Lost deposits by party and by gender (spoiler: men always ‘out-deposit’ women) #GE2024

While the DUP suffered losses at last week’s General Election, they continue their record streak of never having lost a deposit at a Westminster election – general or by-election – since 1997, and probably quite a lot further back too.

Chart showing how many deposits each party lost and kept at the 2024 General Election Historically, the DUP have been most vulnerable to losing their deposit in Belfast West and South Down. In 2024, Foyle, Belfast West and Newry & Armagh were the lowest, though all with a vote share double what’s required for their candidates to get their deposits returned.

Sinn Féin were the only other to have a clean sweep 2024.

Not running a candidate in Lagan Valley is likely to have saved Sinn Féin £500. Strangford was their poorest performing constituency in 2019. But the boundary change and/or an overall rise in party support kept them safely above the threshold of “5% of the total number of valid votes cast in the constituency”.

Percentage wise, the TUV kept a fraction more than Alliance.

The SDLP lost more than half of their deposits. They lost them in five constituencies in which they kept them back in 2019: Fermanagh & South Tyrone, North Antrim, South Antrim, Strangford, and Upper Bann.

 

Chart showing how many deposits each party lost and kept at the 2019 General Election While former party leaders Steven Agnew and Clare Bailey held their deposits for the Green Party in North Down and Belfast South respectively in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections, the party lost all 11 this year. Ainé Groogan was closest to the threshold in Belfast South & Mid Down.

The last time a Conservative candidate in a Northern Ireland constituency kept their deposit at a General Election was 2015 (Johnny Andrews in Strangford). The next most recent was in 1997 (Terence Dickson in East Antrim).

Alex Easton was the only independent candidate to keep his deposit. Over the last two decades, the only other independents to get their money back were Sylvia Hermon (North Down), Nigel Lutton (Mid Ulster), Rodney Connor (Fermanagh & South Tyrone) and Kieran Deeny (West Tyrone).

The closest near-miss for an independent over the last two decades was Anne McCloskey (with 4% of the valid vote in Foyle in 2024).

Chart showing how many deposits DUP candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits Sinn Féin candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits Alliance candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits UUP candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits SDLP candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits TUV candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits Green Party candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024 Chart showing how many deposits Conservative candidates kept and lost at General Elections and Westminster by-elections between 1997 and 2024

Finally, men were more likely to keep their deposit (63%) than women (47%) in 2024. This is a long-running trend of women being selected to run in the most competitive seats, with the notable exception of near parity in the 2010 and 2019 General Elections. Men have ‘out-deposited’ women at every election since (my stats start in) 1997.

Chart showing percentage of men and women who kept their deposit when standing in NI at General Elections between 1997 and 2024


Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.