Tag Archives | sdlp

In 2016 are the SDLP drinking in the last chance saloon?

SDLP 2011png

The rise of the Democratic Unionist Party over the last decade and a half has harmed the older Ulster Unionist Party. On the nationalist side, the same thing has happened, but the change has been much more pronounced. Colum Eastwood, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party, has committed himself and his party to more…

Orange, green…time for a new idea on ‘the border’ in between?

An excellent piece by Belfast Barman recently asked why, since the dream/ threat of a United Ireland allegedly defines our politics in Northern Ireland, we rarely hear the details of how exactly it would work discussed by those in favour or the precise, alleged horrors of such a thing debated by those strongly against. In more…

Fatal Foetal Abnormality Amendment falls 59 to 40.

Late last night the Assembly voted down an amendment proposed by Stewart Dickson and Trevor Lunn to allow a termination in the case of fatal foetal abnormality. Here is a link so you can seek how each MLA voted on this issue, but here are some interesting votes. In terms of party leaders,  Arlene Foster, Colum more…

SDLP to vote against Justice Bill amendments

New leadership team and a new raft of MLAs fueled speculation that there might be a change in policy from the SDLP on this issue. Particularly since the new leader was stressing the “progressive” elements of his platform. However,  the party has decided to stick to it’s current policy and vote against the amendments to more…

Should bonfires be licensed or negotiated with individual communities?

Bonfire 2013b

BONFIRES OR VANITIES: Claire Hanna of the SDLP contextualises the party’s Environment Minister’s proposals to licence bonfires (any and all of them). Her key point is that compliance with the law as it is currently practised cannot rely on negotiated outcomes in which ‘the community’ decides what’s fair.

The Executive needs to get its priorities straight


Craig Harrison writes for us about Executive and its priorities… With the dust settled around Parliament buildings after the Assembly voted to pass the Executive Budget 2016/17, now is a good time to reflect on the financial deal Northern Ireland is committed to for the next year. While there is much to be commended in more…

Sinn Fein: Where next for the party in the North?

SF 2011

WHERE NEXT? If one thing characterises Sinn Féin as it prepares for elections north and south of the border, it’s momentum. Consistently strong election results in the north and rising support in the south mean the party is feeling very optimistic about its future, with party leader Gerry Adams recently stating his belief that Sinn more…

Budget passes but two Executive parties oppose it.


SHOW ME THE MONEY: The Budget has passed the Assembly with a vote of 62 for, with 30 against. The DUP and Sinn Fein voted for the budget with Alliance, SDLP, UUP, TUV, Greens, Basil McCrea, John McCallister and Claire Sugden voting against.

Assembly Election 2016: Time for more Electoral Pacts?

COMING TOGETHER: With Northern Ireland’s politicos getting increasingly excited about the upcoming Assembly election, talk is eventually going to turn to electoral strategy. While our PR-STV voting system offers its own avenues for attracting votes, one method completely independent of the system is the electoral pact.

DUP: Is the only way up for the party?

DUP 2011

DUP PROFILE: Just 13 years ago the DUP eclipsed the UUP to become the dominant unionist party in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Now, as the May election draws near, the DUP and its new leader, Arlene Foster, are confident they will return another good performance. Given their track record in Assembly elections, it’s not hard more…

Will the SDLP’s change in MLAs yield electoral success in May?


CHANGING OF THE GUARD: There has been an interesting changing of the guard within the SDLP over the last year across all levels of the party. We all know that the leadership team was given a dramatic shake up in November when Colum Eastwood ousted Alasdair McDonnell as party leader and Fearghal McKinney took the more…

Alban Maginness to step down at the next election


The long serving SDLP MLA for North Belfast, Alban Maginness will step down at the next election. A new candidate will be selected on 14th January. I would assume that the former Lord Mayor and Cllr for Oldpark, Nichola Mallon will be the strong favourite to take the baton for the party. Others like former more…

Mallon says Sinn Fein played Hume like “3lb trout”

FARREN Sean - John Hume

Seamus Mallon has been speaking to Talkback (interview to be played later today on Radio Ulster) where he reflects on his career and comments on his views about his then party leader, John Hume. Speaking to William Crawley, the BBC reports; John Hume was “no fool” but that Sinn Féin leaders played him “like a more…

Almost 30% of MLAs not seeking re-election

NI Assembly logo

A really interesting article by Sam McBride in the News Letter today highlight the number of MLAs standing down at the next election. In his piece McBride points out; Almost 30 per cent of MLAs elected in the last Assembly election are not even standing for election next year – and the turnover in Assembly more…

John Hume: Irish peacemaker. Discuss.

FARREN Sean - John Hume

John Hume: Irish peacemaker. Discuss. by Allan Leonard for Northern Ireland Foundation 15 December 2015 Sean Farren and Denis Haughey have edited a new book, John Hume: Irish Peacemaker, published by Four Courts Press. As part of this book launch, there is a series of panel discussions, for which this event took place at the more…

Belfast City Council vote to record Planning Committee meetings.

OPEN GOVERNMENT? This issue has been a hotly debated topic since the new Belfast super council was elected in May 2014 and has come before council no less than three times. However, last night the council voted by the slimmest of margins 28 for to 27 against to allow planning committee meetings to be recorded more…