Fermanagh was a very attractive county dominated by Lough Erne, which had many noblemen's estates around it. It had a fairly large electorate - a poll book of 1788 lists 3,322 names - as there were a number of protestant settlements, both Anglican and Dissenter. At the beginning of the century the Corrys and the Irwins or Irvines predominated, but as the century progressed the Corrys concentrated on neighbouring Co. Tyrone and the Coles and the Archdalls emerged as the principal interests. Another contender, Sir Arthur Brooke, died in 1785 without male issue and his successors did not retrieve his position until well into the nineteenth century, despite strenuous efforts. The Hume interest was merged into that of the Loftuses, Earls and Marquesses of Ely, whose influence lay mainly in Wexford. In 1785 it was said that the county was 'divided by electioneering contests and thence has been of late forward on popular questions. Lord Enniskillen (Cole) (0444), Lord Belmore (Corry) (1269), Lord Loftus (2088), Sir A[rthur] Brooke, Colonel Archdall (0050) have the chief interests. Sir A Brooke being dead, he was defeated at the last election, the county may become quiet for some time.'177
Co. Fermanagh had one borough - Enniskillen.