% 8.2% 4.8%
95II02 Beechill 4.1% -7.4% 11.5% 33.8%
95II03 Cairnshill 3.7% -7.1% 10.9% 46.4%
95II04 Carrowreagh 2.2% -8.4% 10.7% 4.5%
95II05 Carryduff East 4.0% -7.7% 11.7% 48.8%
95II06 Carryduff West 5.2% -9.4% 14.6% 48.2%
95II07 Cregagh 3.5% -11.3% 14.8% 8.5%
95II08 Downshire 6.0% -12.2% 18.1% 10.8%
95II09 Dundonald 3.5% -8.9% 12.4% 8.7%
95II10 Enler 2.3% -9.5% 11.8% 3.4%
95II11 Galwally 1.0% -6.1% 7.1% 46.9%
95II12 Gilnahirk 3.9% -8.3% 12.2% 9.3%
95II13 Graham’s Bridge 4.7% -13.6% 18.3% 6.7%
95II14 Hillfoot 8.0% -11.2% 19.2% 28.6%
95II15 Knockbracken 7.8% -11.3% 19.1% 47.0%
95II16 Lisnasharragh 3.1% -8.8% 11.9% 5.3%
95II17 Lower Braniel 1.2% -6.5% 7.7% 4.8%
95II18 Minnowburn 4.3% -8.8% 13.1% 7.9%
95II19 Moneyreagh 1.1% -3.6% 4.7% 12.1%
95II20 Newtownbreda 8.8% -15.5% 24.4% 39.5%
95II21 Tullycarnet 1.0% -7.7% 8.7% 3.6%
95II22 Upper Braniel 3.8% -10.2% 14.0% 6.4%
95II23 Wynchurch 4.1% -9.7% 13.9% 45.2%
TOTALS 3.9% -9.1% 13.0%

 

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