Angelique Chrisafis, Ireland correspondent for the Guardian has an article , Sinn Féin likely to tighten grip in SDLP heartlands, arguing that the battle for the soul of nationalism is in Foyle. Newry and Armagh could go to Sinn Féin, South Down should stay with the SDLP, but she writes
“it seems ironic that the fight to succeed Mr Hume, Northern Ireland’s great celebrity politician, who is standing down, is being billed as a battle between two of the dullest men in politics.”A neat summary of the situation –
“Mark Durkan, the SDLP leader who has been mentored by Mr Hume all his political life, is seen as well-meaning and sincere, a “nice, honest guy”. But his critics have attacked him for leading a party that is too remote, too middle-class and middle-aged.
Mitchel McLaughlin, Sinn Féin’s general secretary, a refrigeration engineer, hardly sets pulses racing either. “The most adventurous thing Mitchel’s ever done is shave off his moustache,” one republican said.”