SDLP choose Bradley and Haughey for Newry and Armagh…

Given the focus on Newry and Armagh in the last few days, it’s worth noting that the SDLP chose their team for the March election this evening. A lively crowd of about 300 heard what Slugger is told were ‘barnstorming performances’ from Seamus Mallon and Alasdair McDonnell. The team is to be the party’s sitting sole sitting MLA Dominic Bradley and Sharon Haughey.

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  • Newry Voter

    A very good strategic choice – two rather than three candidates, one of each sex, balancing Armagh and Newry.

    Both excellent candidates, and of course Dominic Bradley is a high profile figure who does excellent work on the ground in Newry. Sharon has a high local profile in Armagh.

    There is a reasonably good chance for the SDLP to snatch one back from Sinn Féin here, given the commitment and energy of the SDLPs two candidates, and the fact the SDLP have chosen to run one fewer candidate than before.

    Interesting to see a new more confident SDLP emerging.

  • Garibaldy

    Perhaps barnstorming performances from the candidates might have been more useful

  • kensei

    Slugger was told by who?

  • Sean Og

    I agree that it is a good selection for SDLP but to say that it represents a new confident SDLP emerging is taking it too far. Bradley is a good candidate and will poll close to a quota but Haughey is NOT high profile and will have to put in some serious work in the next 3 months to be in with an outside chance. Even with the problems in Newry/South Armagh/south Down Sinn Fein are still favourites to retain 3 seats. Is Colman Burns the 3rd man? If he is; mistake. They need someone in Armagh city.

  • CS Parnell

    Sharon is a star in the making. Just watch her shine.

  • mickyfin

    who knows what new independant people might emerge in the mean time, to balance the books

  • MarkCool

    SDLP must like their young candidates. I heard that Matthew McDermott has been selected for co-option onto Lisburn Council for Lewsley’s seat.

    http://www.sdlpyouth.com/members.php

  • roger

    barnstorming performance from Alastiar McDonnell ??

    That’s a first !!

  • Doc Martin

    There’s still a strong middle class vote to be had in Newry/Armagh and SF will have to work hard to keep their party dominance here.

    I don’t think it’s soley theirs for the taking so no doubt, they will pull out all the stops with Conor Murphy.

    There’s a big vote for the Bradley name in Newry (and next door in South Down too) and in Dominic Bradley the SDLP could well regain lost ground here.

  • Newry SF

    Funy to see the last SDLP voter blogging on this page! Shame nobody under 30 votes for them!

  • URQUHART

    This is a good choice by the SDLP, How gratifying to see them run a flawless, well organised selection after the PSF fiasco! Maybe things are changing after all.

    With the SDLP ticket now balancing youth and gender, while PSF have chosen a bunch of macho angries, I’m going to make an extra special effort tomorrow to source the PSF rhetoric from last time out about the importance of encouraging more women into politics…

    A very interesting day on Slugger.

  • Brendan, Belfast

    looks like N&M is a constituency where the provos are in dissaray while the SDLP are on their uppers. makes a change.

    Bradley appears to be a decent guy who will hold onto his support. Haughey might attract younger / non voters on board.

    The Slab Murphy connection and Hyland’s complaining about the cops will do the Shinners no good. this is a constituency to watch.

  • miss fitz

    I’ve grown to respect Dominic quite a lot over the past few years. He appears to be a very genuine fellow, and very comfortable with who he is and where he sits in the grand scheme of things. He and his wife are very active in many contexts in the life of Newry and the area, and I think appreciation of Dominic has increased. I noted a comment from someone on the other thread about his not being seen on the ground in the area. I would say the opposite is quite true, he attends every dog and ditch as far as I can see. He also has his weekly column as gaeilge in the Newry Democrat, thus keeping his credentials up front and regular.

    No matter what way the SF selection process resolves, I think the squabble has been unseemly and potentially damaging. Dominic and Sharon are emerging fragrant and unscathed.

  • Chris Donnelly

    From an SDLP perspective, two candidates makes sense as three would only split the reduced vote that the party competes for in the constituency these days.

    However, republicans remain quite comfortable in our assessment that the three seats will be retained by the party, ‘barnstorming’ speeches or not.

    Bradley may have a profile, but he- and the SDLP-remain completely overshadowed in this constituency by Conor Murphy.

    Haughey has no profile beyond the local government area she serves as a councillor- understandable really- so she can hardly be depicted as a strong character on the ballot paper- certainly no more than her likely counterparts from Sinn Fein.

    The context of the election will greatly assist republicans, an indication of which has been provided by the Skerries DEA result in the recent past. The mood within nationalism is firmly behind the Sinn Fein leadership, with the delivery of all strands of unionism to the power-sharing table likely to be presented and accepted by the broad nationalist canvass as an unprecedented achievement.

    Coupled with the fact that the SDLP made a strategic blunder in opting out of the Fews by-election earlier in the year, and republicans will know that they’re hitting the ground at the right moment.

    BTW Whilst this SDLP selection convention clearly passed without incident, from my sources the South Antrim equivalent for the party is likely to be a 12 rounder…

  • sean

    300 at an SDLP meeting. Good going for the stoops

    If you consider that the SDLP have only 245 party members in the whole Newry/Armagh area, it would be hard not to increase on that.

    Perhaps they won’t have to hire a private company to erect posters and distribute election literature this time round.

    Maybe the 24 members of the West Belfast SDLP could be bussed down to help with the campaign !!

    Get real.

  • Mick Fealty

    Right, that’s one to mark up then Chris!!

    Two candidates on even last year’s figures should do it for the SDLP. However robust Conor’s vote is, he will be tasked to pull in two guys that are largely untested. One changeover might have been got away with, but two is a big risk.

    Hyland’s (apparently unexpected) intervention will not hinder the SDLP in their quest.

  • fountain of knowledge

    Im sorry am i reading this wrong, in the last assembly election the quota was 6,769 –

    In the last Westminster election dominic polled 12,770 1st preferences, you guys are right its absolute suicide 😀

    BTW glad to hear the SDLP selected Matthew, a 21 year old SDLP councillor from lagmore, a new for the sdlp

  • marcus

    SDLP membership runs from December to December, dont quote those daily Ireland figures, wait till the SDLP anual report given to NIO and then check their membership figures

  • the Quays

    Like Dominic Bradley I believe that finally the voters of Newry and Armagh will now catch themselves on and come back to the SDLP, the Party that over the years has done so much for them. Indeed there are many of us in the SDLP who cannot understand how stupid people were that were hoodwinked by the Sinn Féin / IRA . You get what you vote for and Dominic and Sharon are the dream team. It is a pity that the man who made the SDLP in Newry Tom Kelly did not put his name forward, but I am sure he will be behind our two powerful candidates on the election trail

  • miss fitz

    The Quays
    Nothing surer to piss off former SDLP voters by that kind of attitude. Bradley and Haughey are good candidates, but less of the ‘dream team’ please. A good solid pairing, but not exactly stirrers of passion.

    People who chose to use their democratic perogative and switch their vote from the SDLP to SF did so for a variety of reasons. Most of the people I know who did this did it for the sake of extending the democratic mandate to Sinn Fein and enabling them to become part of the solution as opposed to being the key problem.

    Said it before, will say it again. The continuing failure of Sinn Fein to support the rule of law openly and transparently will ensure that the transitiional voters will leave SF and force looking for options in other parties.

    I’m getting to the point of thinking that even if SF were to sign up today, they’ve dragged their feet for so long they’ve taken the shine off the whole thing.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    ‘300 at an SDLP meeting. Good going for the stoops’

    Paying people now to go to meetings rather than waiting to pay them to put up posters etc. Well at least it will get th students a few quid for Xmas.

  • wide awake

    Good move for the SDLP in Newry.

    On the Davy Hyland story, the real story is that Davy Hyland informed both the Sinn Fein assembly team and the local organisation that he would be unavailable for the convention. He provided this information in mid November but they refused to change the date. The empty chair is the most dangerous one.

    However he knew the outcome of the convention a week before it was held when a senior prophet within the party informed him that he would be deselected – so much for a fair and transparent convention. I wonder did Cathy Stanton get a similar visit.

    Hyland had topped the poll three times in Newry, was mayor of the city in 2001, a valuable asset to any party. Why was he considered a liability?

    Have the local leadership of SF slipped up again as they did big time at the local elections in 2003 when they failed to capture a fourth council seat in Newry, courtesy of the Prince of Darkness.

    ps Is the tippex coming out to erase the date on Mickeys application form – see SF constitutional rules.

    What is the betting on Hyland topping the poll in Newry if an election is held in March

  • womansupporter

    Thats an excellent choice of candidates for the SDLP in Newry and Armagh, I hope they do well. It would be great to get a young woman elected to Stormont.

  • Yokel

    is she a looker?………..

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    I wouldn’t like to rain on the SDLP parade but which MLA has yet to pay his annual dues? My understanding is that the Speaker’s Office is looking into this matter as it could affect the party’s share of ministerial seats when D’hondt is run again.

    Dominic’s a great candidate for the wrong party while I don’t know Sharon but no doubt she’ll put in a good show.

    It’s interesting to see the unionists cheering on this thread cheering on the SDLP as it indicates that they’ve given up the ghost in this part of the world. Perhaps it’s Danny Kennedy who should be looking over his shoulder for the bould Willie – that might be the story of the next election in Newry/Armagh….

  • womansupporter

    is she a looker?………..

    lol, although that really shouldn’t matter, yes she is!

  • miss fitz

    Wide awake
    You raise the fascinating prospect of something that was raised on Talkback yesterday. A caller who knew Davy said that what was needed now was an ‘Independent Sinn Fein’ party.

    Given the history of major schisms in Sinn Fein since it was founded, this is not a fantasy I imagine. David tried to draw out the caller a little bit, but that was as much as he said and that an independent SF was worth some consideration.

    Perhaps we are about to witness something quite historic? And no more able a man to take it forward than Davy Hyland

  • buttons

    “Perhaps it’s Danny Kennedy who should be looking over his shoulder for the bould Willie – that might be the story of the next election in Newry/Armagh…. ”

    The bould Willie? You mean the same Willie who couldn’t even get the unionist voters out to vote against Turlough Murphy in the by-election? Also the same Willie who barely scraped 700 votes in 2003 when Danny was on over 7000?

    No in fairness Willie is not a threat, unionists in Newry and Armagh generally do not vote for him in great numbers

  • Wilde Rover

    Barnstorming performances.

    Even now the grand old trees deny the seedlings sunlight.

  • buttons

    Although I did hear a rumour that the DUP were planning to run Frazer as their candidate in Newry and Armagh to replace Berry. But they may have gone off that idea after his outspoken opposition to St Andrews. Newry and Armagh will be interesting from a unionist perspective.

    More danger will come to Kennedy by the DUPs action. If they do not select Berry as seems likely, Berry will probably run as an independant against the DUP candidate thus splitting the DUP vote. I’m interested to see who the DUP will run and what Berry does, this could have an impact and the SDLP will undoubtedly have this on their mind as they select two strong candidates – if the unionist vote splits enough they could sneak a second MLA in.

  • Buttons has it right on the Unionist front. Berry’s decision is going to be crucial. His personal vote has been massive. One would expect that to get squeezed somewhat, but I’m not clear yet who would be the victim.

    Is it concievable that a serious split there could give SF a bye for the weakest of its three candidates?

  • Brian Lamb

    Re Yokels question – “Is she a looker” – I dont want to endorse tabloid politics but Sharon is very photogenic which will do no harm as Newry ones like a bit of glamour.

  • button

    Wonder when the DUP newry and armagh selection meeting is and who are the candidates running? Could anyone enlighten us?

  • DK

    Oilibhear Chromaill: “It’s interesting to see the unionists cheering on this thread cheering on the SDLP” – what unionists?

  • the other one

    “BTW Whilst this SDLP selection convention clearly passed without incident, from my sources the South Antrim equivalent for the party is likely to be a 12 rounder…”

    Clearly Burns is an embarrassment for the SDLP in Sth Antrim but its clear that the Shinners don’t have a candidate who can make the most of the SDLP’s disarray in Sth Antrim.

  • t o o,

    So far as I know, SF has not chosen their candidate for South Antrim.

  • watchthisspace

    watch this space in South Antrim sf have an ace in the hole

  • Pacman

    And with no sense of irony, Mick marries the name Paul Berry to the phrase “get squeezed” in the same paragraph.

    You can tell Christmas is coming.;)

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Re Yokels question – “Is she a looker” – I dont want to endorse tabloid politics but Sharon is very photogenic which will do no harm as Newry ones like a bit of glamour.”

    Well,hellllooo(leer,wink)….

    Mind you, there’s not exactly much competition from our local politicos.I mean Assembly babe 2006 is -amazingly-between Margaret Ritchie, Arlene and …er Gildernew

  • Pacman

    “Mind you, there’s not exactly much competition from our local politicos.I mean Assembly babe 2006 is -amazingly-between Margaret Ritchie, Arlene and …er Gildernew”

    Thanks Darth – that probably explains Mr Berry’s preferences in a nutshell.

  • Chris-

    “BTW Whilst this SDLP selection convention clearly passed without incident, from my sources the South Antrim equivalent for the party is likely to be a 12 rounder… “

    Really? And here was me thinking they had already selected Thomas Burns and Noreen McClelland without a problem. Perhaps it’s time you changed your sources. Now, will you be so transparent with who has been selected to run for Sinn Féin in Newry and Armagh, or are you just going to satisfy yourself with spreading false rumours about other parties.

    Pat-

    “Paying people now to go to meetings rather than waiting to pay them to put up posters etc. Well at least it will get th students a few quid for Xmas.”

    Lies as usual. But sure why let that get in the way of a good rant, eh? At least argue using actual facts rather than invented ‘facts’.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    El Mat,

    Your party has paid people to do election work for you and after the elections the students go back to classes and you then go back to being aged, out of touch and increasingly irrelevant. According to your own survey anyhow.

  • Pat-

    Proof?

  • Joe Romhar

    anybody a clue how much Freddie Scap got paid at Christmas?

  • Ingram

    Joe,

    Pat, is not sure if he is still on the pay roll mate? maybe one day he will ask his leader?

    El Mat.

    I think you a flogging a dead donkey to get Pat to sleep anywhere near the facts mate.

    Merry Christmas

    Ingram.

  • BeardyBoy

    An Independant SF is not needed, we do not deserve yet another socialist nationalist party, we need a good nationalist party who is not wet on the issue of the border, British spy rings, imposed police forces and so on and also is able to unite all the people instead of using divisive “class” politics

  • darth rumsfeld

    may I be the first to wish everyone a happy Black Eyed Friday? Publicans- may the Force (oops -Service) be with you

  • plop

    The DUP have selected Cllr. Black.

  • Eoin

    Good choice for the stoops with Haughey and Bradley!

    Plop – who?

  • borden

    Excellent choice for the SDLP. An interesting scenario especially if Hyland and Berry both run. If this does happen then there could even be 5 nationalist seats depending on turnout -though I still fully expect the stoops to gain a seat back

  • ofthepeopleforthepeople

    The DUP are running Cllr Black? She must be in her 80s

    http://www.dup.org.uk/CanProfile.asp?CandidateID=3

  • URQUHART

    There’s no substitute for experience.

    And she’s quite the looker.

  • borden

    Are we looking at a Nationalist gain in Newry/Armagh at the expense of the UUP??

  • NA Insider

    The DUP have not selected Heather Black, my understnding is that Willie Irwin will be the runner for that party.