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…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty