Allegations of ‘voter fraud’ as selection row hits SDLP in Derry

An election has yet to be even formally called, but already the first allegations of voter fraud have been made. The SDLP’s Foyle selection convention led to sitting MLA Mary Bradley being deselected. However, her election agent has alleged that some of those voting in the convention used ‘proxy’ addresses in order to make themselves eligible to vote for another, unnamed candidate.

  • The Story

    “A ROW has broken out within the SDLP in Derry over the deselection of a sitting assembly member.

    Mary Bradley lost her place on the party’s Foyle ticket to Derry mayor Helen Quigley at a selection on Sunday.

    However, her election agent Robert Quinn has claimed the votes of a number of people who took part should have been ruled ineligible.

    Under SDLP rules, members voting in a selection convention must be resident in the same constituency.

    Mr Quinn, who did not say which candidate the alleged ineligible votes were cast for, claimed they belonged to people living in Co Donegal but using proxy addresses in Derry.

    He said he raised the issue with convention chairman Sean Farren but was “overruled”.

    Mrs Bradley has refused to comment on the issue.

    However, the allegations were denied by Mr Farren, who said candidates were given a list of eligible voters a week before the convention.

    “During the week headquarters did receive some allegations that some names were not eligible,” he said.

    “Headquarters investigated this and I was fully appraised as acting chair of those allegations. The allegations turned out not to be substantiated.

    “Before the selection convention on Sunday I met with all of the candidates together and, in their presence, went through all of the agenda of the meeting.

    “I mentioned that there were some questions raised about the eligibility of some people and that was all cleared up and I had the assurance from all of the candidates that they were satisfied with the list.”


    “I mentioned that there were some questions raised about the eligibility of some people and that was all cleared up and I had the assurance from all of the candidates that they were satisfied with the list.”

    And that should be the end of it.

  • Iwantbetterchoice

    Cllr Quigley well deserves the nomination and Mary Bradley and her election agent should be done with it and get over it.

    new faces need to be seen in the sdlp or they face going into further decline!

    I hope they take this on board when it comes to this election but i am not sure they will?

    That is one thing that SF do well and that is promote the younger candidates and help those that want their profiles raised to be raised. Mary Lou Mc Donald wasnt very well known yet SF seen that she was a woman with potential that could be used to their advantage. She is the certainly the best looking in the leadership although that isnt saying much.

    A few more nice faces who have the potential there but need it developed would be welcome in all parties. Quite often this type of person is the one that does alot of work for their constituents.

    Sorry Mary but Helen has this and your turn is over. How did Mary do in the polls the last time around? I would like to think that all the parties are getting rid of the dead wood given the importance of this election!?

  • dublinsfsupporter

    Mary Lou Mc Donald wasnt very well known yet SF seen that she was a woman with potential that could be used to their advantage. She is the certainly the best looking in the leadership although that isnt saying much.

    Mary Lou McDonald is certainly extremely promising and has already been a very able National Chairperson, having taken over from Mitchel McLaughlin some years ago. She has played an important role in the party at national level. She is now extremely well placed to take a seat in the Dáil. I believe her career as a great deal of further political leadership potential both within Sinn Féin and in the nation.

  • Let’s Be Honest

    I’m sure someone will hunt the figures out but, if I remember correctly, Mary Bradley polled very well in deed; the highest overall vote I think.

    Could this be the real reason behind the post by “Iwantbetterchoice”?

  • FromArk

    Mark Durkan (SDLP) 6806 (16.7%)
    *William Hay (DUP) 6101 (15.0%)
    *Mitchell McLaughlin (SF) 6036 (14.8%)
    Raymond McCartney (SF) 3679 (9.0%)
    *Mary Nelis (SF) 3499 (8.6%)
    Mary Bradley (SDLP) 3345 (8.2%)
    Mary Hamilton (UUP) 3322 (8.1%)
    Pat Ramsey (SDLP) 2826 (6.9%)
    Eamonn McCann (SEA) 2257 (5.5%)
    Gerard Diver (SDLP) 1769 (4.3%)
    *Annie Courtney (Ind) 802 (2.0%)
    Alan Castle (Alliance) 227 (0.6%)
    Danny McBrearty (Ind) 137 (0.3%

  • Quaysider

    [Play the ball then – edited moderator]

  • Pól

    The deselection of Mary Bradley wont go down well with the SDLP voter’s in her area. Mary had a loyal following and didnt have to push to hard to get them out on poling day. SDLP may have scored an own goal in Shantallow.

  • Dawnbreaker

    Yes Mary Bradley has a loyal following but I have no doubt that Helen Quigley will have too!

    It is good to see that the stoops are choosing their candidates carefully.

    Mary is right to be upset at this choice, however, Sean Farren said last night that everythin was done as fair as possible. The same cant always be said so to be fair to Mary there is no argument. If you go to a selection convention for a vote then you have to take the risk of not winning it! Same as any poll!

    I just hope that the stoops work hard for this election – all candidates need to be seen out and about canvassing much more than they ever have before. I hope I see the evidence of this in my area but I am not sure.

    If it doesnt work this time it is unlikely to work in the future. This I believe is their last chance and they need to do it right!

    A new dawn for the sdlp!? It is their choice!

  • DMCM

    I am sure that Helen Quigley is a great candidate but will she command the huge vote that Mary Bradley has?
    I suppose it is also a healthy sign for the SDLP when there is fierce competition for selecting candidates.
    Emotions will always play their role. Can the SDLP run 4 candidates? I see they are running 3 in West Tyrone when they normally run 2.

  • darth rumsfeld

    yawn yawn- it’s Annie Courtney all over again. Why don’t the stoops realise that the faction fighting and old codgers assuming a divine right to office was what did for them in the first place- from Gerry Fitt’s time onwards they fight themselves more than the shinners

  • fair_deal

    Pretty tame as selection meetings go

  • Terry Doherty

    Strangely partitionist approach from Mr Quinn but then I’ve no idea how the stoops go about their internal business so I’ll not comment on the family row.

    Having said that, reports of mass enrollments by other candidates prior to Xmas have been doing the rounds in Derry and Mary’s name wasn’t in the mix for this.

  • Derryman

    Mary Bradley is a much respected and hard working public rep’. I can say this personally as she helped me (and a couple of my neighbours) many times over the years.

    Shame on the treasonous SF who see this as yet another opportunity for electioneering and sniping at the SDLP (darth rumsfeld, Dawnbreaker,dublinsfsupporter).

    Healthy competition within the SDLP is good to see and I can see it being rewarded at the ballot box, just as it always is here!

  • Dawnbreaker

    Sorry Derryman but I dont know where you get the assumption that I am an SF supporter!
    In fact quite the opposite! I simply state that I hope that the sdlp use this opportunity to make sure their campaign is as robust as possible to get rid of the bad image they have had in the recent years.
    I do believe that they have a good chance due to good selections which is why I called myself Dawnbreaker!

  • insider

    I know this may be mixing it a bit but this what i hear, the strategy that the SDLP are going to employ in Derry nominate 3. Ramsey, Durkan and Quigley head office put an extra candidate on who will be Diver to take the Waterside/Rural vote. The hope then is that Ramsey will lose at the polls and Durkan gets rid of the dead wood in Bradley and a long term opponent Ramsey and the SDLP live happy ever. But it looks like they are not living happy ever after.

    Mary Bradleys election agent pulled out of an interview with Radio Ulster minutes before going on air last night the central kabal must have got to him.

  • Derryman

    Frequent references to the SDLP as “the STOOPS” should be a clue. It is merely buying in to the treasonous Republican rhetoric of portraying the SDLP as not being “on the ground”, as being an irrelevance, as “jumping too soon” or any of their other malicious and ill-founded sound-bites.

    Any names listed were done so to highlight people have done this. I accept that I wasn’t as clear as I could have been when making that point and maybe should have written (darth rumsfeld, Dawnbreaker,dublinsfsupporter take note!).

  • darth rumsfeld is definitely not a Shinner. ROFLMAO.

  • darth rumsfeld

    correctomundo, sammy, I am the founder of the Continuity Unionist party, and I am sick of stoops gurning that because of a lengthy career of staggering mediocrity in the party’s fiefdom they are automatically entitled to another turn in the trough, when self-evidently they are out of their depth even in the stagnant pool of Stormont.

    IMHO The SDLP councillors in Londonderry have been worse than even the average decrepit UUP duffers who have spent 50 years mouldering in council chambers buffered from accountability for their manifest shortcomings by electoral dominance, and every time there’s a selection meeting for Asasembly, or even local council the more intelligent SDLP delegates dump one or more of the dead wood who then whinge – not unreasonably- that they’re no worse than the other dross given another throw of the dice.

    I can’t remember an election where there hasn’t been one sitting Londonderry councillor culled whose friends haven’t muttered darkly to the Journal about procedural irregularities and an independence campaign which fizzles out in ignominy.Being the only time these losers are ever held accountable it’s no wonder they are hurt and surprised

  • Darth-

    Where is this Londonderry you speak of? The only one I am aware of is in New Hampshire, and as far as I recall the SDLP don’t stand there.

  • BonarLaw

    El Matador

    my goodness, I thought I was on the M2 heading out of Belfast this morning when in reality I must (according to the signage) have been in New England. There was me on the wrong side of the road and doing more than 55mph!

  • BL-

    The misspelling on that particular sign is merely a manifestation of the imposition of alien terms upon the oppressed people of the north by foreign overlords 😉

  • BonarLaw

    El Mat

    but I find the imperialist jackboot such a snug fit these wintery mornings 😉

  • Derryman

    Sammy Morse, there are too many people who are unable to think for themselves. Some vote for SF and others, in a lazy way, just use the same SF sound-bites. Either way it only benefits SF. If you support SF – fine but if you claim to be something other than a supporter of SF then why use their rhetoric?

    I am fully au fait with many of the posts made by darth rumsfeld on many threads and I believe I have a good idea of where the man is coming from. Clearly darth has issues; he doesn’t appear to like anyone!

    THe SDLP is a socialist party which follows a peaceful nationalist agenda. It has NOTHING to be ashamed of; quite the opposite in fact!

  • the sparrow

    “It has NOTHING to be ashamed of; quite the opposite in fact!”


    What about people like John Hume who insighted violence and rioting in your own city.

    Their close connections with the civil rights movement/PIRA leave a lot of unanswered questions.

  • darth rumsfeld

    yeah Londonderryman, I well remember Drumcree 1, and the nationalist demonstration in your city, and a young man addressing the crowd, saying that the Orangemen should get a taste of their own medicine, shortly before the city centre riots erupted. I’m sure his intemperate words, as reported in the “Jurinal” were carefully chosen, as he has a reputation as a wordsmith. No doubt you know him, but if clues are needed, aske his nephew, Mark H.