How many seats are contested in Northern Ireland and what were the 2019 election results?

Belfast East election counting
-Credit: (Image: Press Eye)

Counting is under way in the General Election in Northern Ireland after voting closed with a number of constituency battles too close to call.

A total of 136 candidates are standing in the region’s 18 constituencies. Counting is taking place in three count centres – the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast, the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt and the South Lake Leisure Centre in Craigavon.

While there has been no official figures released on voter turnout in the region so far, several polling stations reported brisk business. Northern Ireland’s political leaders cast their votes earlier on Thursday.

Live updates: NI General Election results updates, map and tracker as counting begins

Read more: Live results tracker and map as exit poll released

All eyes will be on the race for the greatest number of seats, with the potential of Sinn Fein cementing its position as the largest party in Northern Ireland, having come out on top in the last Assembly and local council polls.

Such a result for the pro-Irish unity party would be bound to intensify the debate around the region’s constitutional future.

Sinn Fein, which ran a relatively low-key campaign, could secure first place by retaining the seven seats it already holds, if the DUP drops down from the eight seats it won in 2019.

How many MPs does Northern Ireland have?

There are 18 constituencies in Northern Ireland, with one MP elected to each. The list of constituencies is as follows:

  • Antrim East

  • Antrim North

  • Antrim South

  • Belfast East

  • Belfast North

  • Belfast South & Mid Down

  • Belfast West

  • Fermanagh & South Tyrone

  • Foyle

  • Lagan Valley

  • Londonderry East

  • Mid UIster

  • Newry & Armagh

  • North Down

  • South Down

  • Strangford

  • Upper Bann

  • West Tyrone

What were the 2019 election results?

In 2019, Northern Ireland returned eight DUP MPs, seven Sinn Fein MPs – who do not take their seats in the Commons – two SDLP MPs and one Alliance MP.

MPs elected in the 2019 election

Belfast North - John Finucane, Sinn Féin Belfast East - Gavin Robinson, DUP Belfast West - Paul Maskey, Sinn Féin Belfast South - Claire Hanna, SDLP West Tyrone - Órfhlaith Begley, Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh - Mickey Brady, Sinn Féin East Londonderry - Gregory Campbell, DUP Lagan Valley - Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP Foyle - Collum Eastwood, SDLP North Down - Stephen Farry, Alliance Fermanagh and South Tyrone - Michelle Gildernew, Sinn Féin South Antrim - Paul Girvan, DUP South Down - Chris Hazzard, Sinn Féin Upper Bann - Carla Lockhart, DUP Mid Ulster - Francie Molloy, Sinn Féin North Antrim - Ian Paisley Jr, DUP Strangford - Jim Shannon, DUP East Antrim - Sammy Wilson, DUP