Ritchie considering leadership bid

SDLP MLA Margaret Ritchie has said she is receiving calls from inside and outside the party to enter the race to succeed Mark Durkan. Speaking on The Politics Show, Ms Ritchie said she would make her mind up soon but was very heartened by the number of people asking her to run. Alasdair McDonnell, the other likely contender is also expected to be a candidate paving the way for the first ever contest for leader in the SDLP’s history.

  • Comrade Stalin

    McDonnell vs Ritchie ? This is going to be vicious.

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    Never thought much of Ritchie but Alasdair comes across very well.

  • Stormontspy

    I feel sorry for McDonnell up against Ritchie in a leadership challenge. Recently in the Down Council instead of her replacement being Terry Andrews a community worker for over 30 years Ritchie managed to privately arrange the ballot so a 25 year old female law graduate could be the new councillor. Ritchie and the SDLP often says regarding P&J no nationalist need apply well in this case it was no one without a law graduate need apply or no one over 30. What does this law graduate do? She is Ritchie’s constituency office manager. I wonder why she was Ritchie’s first choice…..

    Even though I am not McDonnell’s number 1 fan I hope he can keep Ritchie out to take the smile of her face.

  • LabourNIman

    seeing as she is possible the most unlikable member of SDLP (and I do have a soft spot for them) with her constant bickering in the executive it will be a death blow if she is elected..

  • Stormontspy,

    This must be the 3rd time in nearly as many websites that you have posted pretty much the same post. Do you even know Terry and the other woman concerned or is this just some obsessive Margaret Ritchie tirade of the sort you have been engaged in for years on Mark Devenport’s blog?

    I’m glad that Richie is running, if McDonnell expects a coronation then he has another thing coming.

  • StoopDown

    Well it looks like Ritchie’s antics locally shafting Andrews, a good worker, have resulted in him finally paving the way for him to move to FF. With antics like that the SDLP should expect to lose decent hard working people on the ground to new options. Apparently Andrews has been a dual member of FF and SDLP in the recent past – how are the SDLP going to attack this issue going forward? Or would McDonnell open up full dual membership in order to keep SDLP FF/Labour people in the fold? The likes of Alban would certainly move to British/Irish Labour if he even sniffed an SDLP/FF alliance, which McDonnell has been blatantly in favour of in the past.

  • Stormontspy

    1967,

    I will continue to write these things and tell the truth until people can see through Ritchie and people know her for what she is.

    Maybe I know these people… maybe I dont…. I just hate seeing cheats prosper.

  • DC

    Ritchie vs McDonnell yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • expenses111

    What about this from Hansard? –
    “Perhaps the Minister can tell us how many of the houses that had a grant application refused were checked to ensure that they met health and safety standards. Are there ramifications for the health of the families who live in those houses? Two such families attended one of her infamous roadshows in Newry to ask that question, but they were shouted down and heckled by SDLP members. Where is the concern for those families?”

    Doesn’t say much for Ritchie does it??

  • Dave

    The SDLP forming an alliance with FF at this time is like succulent geese forming an alliance with delicious turkeys in November to make a break for freedom in January.

    FF are dead men walking.

  • alan56

    Ritchie needs to work on her ‘delivery’ when speaking. Relax a bit and not be so formal and preaching. I think that her current style puts people off. After all abit of coaching worked for Thatcher..

  • Patricia Derry

    I think she is what the party needs. Its about regeneration and getting new talent in place. That often involves overlooking hard grafting but limited older members. The new SDLP has to be a meritocracy not somewhere like the old civil service where you get promoted just because you are next in line. If Ritchie can mobilse a new generation then she will gte my support. Like Conall McDevitt said on TV this week, the last thing the SDLP needs is a personality contest for leader.

  • Stormontspy

    Patricia,

    If the SDLP had a personality contest then the election would be null and void. Would you rather have an honest leader or dishonest one? It is a sad state of affairs where the youngest SDLP MLA is 49 and he is now leaving.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dave, an excellent – and pithy – analogy there.

    Only Northerners with a total disconnect from the current political reality in the RoI would regard joining FF as a career move. At least with UCUNF the Conservatives are on the up.

  • StoopDown

    If anyone knows their political history, a fool would only write off FF as dead men walking. They have come through much more difficult times, and I can see them doing very well when they formally organise up here. Cowen will be gone, then expect either Dermot Ahern or Martin to take the reigns and lead the party as an all island organisation. What the SDLP needs is to harness this and get FF to agree that they will see the SDLP as a strategic partner for Westminster elections as they will not contest them. If anyone in the SDLP actually thinks FF are not a threat to us, just take a look at what the word is regarding comparing the recruitment success of FF Youth against SDLP Youth in northern universities the past few years – FF Youth have outrecruited them.

  • StoopDown

    Re: Dave

    If the FF launch in Down is anything to go by, they had 70 people there. We in the SDLP get by in South Down with in reality 40 active members – we’re already outnumbered. So I think the likes of Terry Andrews or Peter Fitzpatrick are clever in the sense that they have been plastering their faces on FF related articles in Down – they see that Cowen will not be there for long and either Martin or Dermot Ahern will take the party to an all island basis in the medium term. And as an SDLP man with relations in FF across the border, I can only see it flourishing.

  • URQUHART

    Margaret needs to be careful that she’s not being used by the ‘Anyone but Alasdair’ camp. I suspect some of those calls are coming from people who don’t give a sh*t who runs as long as there’s someone else on the ticket and they get the chance to get stuck into McDonnell.

    The ‘momentum behind Margaret’ that’s being briefed to certain media outlets smells dodgy.

  • The Hacker

    A leadership contest is the last thing needed by the sdlp.Whoever wins will not get a bedding in period,if , as it looks now , the leadership fight will be just 3 months out from the general election.The winning leadership candidate will be judged on the party’s preformance in that election which going on the Euro job seems to have slowed or perhaps stopped.
    Have the middle class voters conscripted during the peace process by the Sinnfein machine about to desert? Provos , so far, have failed to deliver on anything, which to be fair the DUP roadblock has ben hard to get round.
    But stalement on the transfer,on Police and Justice and the Irish language act, which the provos keep talking about but must know has no chance of being introduced(the quality of irish spoken by the shinners at stormint is as bad as the Ulster scots spoken by the unionists)but they will support the failure of mkt economics by supporting cuts in publc services. How will their members in the trade unions cope when they are called out on striketo oppose cuts? Will murphy and co cross the picket line? We know catroina will have no problem after the Classroom Assistant dispute.So a leadership contest within the second nationalist party maybe hidden within other issues facing the shinners.

  • TKbytesback

    The election of any leader to any political party is everything to do with personality and its nonsense to say anything else. This current election ie within the SDLP is bugger all to do with FF/ Irish Labour or anyone else. These are only in machinations in the minds of the internal and external conspiracy theorists. No one in the running for the SDLP leadership is much of anything when it comes to political allegiance in terms of South politics. Nor has the SDLP any men or women in grey suits who can do the honest thing and tell some people that outside of their ego and families .. they have no chance of improving the SDLP lot by seeking the leadership. At present leaving the mainstream personalities aside -the future leadership of the SDLP can only come from three constituencies.. Derry, South Down and South Belfast and possibly Mid Ulster. Derry one assumes is ruling itself out. The reality is quite simple the SDLP membership cannot afford to select a Leader or indeed a Deputy Leader from a constituency where that seat may be at risk during the next Assembly election. Whatever about not being able to lead the Party from Westminster( which I disagree with) the SDLP cannot be lead by someone who is unelected to the Assembly. To hand any of the key positions next February such as leader or Deputy leader to people who have in the past been last man standing or been elected without reaching a quota or whose vote over ten years has plumetted will throw the SDLP into turmoil within 18months.

    There will be no recovery from such decisions or their possible subsequent loss.

    Therefore in pure practical terms that rules out some good capable performers but in truth harsh as it sounds people who struggle to keep themselves elected -never mind a party to afloat cannot lead a party! That should rule out potential candidates from North Belfast, East Derry, Upper Bann, North Antrim and the most vulnerable seat of all West Belfast. The axis points become fairly obvious when one faces the truth of harsh electoral reality.. the leader can come from an urban or rural area but their deputy will have to come from the opposite. Neither can be seem as vulnerable electorally. The so called competition for leadership should be the outcome of a ‘cut’ deal. And there are only three people in the SDLP who fit that bill- The vision thing will have to take place second to the pragmatics of real politics..otherwise the SDLP will whither on the vine. Brid Rodgers unwisely was allowed to slip into the Deputy Leadership of the SDLP – that neutralised the position and gave her no relevance at the following election..whatever the fallout of electoral meltdown – the SDLP should learn from their own mistakes and not make them again..choosing someone to stop someone else is the luxury of parties with a variety of choices ,, if they get it wrong…. they can rectify it but the SDLP is not in that place.

  • picador

    I’d like to see Alban Maginness throw his barrister’s wig into the ring.

  • DC

    Put simply, I cant see anyone who is going to do any better than Durkan, or be significantly better so as to change people’s minds.

    At least we have the novelty value in McGuinness (an ex-terrorist) having to get on with Peter Robinson (an ex unionist-aggressor estate agent). Both of whom would rather have taken their chances with anybody else, that’s the amusing part. Watching them both, the calm and ruthlessly calculated McGuinness battle it out with the truculent and argumentative Robinson, prone to losing his temper, all of this plus old ideological differences makes it interesting. The wise boys sitting on the sidelines waiting to tell us all: we told you so, it’d never last!

    It’s difficult, at least the UCUNF is interesting as it provides a potential train wreck from failing to overhaul the UUP to something more vibrant and modern and non-sectarian, or it could be real change in the making.

    The SDLP, whoever wins out of the above two, is the same old same old.

  • picador

    We must have cross-posted TK. There will always be a seat for the Stoops in North Belfast.

  • just woke up

    DC say “Ritchie vs McDonnell yawn zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

    If its so boring to you why bother coming on and posting twice about the matter in the space of just over 4 hours? Surely you must have wet paint to watch or whatever?

  • Michael Goddard

    the sdlp could elect Obama and it would still get them no-where.

    To paraphrase Trotsky, they soon will reside in the dustbin of history.

    Now we need FF, FG and Irish Labour to move North.

  • DC

    Even Obama is in need of something that gives him a bit of a backbone at the moment.

  • Dave

    StoopDown, the FF link might have made some populist sense before FF were once again exposed as corrupt shysters of clientelism who care not one iota for the national interest, but the easy-glamour has worn off and as Bob Dylan croaked, “Things have changed.” It makes no sense at all to align yourself with a party that will be out of action for three or possibly four terms of office.

    That aside, FF will have the same problem that SF have in trying to operate one political party in two separate jurisdiction, i.e. one-size does not fit all and one party cannot have two sets of political, economic, and social policies. And that’s before they get to the separate political institutions of the British state. The mandatory power-sharing provision of the GFA, for example, was tailor-made for Northern Ireland but it has no relevance whatsoever to Ireland.

  • picador

    Now we need FF, FG and Irish Labour to move North.

    So then the ‘nationalist’ vote will be split between SF, SDLP, FF, FG, Labour, WP, éirígí, RSF, etc. Unionism wins!

    FF is now a tarnished brand. What a difference a year makes!

  • Jack Ryan

    One thing that Rithie has got going for her is that she is gritty & appears to have fire in her belly! whether enough to keep SDLP alive I don’t know! And as a minister at least we know she exists? Other than Robinson, McGuinness, & Wilson for either the wrong or right reasons the rest seem to be the cabinet of nobodies!!

  • DC

    1.”The mandatory power-sharing provision of the GFA, for example, was tailor-made for Northern Ireland but it has no relevance whatsoever to Ireland.”

    Like a cumbersome political leg brace for a disabled body-politic.

  • austin

    There is no doubt that the manner in which Ritchie manipulated the election of her replacement on Down Council has a serious, wider implication for the SDLP. There is real anger locally that the man bypassed by Ritchie for the seat (Terry Andrews) was treated so poorly. Outcome? Andrews is a leading light at the launch event of Fianna Fail in South Down giving the soldiers of destiny immediate credibility locally.
    Thus by one underhand stroke, Ritchie has seriously undermined the electoral prospects of her Party in what was until now the impregnable fortress of the SDLP. The actions of a leader in waiting? I think not…

  • Dave

    DC, I actually think that it is needed in NI. It is certainly consistent with the two-nations concept of Northern Ireland that is enshrined in the GFA. Since their are two nations, each nation must have a majority and both majorities must agree on policy. It’s awful, of course, but it’s needed because you have two nations sharing one state.

    In Ireland, however, there is only one nation: the Irish nation. I wonder if FFhave actually read the SDLP’s blurb on their united Ireland vision? It is basically that the Irish nation-state should be dismantled and replaced with a replica of Northern Ireland. If that is to be FF’s new vision of a united Ireland, then they will have divorced themselves from their tradition supporters in Ireland and will be reviled as quislings; and if it isn’t, then they’re in for an unhappy marriage with the SDLP.

  • John O’Connell

    Dave

    It is basically that the Irish nation-state should be dismantled and replaced with a replica of Northern Ireland.

    Nonsense. I don’t know what you’ve been reading but that is just simply nonsense on the SDLP position.

    The SDLP position depends on recognising the unionists just Nationalists are recognised now but the 26 county area will be largely unaffected by this.

  • Downpatrick Resident

    Austin,

    I agree with you. More people are now seeing through Ritchie for what she is. Many people think Ritchie will stop at nothing to be the leader. I wonder what skeltons will be un-earthed in relation to McDonnell or anyone else who gets in her way. It is time for Durkan to dump her before she dumps the party.
    On the ground in Downpatrick the only people who contact her are those looking for homes or benefits. What else has she done? She hasn’t tackled issues like the economy, jobs, anti social behaviour or underage drinking.

  • austin

    ‘On the ground in Downpatrick the only people who contact her are those looking for homes or benefits. What else has she done? She hasn’t tackled issues like the economy, jobs, anti social behaviour or underage drinking. ‘

    As she’s the DSD Minister, homes and benefits are within her remit and I wouldn’t find fault with her for concentrating on those issues.

    As for underage drinking, are you serious-or are you a serious troll?

  • DC

    “It is certainly consistent with the two-nations concept of Northern Ireland”

    No, two main political identities Dave.

    I’m part of a somewhat younger generation and there a lot of things both communities share in popular culture such as music, dance music and shared social life that I think there is a very serious political lagtime at Stormont, and even worse incomprehensible behaviour there, that makes me believe strongly that it really is out of sync with the life that I know exists in NI.

    The sad fact is that to these people a trip to the polling booth is as boring and as uncool if not unusual as say a trip to an antiques shop in Groomsport with someone’s granny looking for bone china. It ain’t going to happen, not with the leadership shown at the moment, which as I have said before is tantamount to a very Conservative Christian Democracy. Simply, the parties are all occupying the same Conservative space.

  • Downpatrick Resident

    The only people on the ground working is Sinn Fein. Whether you like or hate them they are trying.

    As for Margaret Ritchie surely it would be a conflict of interest for her to get people homes within weeks rather than let them sit on waiting lists. Good win to win votes…………

  • austin

    ‘The only people on the ground working is Sinn Fein. Whether you like or hate them they are trying’

    They can be very trying indeed. As for Ritchie, I don’t know much about housing but are politicians allowed to decide who gets houses? I thought that they done away with that after Caledon?

  • John O’Connell

    Downpatrick Resident

    It just shows how much you in Sinn Fein dislike Margaret Ritchie. It proves nothing else.

  • Downpatrick Resident

    I know one person who told all that their daughter and grand daughter got a home within 3 weeks of contacting Ritchie’s office.

    As for JOC I am not in Sinn Fein. I am just giving credit where it is due. One Sinn Fein man went the extra mile regarding anti social behaviour. Did Ritchie? No so unless you know don’t say anything at all

  • Peter McGrath

    Seems to me that SF supporters on this thread are threatened by Ritchie. She must be doing something right!

  • Downpatrick Resident

    Peter you anything to Downpatrick SDLP councillor Colin McGrath? One of Ritchie’s mates!!!

  • John O’Connell

    DR

    I know one person who told all that their daughter and grand daughter got a home within 3 weeks of contacting Ritchie’s office.

    All politicians provide those services and the rules still stipulate that they cannot interfere with NIHE decisions. The points system prevails and the game is to maximise those points in order to prioritise housing preference. I suspect you know all this or you wouldn’t be pretending to be very thick so that you would sound sincere.

    I maintain that you’re a Shinner.

  • Downpatrick Resident

    JOC,

    I think your one of these SDLP people who believe that Margaret Ritchie is the best thing to have walked this earth. I suppose you are going to tell me you like the SDLP so much you canvass for them…..

  • John O’Connell

    DR

    You bet

    Have you ever been to a Turkish prison yourself?

  • austin

    Meanwhile getting back to the topic. Is there any other SDLP candidate who could put up a creditable fight for the leadership? What about Patsy McGlone?

  • Downpatrick Resident

    JOC,

    What a weirdo.

    Everyone else. Yes Patsy would be a good candidate. He spoke well during the week when criticising the spending off £100 million on Civil Service consultants. I thought Ministers took decisions not consultants…

  • alan56

    Why is nobody mentioning Alex Attwood. He has been such a long serving representative?

  • austin

    ‘Why is nobody mentioning Alex Attwood. He has been such a long serving representative?’

    Thanks for that contribution,Alex-sorry I mean Alan56…….

  • alan56

    Please let me be leader…I deserve it…

  • Michael Goddard

    So then the ‘nationalist’ vote will be split between SF, SDLP, FF, FG, Labour, WP, éirígí, RSF, etc.

    The Sdlp will implode and disappear and as for the dissidents and the sticks, they and all their supporters could fit into a medium sized toilet.

    Southern parties moving North would force a long overdue realignment of northern Nationalism.

    As for Attwood for sdlp leader, isn`t he more loathed inside the sdlp than he is outside of it!

  • Michael,

    The WP is neither nationalist nor unionist but socialist.

    As for you placing all your faith in the southern parties. A joke. FG and Labour have made clear they have no intention of getting involved up here. And FF has bigger fish to fry. If you want to change NI politics, don’t think the southern parties will do it for you. Get organised and do it yourself.

  • IJP

    Why a re-alignment in “Northern Nationalism”?

    Why not use this as an opportunity for the SDLP to live up to its name and force an overall re-alignment where primacy is given to issues and ideas, not identities?

  • Michael Goddard

    After reading some of your posts concerning the sticks, I`ll discount any of your comments as the rantings of a bitter anti-Nationalist.

    As for the workers party being socialist as socialist! As socialist as any mafioso.

  • Michael Goddard

    Why not use this as an opportunity for the SDLP to live up to its name and force an overall re-alignment where primacy is given to issues and ideas, not identities?

    This is something the sdlp is now incapable of doing. Their 5 minutes of fame is over.

  • aquifer

    Ritchie is formidable. She stood up to the proddie paramilitaries and I’d be surprised if she was not safe on Sinn Fein as well. She scraps hard for her constituency and I would love to see her put her opponents’ noses out of joint, even without knowing where she would end up on various issues.

    Drab sexist MLAs could do with a bit of colour.

    Pity it probably won’t be red.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The Sdlp will implode and disappear and as for the dissidents and the sticks, they and all their supporters could fit into a medium sized toilet.

    I thought the SDLP would implode years ago. Despite a rather badly run assembly election campaign, they have done better than expected. I think they are also the most competent performers within the assembly of all of the executive parties. I think they would really shine in opposition.

    This is something the sdlp is now incapable of doing. Their 5 minutes of fame is over.

    Obviously you’re posting from the bedroom in your parents’ house. 5 minutes of fame ? The SDLP have been around for 40 years. I think they’re misguided in a lot of ways, but it wasn’t that long ago that they were the largest nationalist party, and only slightly longer ago again that republicans burnt the SDLP leadership out of their own houses for daring to speak out against them.

  • picador

    IJP,

    Are you advocating that they should join the Conservative Party?

  • LURIG

    As a Nationalist who has flitted between Sinn Fein and the SDLP over the years I could honestly say I would NEVER give the SDLP any preference vote again if McDonnell or Ritchie became leader. Neither is leader material and sole ambition seems to be eating away at both. Speaking personally to me McDonnell comes across as arrogant, dismissive, a bit stuck up and more interested in pleasing Unionists. Ritchie strikes me as frantic like a pneumatic drill that is never switched off and tends to freak you out a bit, the woman needs to relax. As I say the SDLP are in a bad way if this is the choice.

  • Michael,

    I’m not particuarly fussed about what you think of my comments. I was just pointing out the inaccurate nature of your characterisation of WP politics as nationalist. Added to your placing faith in the southern parties, I think it shows your political judgment is highly suspect.

  • TKbytesback

    Picador
    Dont know about the cross posting. Here are some facts on possible candidates no matter how worthy or articulate. I dont want the SDLP to beat itself up necessarily -there just needs to be some reality stock-taking..among the SDLP membership
    Alban/SDLP North Belfast – (1998) 6196 (2003) 3186 (2005) 2212
    Alex/ SDLP- West Belfast (1998) 10420. (2003) 3910 (2007) 4110
    John Dallat/SDLP East Derry. (1998)9954 (2003)5584 (2007) 4435.
    Dolores Kelly/SDLP (1998) 11947 (2003) 6818 (2007) 5450
    All of these have been front runners for the SDLP in their respective constituencies and its clear that some no longer have a quota despite coming from constituencies which had two full quotas or at least a quota and a half. If Sinn Fein managed their votes better at least two of those seats could fall and one more is potential for loss. Just look above some of the votes are now a third of what they were and most are half or less.

  • Jo

    Anyone recall the “brawl in the hall”? 🙂

    Was it Margaret who was videoed shoving for all she was worth?

  • TKbytesback

    lol. no that was Alasdair!

  • Michael Goddard

    I think it shows your political judgment is highly suspect.

    From a person who denies the official ira exists, controls and runs the workers party and shot a young lad a few weeks ago in Downpatrick.

    As I said earlier, the rantings of an idiot.

  • dub

    Garibably,

    You recently outlined for me the position of the WP in relation to not being a 2 nations party and being one still in favour of a united sovereign irish state which would be socialist.

    That clearly puts the WP in the nationalist/republican camp.

    Or have i missed something?

  • gmac

    This woman needs serious presentation coaching. If they select her then the end is nigh

  • Anon in Belfast

    Just to respond to the claim about young Councillor issues in Downpatrick. Yes it a shame about Mr Andrews – however I think it perfectly acceptable for the party and the branch to elect who they feel is the best for the position. Obviously in this case it opted for the Younger candidate.

    Yes i am sure that Mr Andrews was disappointed but the position is not just his for the taking regardless of what he has done in the past! Thats politics sometimes its not fair !

    However I heard the young councillor on the radio last week and she sounded great – an ambassdor for the younger face of the SDL.

    I am glad that Margaret has stepped forward as new possible leader – given that the current deputy leader is under the same delusions as Mr Andrews!

  • anon in belfast

    Just to respond to the claim about young Councillor issues in Downpatrick. Yes it a shame about Mr Andrews – however I think it perfectly acceptable for the party and the branch to elect who they feel is the best for the position. Obviously in this case it opted for the Younger candidate.

    Yes i am sure that Mr Andrews was disappointed but the position is not just his for the taking regardless of what he has done in the past! Thats politics sometimes its not fair !

  • anon in belfast

    oops – sorry for the double posting ! Damm computer !

  • Dub,

    The WP is an internationalist party that believes that neither nationalism nor unionism are a progressive force. Nor is any political force that links religion to politics.

    The WP however believes that the best unit for ensuring that the working class on this island has the dominant say in government is a secular, socialist unitary state. That analysis comes from a socialist rather than a nationalist perspective.

  • Michael,

    You seem to be imagining things. You’ve only called me an idiot once.

  • Tim

    The WP is an internationalist party that believes that neither nationalism nor unionism are a progressive force.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/24945282@N03/2356443052/

    The Workers Party look very Nationalistic to me!

  • Michael Goddard

    So did the official ira the armed wing of the workers party shoot that young fella in Downpatrick?

    And do you alone maintain that the officials don`t exist?

    This is the reason I called you an idiot and a raving looney one at that.

  • County Down Spectator
  • OgraFFer

    As an Ogra FF member who visited the QUB Fianna Fail cumann launch in 2007, McDonnell addressed our cumann that day and you could almost see the saliva drool down his face in wanting an SDLP/FF merger. Pity that even if he gets the leadership we don’t want him! Once you sit in WM, your Republicanism is tainted forever. Having said that there apparently plenty of excellent former SDLP and SF members joining FF (and apparently some SDLP cllrs are already members on the sly), those who write us off as a walking dead party are very very foolish. We may not be reelected to government next time around, but that gives us the chance to truly evolve as a 32 county party.

  • Joe

    The SDLP would have far more in common with a FG-Lab govt than a FF one.

    Especially since it looks very likely that Ireland will have its strongest ever FG-Lab govt in a year or so.

    The Bruton and the Fitzgerald eras always had FF snapping at their heels, but the Kenny govt will practically have Dáil Éireann to themselves.

    That is why the FF merger is dead, because the horse trading has already begun.

  • Quagmire

    Mc Donnell or Richie? Says it all really. The SDLP are fooked!

  • TKbytesback

    I wish people would stick to the thread.. the FF FG.. Labour crap does not feature in the SDLP leadership election and if it does then the Party really is f*uked. It may suit some to portray the fight as somekind of battle for the soul of the party but its about survival through the forthcoming Westminster election next Spring and the Assembly elections the following year. Whoever wants to lead the SDLP would need to a) want it b) have the energy for it c) be electorally secure and c) possess an ability to inspire the troops. This is a tall order for the SDLP in its present condition. All pretenders to the throne have some convincing to do before nominations and I guess the front runners know that already.

  • TKbytesback

    Joe please learn to distinguish between SDLP membership and the electorate. Close to over 100,000 of the electorate have departed SDLP. Practically every seat has lost nearly 50% of its vote and it has not gone directly to Sinn Fein. If there is a myth its in the minds of those who believe in the law of diminishing returns.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Who better to lead a party of old women than an old woman? Eh, Con?

  • URQUHART

    OgraFFer

    You’re either a fake or a fool. Don’t embarrass the organisation with that sort of nonsense.

  • DC

    “As an Ogra FF member who visited the QUB Fianna Fail cumann launch in 2007,”

    No I was there, FF were giving out chocolate Euros and other fun stuff, but I think he’s right.

  • Coll Ciotach

    I reckon TK is correct – FF have no interest in the election any more than they would have for any other party. It is an internal issue for the SDLP.

    Not that SDLP needs any adice from me,and (to paraphrase TK) they are really f***ed if they do, I would imagine the action plan is to get a leader who will lead them through the next set of elections and hopefully pull the party together to rival the opposition no matter who they are.

    By the way Quagmire – you are wrong

  • picador

    TK,

    Thanks for the election stats.

    Re: N Belfast

    Pat Convery was on the SDLP ticket at the last Assembly election. Raymond McCord, a one-off independent standing on the issue of collusion also stood. Boundary changes will bring in suburban Glengormley at future elections. A seat is safe for Alban.

    I believe Dallat also had a running-mate in East Derry BTW.