SDLP will contest all 18 constituencies

Despite some early speculation to the contrary, Mark Durkan is determined that his party will stand in all 18 constituencies.

83 thoughts on “SDLP will contest all 18 constituencies”

  1. After announcing that they were considering standing aside their candidate in West Tyrone is now on a hiding to nothing. Very poor leadership again by the hapless Durkan. At least after May the SDLP will have a chance to re-invent when Durkan is no longer leader.

  2. There should be a Grand Slugger Sweepstakes: who will have fewer seats, the SDLP or the UUP? I’m guessing tie at the moment (1 apiece – Burnside and Durkan), but Mark the Derry Bunderhorse may yet surprise us and get zippo for the stoops.

  3. I have a feeling that the SDLP may have 1 or 2 but it will not be Durkan who holds on to one of those.

    McGrady and possibly Alistar

  4. I think Burnside will cling on (McCrea was the best opponent he could face, from his point of view); Saliva’s won’t if Bob doesn’t stand, she will if he does; I think Hendron will pull through, but Durkan is so wet that SF will gte Foyle. So 2 or 1 UUP, and 1 SDLP.

  5. A good move by the SDLP. They could have done without the nonsense of floating the idea ofstanding aside for Deeny.

    As for the UUP vs the SDLP. I see the SDLP holding two seats, McGrady and (just about) Durkan. As for the UUP, on a good day they could hold 5 seats and a bad day be completly wiped out. I believe McCartney is likely to stand which means Harmon should get in in North Down. In South Belfast McGimpsey had a slight edge but the DUP have closed the gap with a potentially good candidate. I think Trimble and Beggs are both likely to lose out. That leaves Burnside and while I would prefer him rather than McCrea (if only because I think a Burnside led UUP could be a real challenge to the DUP) again I think the DUP will triumph.

  6. ‘Hendron?!’ – [hangs head in shame] *McGrady*, sorry, rather wrapped up in Belfast thinking. Mind you, from listening to people down Down way, even SDLPish friends would consider be to an optimist about them there.

  7. The SDLP will probably win S.Down and Foyle. S.Belfast will stay with UUP but only just. A split Unionist vote does not mean a happy election for the Unionists. I thought Deeny would have won in West Tyrone but the arrogance and greed of the man put paid to that.

    Fermanagh is to close to call but I would say the UUP will clinch it as their is no history there of a strong DUP vote.

    8 DUP, 4 UUP, SF 4, SDLP 2.

  8. Foyle will certainly be tight. Durkan needs to get real. What on earth was that United Ireland document about?. Total nonsense. This is after all the party that signed up and were the most avid supporters of the GFA.

    Going to be some very tight elections around.The UUP should not be written off. I know many catholics who are going to vote UUP to stop the DUP winning. This could be decisive in the two Antrim constituencies, UpperBann, Strangford and East Londonderry.

  9. Peter

    The United Ireland document was actually excellent. It was an extrremely well thought out document and contrasts starkly with the reality of Sinn Fein’s lack of clarity. Is it, for example, still SF’s policy to seek support of a majority of unionists for a UI.

    The reality is that Gerry Adams said that a majority of unionists is still required for a UI. Is this more waffle from the master of waffle? Is it said on the understanding that SF don’t really care what Gerry Adams says – they’ll just ignore him in the end. The IRA have already igored him over the McCArtney affair.

    But thankfully they’ll stand in all seats.

  10. I’m not sure i would agree with your assessment of Nationalists voting tactically for the Ulster Unionists,can’t see it happening myself.

    With regard to Mark Durkan’s chances,the SDLP as a party are in disarray.They don’t seem to have a policy on Irish unity

    Post Nationalist/Agreed Ireland/United Ireland,it changes from week to week

    Just one point,supporting the GFA does not impinge on a parties aspirations in seeking Irish unity.

  11. franc

    Where have you been? The SDLP recently launched its policy for Irish unity!

    Which is more than SF has managed, to be fair.

    Interestingly, however, I don’t doubt this is to SF’s advantage. It’s much easier to MOPE on the sidelines than take responsibility for making real progress.

  12. I live in Derry and IMO Foyle is lost to the SDLP. In Thursday’s Derry News a local bookmaker was quoted as saying they had to revise their betting on Mitchel Mc Laughlin as the shinners were punting him bigstyle. This is a dangerous sign for Durkan.

  13. ijp

    I’m aware they launched the policy document

    just trying to point out that over the last number of years they have moved from a post Nationalist Ireland policy,onto an agreed Ireland policy and finally back to a pro united Ireland policy.

    Hardly consistant

    You’d think there was an election coming up

  14. Fair enough, franc.

    I think ‘agreed Ireland’ and ‘united Ireland’ are part of the same policy though (after all, both translate the same way into Irish).

    However, the ‘post-nationalist’ stuff was rubbish, just didn’t come naturally!

    It’d be a good idea, of course, but the bulk of the SDLP is not post-nationalist.

  15. I believe the agreed ireland policy was an internal discussion which involved changing the aspiration from ‘united’ to ‘agreed’and was being driven by the McGrady/McDonnell faction within the SDLP.

    It was recected as being a dilution of the now present position of united Ireland

  16. I thought that Sinn Fein had also done a united Ireland document recently… Wasn’t there something in the news about them looking for a united Ireland green paper?

  17. David “Wasn’t there something in the news about them looking for a united Ireland green paper?”. Yes, and it quickly dismissed by the Irish government, who are not in the fairytaling business.

  18. Keith M when all the huff and puff of this election subsides and the I would be in no doubt that negotiation will open and as we have seen in the past SF will introduce the green paper idea. This is not to say it will happen but it will be on the political agenda. Will Fianna Fail want to go into the next election as The Republican Party that wouldn’t discuss a United Ireland.

  19. J kelly

    I agree,its easy to dismiss something when you feel politically threatened by an oppenent whose mandate continues to grow

  20. Does anyone know of a bookies taking odds on the elections and what are the prices per constituency?

  21. 47DP,

    good to see that you are quoting an unbiased source!!! Foyle will be won by Mark Durkan – everyone knows that it will be a closer vote than in 2001 but Mark will win by 4-5000 votes. Bookies throughout the 32 counties have noted that MD is the slight favourite.

    Also, I’m getting a little tired of the Sinn Fein argument used against the SDLP with regards reunification. If you look at the ‘policy’ of the republican movement throughout the last thirty years their actions have changed very radically – somersaults all round!! Would republicans in 1981 believe that Martin McGuinness would be a minister of the crown who would have to get royal assent to get an executive bill through the Assembly. Methinks many would be turning in their graves. What will be the next SF policy?? SF have taken SDLP policy on a united Ireland and used it cynically for themselves. Republicans who support the S F project should read the Good Friday Agreement with regards to what they have signed up to. They might get a bit of a shock!!

  22. J Kelly, the Irish government does not have its agenda set by the timing of a UK general election. Nor does it allow a party with a handful of TDs dictate the priorities. A green paper discussing something that is not going to happen is a complete waste of everybody’s time.If SF/IRA believes in a “united Ireland” they have to convince the majority of the population of Northern Ireland that they are better off joining the republic and leaving the United Kingdom. That is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever.

  23. Liam,
    What price are the bookies offering on Durkan?
    I remember making a few quid last time round on Pat Doc , this time I cant find a bookie giving odds especially in Foyle?

  24. bigwhitedove,

    depends on which bookies you went to, but one was quoting odds on!, believe it or not!! Of course I’ll agree with them but MD will win. \three times on the trot for Mitchel.

  25. Liam

    Please post the name of the bookies in question
    which was giving MD at odds on,wow what a price.

    I’ll get to the bank first thing Monday morning

    Seriously let use know the name

  26. Liam, I want to know this info for purely financial reasons, I want to get a bet on before the bookies get a read on the parties tallies and drop the odds, I have checked with all the major bookies in the north and none are yet giving odds, if I have to go to Derry to get a good price on Mitchel then so be it,

  27. now now boys, I didn’t say where the bookies were but if you do click onto prs keele and follow the links to political betting you will see that SDLP are favourites to win 2 seats and SF to win 4 or 5. Interesting, non!!??
    look, it will be interesting but with the foyle electorate now at 69000 MD will beat Mitchel. Even accounting for the Assembly vote the SDLP were ahead of SF by 1500 – this time i believe that MArk Durkan will beat Mitchel McLaughlin.
    Don’t waste your money on Mitchel, back Michelle to lose in F&ST!!

  28. Liam

    I’m just interested in the odds on betting for MD

    Are you telling a few porkies in hope rather than fact

  29. ijp

    I’m aware they launched the policy document

    just trying to point out that over the last number of years they have moved from a post Nationalist Ireland policy,onto an agreed Ireland policy and finally back to a pro united Ireland policy.

    Hardly consistant

    You’d think there was an election coming up

  30. Eastwoods in Strabane gave betting on the 2001 Elections but I dont know about this time. They gave Pat Doc at 5/2 to win Stalingrad. After the favourite winning the Grand National they will not be so generous this time. My best guess at the betting in Foyle 4/5 Durkan 1/1 Mc Laughlin or vice versa. If anyone finds out any Bookie offering odds on the 18 seats post asap.

    An accum; Mc Laughlin, Murphy, Wilson and Simpson.

    Mitchel will win Foyle easily. With a grown electorate and SF ability to deliver the vote this will be easy. Currently in Derry the SDLP are struggling big time for workers. Many council candidates are working on their own or with two or three of a team. The SDLP as a coherent party in Derry has collasped. Its no secret that there are two camps the Durkan and Ramsey camps. Believe me or not this is a fact.

    Another contributing factor in all of this is that the SDLP have privately conceded to losing the majority on the council to Sinn Fein.

  31. J Kelly

    Having spoke to a few comrades from the city in queens they tell me they are very confident Mitchel will take the seat.

  32. Can i take it then that i won’t be a millionare on May 6th and the dream i had about Liam saying a bookmaker was offering Durcan at odds on to win Foyle was not real..

    No, No, it can’t be true

    Ah well,It must be time for the cornflakes

  33. J Kelly,

    come on now,
    Derry people don’t like the over confident, funny I haven’t seen too many SFers in the area in which I live. Try not to speculate and make slanderous comments with regard to the SDLP in Derry – its just very infantile. There’s no doubt that the election will be tighter than 2001 but look at the stats, the opinions of political commentators and listen to members of your own party and then make true and realistic commentsabout your chances in Foyle.

  34. Liam lets look at the facts.

    SDLP with a 1500 majority from Assembly Elections not insurmountable by any stretch of the imagination. Durkan has failed to capitalise at all on the recent events and after the Adams speech SF have taken the initiative back. Not one commentator is prepared to call Foyle and this always favours the challenger.

    Liam you are not for one minute suggesting that the SDLP in Derry are a coherent force and are working well together. Pat Ramsey and his entire family circle despise Mark Durkan and John Tierney. Colm Eastwood wouldn’t work with Ramsey. Diver openly hates Durkan and Ramsey and this is only the public, or whats known in the Claredon, side of the bickering.

    The SDLP council teams.

    Cityside SF have by far the best nalanced team candidates in Bogside, Brandywell upper and lower Creggan. The SDLP struggled big time to get a candidate in this area their first choice pulled out before the photo call and by all accounts she wasn’t even a [arty member. The replacement candidate you may know him Liam will have a battle on his hands to equal his sons preformance. The two sitting candidates are already gutting each other. Ramsey is not putting himself out in this election as he did in the Assembly elections. Has he knocked at a door yet. SF to demolish the SDLP in this ward SF have three and 1/2 quotas pushing for four.

    Northlands A family affair all round. Sean Carr and John Kerr uncle and nephew with different names but that another story. Sean Carr has been almost invisible the past four years. John Humes niece and Mark Durkans nephew both new comers and Helen Quigley who is panicing at the thought of challenging Hume and Durkan. The SDLP have conceded a seat here already. A gain for Sinn Fein.

    Shantallow Mary Bradley and Shaun Gallagher are accompanied by two yourhful party workers its no secret that the couldn’t fill these positions either. Against three of the highest profile Shiiners in Derry. Another gain for Sinn Fein.

    Rural something you may know some thing about. The SDLP were ripped apart in this ward by the sacking of Annie Courtney. Farmer Tom has a very good profile and reputation but has anyone seen Jim McKeever in recent times. The two new comersI know nothing of the Harty fellow but Liam Boyle did quite well the last time in Cityside but hasn’t been seen since. Sinn Fein have an excellent councillor in Paul Fleming and his running mate even though not from the area has been working out there for ages. If Annie runs she can only damage SDLP. A gain for Sinn Fein.

    Waterside Diver completely damaged goods tried to jump ship to Sinn Fein and then bottled it. Martin Reilly good worker but no back up in the area and not even from the town. Gorbals are a strange lot. Jim Logue and Lynn Felming a cert to increase the vote but I wouldn’t bet on the seat. The SDLP could still lose a seat to the unionist in 2001 they only scrapped thelast seat by a handful of votes.

    So with this overview my prediction is that Sinn Fein will have 13 seats SDLP 10 and unionist 7.

    This SF council performance coupled with the SDLP being in disarray my honest guess is that Mitchel will win Foyle by about 1000 votes.

  35. It’s a win win for SF in some ways.
    If they win the seat, SDLP humiliated *
    If they lose the seat Durkan stays on and drags down what’s left of the SDLP.

    * the only worry – if Durkan loses, he’ll surely have to resign as leader SDLP. That can only be good news for the SDLP 😉

  36. Non-Unionist tactical voting for the UUP will not happen this year as it did in 2001. 2001 was a save Dave tactical vote for the UUP. Dave is now dead, he doesn’t lead Unionism and won’t ever again. There is no motivation now for non-Unionists to push up Unionist voting figures and elect the UUP because it will make diddly squit difference to the question of who leads Unionism.

    As a result of this changed climate it’s…..

    Goodbye Mr Trimble,
    Goodbye Mr Beggs,
    Maybe Goodbye Mr Burnside,
    and curtains for any UUP challenge to a sitting DUP member – East Londonderry, Strangford vulnerable to tactical voting?.. get real folks.

  37. They have no one better then Durkan

    Then they are Donald.

    Mind you , interesting and challenging career move for you ? ( I’m off into hiding now LOL )

  38. South Down will be interesting, I wonder will the middle-class unionists who vote for McGrady continue to do so now that Nesbitt and Wells are standing

  39. “Then they are Donald.

    Mind you , interesting and challenging career move for you ?”

    Please explain this to me?

    After all us South Armagh boys aren’t as quick as you Derry wans 😉

  40. Please explain this to me?

    Big fish in small pond ? And I know you have a soft spot for the SDLP 😉

  41. J Kelly,

    come on now,
    Derry people don’t like the over confident, funny I haven’t seen too many SFers in the area in which I live. Try not to speculate and make slanderous comments with regard to the SDLP in Derry – its just very infantile. There’s no doubt that the election will be tighter than 2001 but look at the stats, the opinions of political commentators and listen to members of your own party and then make true and realistic commentsabout your chances in Foyle.

  42. To those of you who predict a UUP victory in FST your way off the mark! In the last election Dixon got only around 13% of the vote and the uup still lost. In the 2003 assembly the DUP got nearly 20%. Also in 2001 SDLP got nearly 19% and a fair bit of them will be going in SFs direction this time round So its a pretty safe bet that Michelle will be sittin put for a bit longer!

    The SDLP mightnt be in as bad a shape as people are predicting even if Durkan loses Foyle(which I think he will). I reckon McGrady is safe enough and McDonell with a serios chance. Even though I would usualy vote SF I think alot of usual shinners would prefer McDonnel to another Unionist as Maskey hasnt a chance.

    Another constituency that is being overlooked is North Belfast. If the UUP vote holds and Hutchinson runs Dodds could find himself in a sticky situation with Gerry Kelly not far behind. Dodds went from 41% in 2001 to 34% in the assemblies. The aniversery of Bobby Sands could yet turn out to be a very bad day for Unionism.

    Id say: SDLP:2 SF:6or7.

  43. South Down will be interesting

    Yes, you are correct to query what Unionists will do.

    Personally, I think McGrady is the SDLP’s safest candidate. He’ll attract some Unionist support, and is well enough known and has served with enough distinction to see him home, in all likelihood.

    Durkan’s got a bigger challenge ahead, as he’s not the incumbent, and he’s fallen blatantly between all the stools. He’ll attract neither Unionist nor ‘borderline Republican’ sympathy.

  44. J Kelly,

    my oh my you do seem to know an awful lot about the SDLP in Derry. BTW, I have a feeling that you’ll be in for a shock and you like all Sinn Feiners have a very one sided and biased viewpoint about your political opponents. Look, lets be honest here, you should not predict anything when it comes to the Council elections. You do seem to be quite certain about the outcome – I can never quite work out how the republican movement knows this, maybe you can explain. Don’t be too sure. And BTW, have you not given the SDLP a bit of a ‘penalty kick’ in the Rural ward ( a SF councillors words, not mine!!!) by fielding an unknown in the area. It does seem that the Rural in the elctorate like their local councillors to be local – just how many locals are their in SF and how many family members are there???
    I am confident that the SDLP can maintain the fact that they are the largest party on the Derry City council. J, I’ll focus on the positives that the party can bring to ALL the people in Derry, not just the nationalist electorate (interesting that the excellent SF candidates haven’t attempted to reach out to their Protestant Irishmen – so much for an ireland of equals). And I do wish SF the best of luck in Foyle. Yes, it will be close but the general consensus is that it will be Mark Durkan MP on May 6th. So all the best.

  45. Liam as for knowing alot about the SDLP all one has to do is frequent the Claredon or talk to any SDLPer in one or other camp.

    Would all the SDLP candidates standing in the Rural ward be local in proper sense of the born and bred as country folk call local. I don’t think so.

    Just by stating that the SDLP will be the largest party in Derry City Council doesn’t mean it will happen. I have given predictions based on local knowledge, past elections and the general feeling in Derry.

    Liam maybe you would like to give me your thoughts an how the locals will go in Derry. And by the way are you a perspective candidate yourself in the Rural.

  46. J Kelly,

    I take it that you have spoken to the majority of the 69000 in the Foyle constituency in order to make such exact comments. Would all the republicans standing in the DEAs be locals in the sense of being born and bred as country folk call local – whatever that means. Maybe the way martin McGuinnes was born and bred in the South Derry area or Pat Doherty or…you get my point presume.
    Why also, would any SDLP member wish to tell a republican about business within the party whether true or false?? Also, try to be very careful about making claims with regards SDLP members on a public forum – I might ask Alex in South Belfast for a little help!!!!!
    I’ll have a chat to you about past elections in Derry any day ‘J’ – just tell me what you need to know or better yet go to Nicholas Whytes excellent site at ark.
    And with regards to standing in the rural, sure no one has seen hide nor hair of Liam Boyle since 2001, so maybe it is maybe it isn’t!!

  47. I am sorry to dissapoint you Liam but the sdlpers in queens have told me quite a few things which turned out to be true, it’s called a political chat.

  48. Chris Gaskin : “South Down will be interesting, I wonder will the middle-class unionists who vote for McGrady continue to do so now that Nesbitt and Wells are standing”. McGrady doesn’t need tactical votes even without McGrady in the field the SDLP got twice the vote share of SF/IRA in the last local elections. Even going back to the assembly elections they had a 9% lead. McGrady is home and dry in no small part to his fiercly anti-SF/IRA stance in recent months. The longer term problem for the SDLP is the vacuum that willl be left when he stands down. Lessons from N+A have to be learnt.

    saoirse : “To those of you who predict a UUP victory in FST your way off the mark!” Is anyone seriously suggesting the UUP will win if the DUP stand? The only wat Gildernew will be unseated is with an agreed candidate and neither of the two candidates in the field right now would appear to have the depth of support necessary to get the other to stand down.

    “McDonell with a serios chance. Even though I would usualy vote SF I think alot of usual shinners would prefer McDonnel to another Unionist as Maskey hasnt a chance.” For McDoell to win there needs to be an almost even split in the Unionist vote and for the Maskey vote to collapse. Given the damage done to Maskey by the McCartney murder this is possible, but how many are going to vote for McDonnell? Whichever unionist candidate can best lay claim to Smyth’s legacy is going to win SB, and I’m begining to lean towards the DUP here.

    “Another constituency that is being overlooked is North Belfast.” Because it’s a safe DUP hold.

    “If the UUP vote holds and Hutchinson runs Dodds could find himself in a sticky situation with Gerry Kelly not far behind. Dodds went from 41% in 2001 to 34% in the assemblies.”
    Some wishful thinking there I’m afraid. The DUP are outpolling the UUP but a factor of around 3.5 to 1 in NB. Hutchinson’s vote collapsed in the assembly election, he didn’t run in 2001 and he would be a fool to run this time.

    At this stage I can call 12 seats fairly confidently :

    DUP will hold the 6 seats they held at the disolution. I believe that they will also comfortably take East Antrim.

    SF/IRA will hold West Belfast, Mid-Ulster West Tyrone and will gain Newry and Armagh.

    The SDLP will hold South Down.

    The leaves 6 seats up for grabs;
    Foyle, I’m giving to the SDLP because McLaughlin’s gaff on the McConville murder has been so widely reported.

    I think Trimble could be a goner in Upper Bann and I’m giving that to the DUP.

    South Antrim I’m also giving to the DUP as I cannot see nationalists voting tactically for Burnside.

    South Belfast is too early to call with a new candidate only announced a few days ago. However I think the momentum might be so strong behind the DUP that they could shade it.

    That leaves North Down where I believe McCartney will run and therefore the UUP hold by default.

    In F/ST I’m not seeing the smoke signals which suggest a voting pact so SF/IRA hold.

    So at the moment I’m calling :
    DUP : 10
    SF/IRA : 5
    SDLP : 2
    UUP : 1

    It could get even better for the DUP if McCartney doesn’t stand and if Foster gets a clear run in F-ST (but one imagines that would mean standing aside in SB).

    I honestly think that the UUP don’t really appreciate how close they are to oblivion.

  49. Durkan will easily win as will McGrady. I still do not see 10000 SDLP votes in S.Belfast being anywhere near enough to take the seat.

    SF will win nowhere near 7 seats. Fermanagh is lost to them. Elliot will be the new MP by around 1000 votes.That leaves SF with three seat plus and its a big maybe Newry. So four seats maximum.

    The DUP will be the big winners with 8 possibly 9 seats.

    The UUP will be left with 4 seats.

    The end result will be 12 Unionists and six Nationalists.

    Little chance of the assembly being revived.

  50. Peter

    How in the name of saint jude do view Sinn Féin taking Newry and Armagh as a “big maybe”?

  51. Peter your predictions lokk more like hopes than predictions. Sinn Fein will win 5 seats without breaking a sweat. A hard fight in Foyle with Sinn Fein just nipping it by 1000 or less. South Down will come about if the SDLP vote goes below their Euro vote.

    I still predict 7 seats for Sinn Fein.

    Liam I didn’t introduce the local argument. On the predictions I have looked quite extensively at NW site and the SDLP are definitely vulnerable in a number of DEA’s in Derry. In the 2001 Council Elections the SDLP got 43% of the first preferences and in the Assembly Election of 2003 this fell to 36%. In real terms this accounts for 6000 votes. While Sinn Fein has increased it percentage by 2%. Real terms with a fallen electorate this is actually a drop of just over 1000. So my predictions are based on recent trends of Sinn Fein growing and the SDLP declining. If the 2003 results were repeated Sinn Fein is in line to increase its seats in its stronger area as I have predicted.

  52. J Kelly,

    if the 2003 election results are repeated. I take it you mean SDLP 36% and PSF 32%. That along with the very poor transfers back to PSf would almost certainly result in a Council with the SDLP as the largest party. Really, check up on the STV system and see how well PSF get transfers from other parties.
    Also, the electorate in 2003 was less than 65000 as the quota was 5830 and just look at Nicolas’ site to see the transfers back to SF. The vote management by the SDLP was better than PSF and with a repeat of this, a higher turnout, a stronger team and better candidates and I’m sure you’ll agree that your friends have as much chance of ‘taking over Derry’ , as your cohorts loudly proclaimed before the counting in 2001, is again a bit of a pipe dream. Feel free to talk to me anytime about elections!!

  53. Here’s my prediction for the Westminster Election:

    Antrim, East – DUP gain definite
    Antrim, North – DUP hold definite
    Antrim, South – DUP gain likely
    Belfast, East – DUP hold definite
    Belfast, North – DUP hold definite
    Belfast, South – almost too close to call but go for SDLP gain
    Belfast, West – SF hold definite
    Down, North – DUP gain likely (as McCartney not standing)
    Down, South – SDLP hold likely (SF closing gap)
    Fermanagh & S. Tyrone – SF hold definitely (as unionist vote split)
    Foyle – SF gain likely (as SDLP vote crumbles)
    Lagan Valley – DUP gain definite
    Londonderry, East – DUP hold definite
    Newry & Armagh – SF gain definite
    Strangford – DUP hold definite
    Tyrone, West – SF hold definite (1 unionist candidate could still not win this seat)
    Ulster, Mid – SF hold definite
    Upper Bann – DUP gain likely (Trimble gets the boot!!)

    So that’s: DUP – 10; SF – 6; SDLP – 2; UUP – WIPEOUT

  54. David

    Not so sure about south Belfast

    While Unionists will certainly split their vote

    McDonnell will need to attract new votes from somewhere to see him over the line and because of the perception of him being on the ‘alliance’ wing of the SDLP , he may need to attract some ‘soft’ Sinn Fein votes,which is highly doubtful.

    Too close to call

  55. a stronger team and better candidates

    Liam who are the better candidates as far as i can see all the Assembly candidates are currently contesting these elections. Stronger team its no secret that the SDLP had to empty their offices to get candidates so its far from a strong team. Were was Big Pat for yesterdays photocall strong team work at its best. Liam be realistic vote transfers count for very little in Council Elections. First preferences are what count. and Sinn Fein will outpoll SDLP in this election without doubt.

  56. “Having spoke to a few comrades from the city in queens they tell me they are very confident Mitchel will take the seat.”

    There apears to be little doubt that Mitchell will take the seat. I come to this conclusion after reading this line of contributions. First Liam makes claims about bookies and Durkan being favoured- then can’t substantiate that claim. Typical SDLP behaviour.
    The Shinners will pull out all the stops for this seat, and no doubt will win it. Watch the line up of SF personnel heading to the constituency- high profile names (Ferris etc.) heading that way.
    The disintegration of the Stoop Down Low Party continues today with Durkan and the West Tyrone Stoop Down Low Party at each others throats over that egomaniac Deeney ( who has changed his discourse from saving the HOSPITAL- to saving ACUTE services).
    Ah sure all Shinners will just get on with the good work while these gypes trip over other on the way to defeat.
    I too am around Queens fairly regularly and I don’t know who Liam bes talking to- I even have many Stoop Down Low Party former youth workers stating openly their vote will go to SF.

  57. I’d like to appeal to Mick with regards to J Kelly’s personal attacks on an elected representative in Foyle. It is getting very close to the bone and I am finding it very offensive.

    If we are to engage openly in Political discussion could the Republican movements supporters have the common courtesy to play the ball and not the man. Personal comments like J Kellys are distasteful to say the least.

    J Kelly, I have a vested interest in electoral systems and their transfers and would be delighted to share with you the transfers of the Irish republican party in any British election since partition.

    try not to be too subtle in your commentry on the SDLP – your dislike is particularly off putting for anyone trying to engage in a discussion.

  58. Liam:

    What are you on about, you have a very, very thin skin, whats the story, “its your ball and you do’nt want to play any more!?”

    J Kelly, offered some seemingly very informed insights, you could have tackled him if you had any insight to the contrary, but you failed to do so, why do’nt you go home and cry to Durkan or Ramsay, or whichever camp you are in!!

  59. “your dislike is particularly off putting”

    Sorry to inform you Liam but many of us don’t like the stoops!

    As for it being a negitive thing, many on this site despise Sinn Féin but we still manage to have a debate.

    It is called being an adult, try it.

  60. Have the SDLP decided who sacrifical lamb is in West Tyrone yet?

    The smart money would be on Joe Byrne, but an Omagh man might not want to break the ranks after the constituency decided against standing. McMenamin is fairly asute and won’t volunteer for a hiding. So that leaves Tom McBride as next best choice, but as constituency chair he’ll have to remain neutral. After that you’re very very limited in terms of talent for a Westminister election. What’s Brid up to this year?

  61. 18 constituencies. That’s an awful lot of stooping. I’d feel for their back-bones if they had any 😉

  62. Polls, Polls, Opinions.

    I always thought the only true indicator of the tide was the seaweed. So my own independent Nori Poll for Derry runs as follows.

    SF supporters I have spoken to say they might take the seat.

    SDLP suporters I have spoken to say they believe they will take the seat.

    I think that edges it towards Durkan – and you heard it from Nori first.

  63. Does anyone remember the way the Stoops boosted in June 2001 how they’d win West Tyrone with Brid Rodgers and Tommy Gallagher would give a good run for your money in Fermanagh South Tyrone. Amazing the way those who made these predictions have vanished. They’re too ashamed to admit to their stupidity. Exactly the same will happen after May 5 2001. Those who have made predictions for the Stoops to hold the Foyle and South Down and win South Belfast will vanish as in 2001 and deny they ever made such prediction.

    Sinn Fein will hold the 4 seats they have and they’ll win the Foyle, South Down and Newry South Armagh. Gerry Kelly will do very well in North Belfast and Alex Maskey will give a good run in South Belfast.

    Sinn Fein tally of MPs minimum 7 maximum 9

  64. Well Sean

    As you proclaim to be a republican there is only 1 TRUE party you can vote for – that is Sinn Fein

  65. ha, yeah, what’s Alex Maskey ever done for the constituency of South Belfast?

    Have SF ever attempted to do anything about the flags that fly in Four Winds during the summer?? Nope.
    What about children’s play facilities in the area?…er….nope.
    ok, what about holding regular community meeting on local issues??…sorry, afraid that’s also a no.

    While the SDLP have many faults, at least their South Belfast members work for their entire constituency, and not just the markets and lower Ormeau.

    I’m a republican in the truest sense of the word. Will I vote Sinn Fein? not a mission.

    When it comes to local politics for local issues, McDonnell wins hands down.

  66. Fermangh republican if Alex could win i would vote for him.The thought of Mcdonnel winning is hell.Another forelock tuggerin Westminster like Mcgrady.

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