McGlone is to be the new Deputy Leader of the SDLP…

It seems the SDLP have a leader…. well, no, not really… But they do have a new deputy leader in Patsy McGlone, one of the few SDLP MLAs who have actually built on their own local equity even as the party’s general democratic value continues to drop… There were other candidates in the field, but none managed to get the minimum support required, so McGlone wins long before the party even gets a chance to vote its new leader in…

It will no doubt be heartening news to Alisdair McDonnell who faces the twin challenge this year of winning the leadership of the party and retaining his south Belfast seat in the Westminster elections… The latter task resembling a walk in the park compared to preparing the party for a election within months (or even weeks, if Brown goes to the country in March) of a challenging general election… According one seasoned observer, it is further indication of a party too deeply sunk in ‘overthink’ that such contingencies were not even considered when setting the succession timetable…


  • slug

    Congratulations to Patsy, who, despite having a girls name :), sounds like a very good and solid person to Deputy Lead the SDLP into a revival.

  • Northern Friend

    ‘not even considered’?

    With respect, I think you’re making a fundamental mistake Mick. They were considered certainly. The central point is that Durkan and a number of those around him would rather have no SDLP than an SDLP led by Alasdair McDonnell.

    The risk of oblivion is worth taking if the extra lead-in period increases Margaret’s chances.

  • Northern Friend

    Oh, and congratulations Patsy McGlone – a solid performer with real roots in the community.

    They hate him too. Just not as much.

  • Patsy didn’t exactly shine as DOE committee chair during the Causeway visitor centre debacle. He was even outshone by David Ford 😉


    If true that the other two nominees were Declan O’Loan and the omnipresent Margaret Ritchie, then yes, Patsy’s ascension will hearten Alasdair McDonald in his bid for leadership.

    It appears Margaret cannot help seeking any post that becomes avaialable and it also appears that her former status of the “North’s favourite politican” didn’t get her too far this time.

  • Expenses111

    What age is Patsy? So much for new young blood.

    Also what has the SDLP achieved since Good Friday 1998?

  • granni trixie

    Being (Deputy) lead by “another elderley pensioner” is the least of the SDLPs problems, but the analysis tells me that ageism (as well as sexism,previously noted), is alive and well on Slugger.

  • slug

    Second time today to think this: people on slugger are incredibly catty, aren’t they?

  • Coll Ciotach

    It is obvious that what is happening here. Patsy McGlone is a name much mentioned as a potential Fianna Fail convert.

    There is a move on to ready the SDLP for a Fianna Fail takeover. The hierarchy in both the SDLP and FF are creating the landscpe for this to happen if the SDLP crash after 2011.

  • BOM

    Patsy is the best asset that the SDLP has – believe me!

    He is hard working and a genuinely decent person. He should have been going for Leader never mind Deputy Leader!

    He has been the one that has kept me enthused within the party and his nomination as Deputy heartens me greatly.

    Obviously Patsy spends more time helping people than messing around in Stormont all the time.

    Anyone here slagging him off obviously doesnt know him!

    Good luck to him. I am excited about the party prospects now.

    Does anyone know if any of the other nominees were actually nominated? I thought it was only Patsy who received nominations.

  • anonymous

    there will be no FF merger , ever

  • insider


    You should get out of North Antrim more and you might have seen more of the Environment Committee than a single meeting at Giants Causeway. Patsy is a decent bloke who seems to get on well in Mid-Ulster, but not a particularly effective Chairman and issues that personally concerned him got more time than they deserved.

    I think if you had seen the recent Assembly debate on the Climate Change report which was largely completed under Patsy, you would have seen that the lead was given by Peter Weir, Cathal Boylan and David Ford. Those three and Jim Wells who is not on the Committee were way ahead of anyone else. (The debate may still be on the BBC Democracy Live site.)

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Yep, Patsy is A1. Tá Gaeilge aige agus níl náire air usáid a bhaint as. Is mór an trua é gur ball den stoops é.

  • I didn’t see the meeting at the Causeway, Insider. I expected Patsy McGlone and the committee to get their teeth into then Minister, Arlene Foster, over her ‘minded’ decision but was very disappointed.

    Her successors, Sammy Wilson and Edwin Poots, have come to Bushmills to view ‘developer blight’ and gone away – and positive change just hasn’t happened. The current state of the village is a disgrace. Perhaps those members of the Planning Service who are responsible for the protection of the conservation area should be put in the stocks until some improvements are carried out 😉

    Fred Cobain was making great noises a year ago about how the DRD committee was going to examine the issues raised in the Rathlin ferry report but the report has yet to go before the committee!! The responsible UK authorities at the Treasury are expected to answer EU commission questions on the matter by December 22.

    There’s so much sleaze associated with the Kingdom of Moyle that I don’t have the time or the need or the inclination to move further afield 🙂

  • Just received this on the old Twitter:

    Perhaps Patsy can act on the matter before access is blocked.


    See MLA
    “New saying in south Armagh,its so cold it would freeze your assets”-

  • Harry

    Congrats to Patsy, though I must be honest in saying how good I think he will be. I wish him well and it will be a tough job, the SDLP have a big fight on their hands. In my opinion, the Westminster election could spell trouble for the SDLP. S Belfast is no guarantee of being held by McDonnell, and I think Durkan has a real fight in Derry, but he could be helped if a dissident republican candidate stands and takes votes of Sinn Fein. Only S Down looks a guarantee SDLP win.

    I think someone like Patsy who is touted as a FF convert is good to have in the hierarchy of the SDLP – like the UUP, they are being squeezed out, and like the UUP they need to look at a national party to maintain their support levels (the only difference is the UUP are looking at a British national party, the SDLP at a Irish national party). Anyway, co-operation is needed, and I believe that Patsy will ensure such co-operation if and when it is needed.

  • Nollaig a chara

    lol does that include those assets that are recieved by politicians from building contractors

    Could u not have picked a shorter name lol

  • JD

    “there will be no FF merger , ever ”

    This is good news for McDonnell and Fianna Fail. Patsy McGlone was never shy about being identified with Fianna Fail in the past.

    There will not be a Fianna Fail/SDLP merger, but a “rebranded” SDLP (McDonnell’s words)can leave the Socialist/Labour camp in Europe and join the Centrist/Liberal group in Europe of which both Fianna Fail and the Alliance Party are members.

    Don’t expect big changes for the 2011 elections (although Gerry McHugh MLA is a member of FF), but a joint Euro election campaign in 2014 is likely followed by further co-operation at the following assembly elections.

    This is bad for Margaret Richie and her supporters

  • Jo

    “twin challenges”, surely?

  • slug

    “There will not be a Fianna Fail/SDLP merger, but a “rebranded” SDLP (McDonnell’s words)can leave the Socialist/Labour camp in Europe and join the Centrist/Liberal group in Europe of which both Fianna Fail and the Alliance Party are members.”

    Great – that will allow the Labour party to stand candidates more easily.

  • eric

    “Great – that will allow the Labour party to stand candidates more easily. ”

    Good point. The Labour Party will pick up a few defectors in that scenario. So in the 2014 Euro election:

    Fianna Fail/SDLP/Alliance

    With Carmel Hanna’s retirement that leaves even less Labour minded MLAs – Alban McGuiness is one, but who else would there be? I am sure there would be some SDLP cllrs that would join Labour, but it is hard to see who else from the assembly

  • eric

    “again this pathetic unrepresentative anti-Republican site censors and removes my comments?”

    If its so bad, why do you bother with it?

    There’s plenty of Republican blogs and sites out there

  • Mick Fealty


    You are welcome to talk politics. If you are in any doubt about the rules, consult the commenting policy on the top right.

  • slug


    Good post. I am eager for a Labour option to emerge. I am a natural Labour voter.

  • Granni Trixie

    Slug:So am i !…but in the meantime (since 1972 and Bloody Sunday), I am am Alliance supporter (work it out).