mallon to retire

newry and armagh will have a new mp after the next westminster poll as seamus mallon confirms he will not stand again

  • David Vance

    One more seat for the “Old Boys Association”.

  • ulsterman

    Well he would have lost anyway. The seat will go to SF with the DUP in hot persuit.

    The SDLP will reap what they sowed in this seat. By bringing the IRA into politics they handed them this seat.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Chucky Orelaw

    Has there been any confirmation yet that McGrady is also retiring from Westminster?

    Ulsterman, I am surprised you are not talking up the chance of split nationalist vote.

  • ShayPaul


    Mallon deserves better, more like him and we’d be living in a better place.

  • Keith M

    I honestly thought that Mallon had announced his retirement several months ago. He is living proof that all political careers end in failure for was he not to retire he would most certainly have lost his seat. I think he’s only ever likely to be remembered for his petulence, and the “Sunningdale for slow learners” comment that was a millstone around the neck of the 1998 agreement.

    So one down for the SDLP, Foyle is too close to call and if South Down rests on whether McGrady stands and musters his personal vote. There might be an interesting bet as to which of the UUP or the SDLP ends up with fewer sets or if we’ll end up with a “nil all” draw.

  • youngster

    The news that Seamus Mallon is to retire only highlights further the decline of the SDLP as a nationalist political voice.

    With the demise of the Hume/Mallon/McGrady old guard, surely this paves the way for Sinn Fein to take Foyle, Newry/Armagh, and South Down from the SDLP at the next UK election?

    I expect that Sinn Fein will hold the 4 seats they have at the moment, so this would give them 7.

    Do any other “sluggers” visualise this scenario?

    Also, what odds Gerry Kelly snatching North Belfast from Nigel Dodds and the DUP? I have a sneaking suspicion this could happen, provided there is a big enough shift from the SDLP to Sinn Fein.

    Any thoughts on this?

    The only saving grace for the SDLP could be a gain in South Belfast, if the unionist votes splits evenly.

  • Henry94

    The SDLP and Sinn Fein should do a limited pact for North and South Belfast.

  • youngster

    Yep, I agree Henry!

    Then 3 out of the 4 Belfast seats would be nationalist, which would be a historic change.

    No doubt you would probably get Paisley and co complaining about a nationalist pact, completely oblivious to the fact the DUP used to withdraw from seats in previous elections to curb nationalist threat.

  • D’Oracle

    Seamus Mallon has become very old. The man needs to retire. Theres no need to worry about who will replace him ; the people will decide that and the people are always right.

    By the Way,why does God need to save the Queen ; whats she been up to then ?!

  • cg

    “The seat will go to SF with the DUP in hot pursuit.”
    Your previous statement is laughable.
    In Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin have 3 MLA’S the DUP have 1.
    How it could be described as “hot pursuit” is fantasy.
    I herby declare Conor Murphy dually elected for said constituency.

  • Moderate Unionist

    I wonder what the electorate will make of the possibility of a political environment dominated by the DUP and SF. Isn’t this a return to the good old days, (OK, the names have changed a bit, but the content is the same).

  • Ciarán Irvine

    On the Belfast thing, looking at the numbers from the last Assembly election – while it’s entirely possible that an SDLP meltdown (and assuming the SDLP votes mostly go to SF) then there’s a good chance Dodds could be defeated, especially if the UUP or PUP stay in the field. The constituency is fairly evenly balanced between nationalists and unionists, with a narrow overall unionist majority (51%-44%).

    But south Belfast? Naaah. An agreed nationalist candidate here would only force an agreed unionist candidate in response, and the unionists have enough of an edge in total numbers to keep this seat (50%-36%). 36% probably isn’t enough even under the Westminster FPTP system.

    Just my 2c…

  • objectivist

    Any chance of unionist tactical voters coming to the SDLP’s rescue a la Hendron’93?

  • Christopher Stalford

    The question in N&A was always going to be the size of the Provo majority. What was likely to be a majority approaching 4,000, will now probably be closer to 8,000.

    The SDLP are in serious, serious trouble.

  • Christopher Stalford


    Presumably you mean 1992? The SDLP leadership haven’t exactly endeared themselves towards Unionists over the last 12 months have they?

  • Davros

    The SDLP are in serious, serious trouble.

    Agreed. If SF do in effect wipe out the SDLP, will they move away from their Eurosceptic stance so as to reflect the change in the euro-stance of their support base ?