SWOTing the parties: Weaknesses for the SDLP…

Now, before you jump into this one, please go back and have a read through the threats to the party here. There’s a logic to the way I am trying to set these threads out which will only work if people try to think about them logically. Remember bullet points only ladies and gents. The DUP analysis is nearly ready, but I think in the meantime, I need to catch up with some of the stories that have gone missing over the head of this today.

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

  • PaddyReilly

    The SDLP’s major weakness is that it claims to be a Socialist party when in fact it represents the better-heeled members of the community it is drawn from. In a world context this is however quite a common failing: the Irish Labour Party is about the same.

    Liberal would be a better term.

  • Mick Fealty

    Bullet points lads…

  • wild turkey

    1. A party that fails to retain and promote the Martin Morgans ,Carmel O’Boyles, Seán McKees and Marie McDaids amongst its membership.

    2. A party that retains and promotes Alex Atwood

    3.the persistent aroma of a self-regarding and self-important provincial bourgeoisie

    4. persistent violation of the truth in advertising act. ‘Social’, ‘Labour’? yeah right.

  • David Crookes

    A ponderously insipid hendecasyllabic name.

  • John O’Connell

    1. Labour in name. Represents a work ethic and is symbolic of powerful trade unions which true social democracy cannot embrace.

    2. Membership numbers. Not enough enlightened people.

    3. Finance. Ditto.

    4. A ponderously insipid hendecasyllabic name. Social Democrats better.

    5. More women and young people. A fault of all parties.

    6. Perhaps a female John Hume is needed.

    7. Or perhaps a strong Michael McDowell figure to assert their strengths.

  • Cynic2

    1 Alistair McDonnell as leader

    2 Alistair McDonnell not as leader

  • Kevsterino

    1. No proper replacement for original leadership
    2. No guns
    3. Should have put Labour first, the LSD Party
    4. Hume/Adams talks gave unionists an excuse to hate them

  • Nordie Northsider

    • Ongoing self-pitying reaction to being eclipsed by SF as top-dog Nationalists in North: ‘they stole our clothes!’
    • No presence in the South or in Europe other than vague fraternal ties.

  • Chris Donnelly

    1. Have yet to work out what they stand for and, whichever way they decide (either to go for a more strident non-SF nationalist line or Alisdair’s post-nationalist ‘mid ground’ alliance) they’ve a helluva sell on their hands. The lack of a southern presence is a major achilles heel if decide to ‘go green’ and the fact UUP/UCUNF are clearly not interested in the latter has killed that idea in its infancy.

    2. Organisationally a mess: lack appeal at any level within base community, down to skeletal presence (family/ old friends) in many constituencies.

    3. Living off memories of Hume/Mallon era, with Alistair (the more plausible of the two leadership candidates) already signalling intention of reviving ‘Provo’ rhetoric to slay SF in spite of all evidence that such a strategy simply doesn’t work.

  • Lionel Hutz

    1. No effective PR strategy
    2. Not enough public exposure of more than two or three members of the party. Dominic Bradley is education spokesman did you know.,…
    3. Not enough hair in the party that isn’t grey.

  • Wabbits

    1. Percieved among young electorate to be the party of their parents and grandparents. Therefore are not considered radical enough by younger voters.

    2. Too few elected reps or party reps under the age of forty or even forty five to counter the above perception.

    3. Definetly does not have enough elected reps or party reps under the age of thirty.

    4. Does not promote the idea that it actually does have a larger than is believed young support base and as such this is what affects the perception mentioned in bullit point 1 above.

    5. Are far too “nice” for their own good when in television debates etc

    6. Do not make enough noise about the fact that abstentionist representatives from other parties are not serving the electorate fully and are therefore part time representatives of the people they are supposed to serve. (see 5 above, too nice)

    7 Is too slow to put out to grass or cull long serving elected reps who are over the hill in terms of their use to the party and appeal to the electorate. (Too nice, again)

    8. Has too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

    If they address all of the above they will be on the way back. They have stagnated with regard to bringing forward fresh faces.

  • Stewart

    1. Alex Attwood – The man is terrible in interviews

    2. Non-existent on the ground in most areas

    3. An aged party

    4. Have to hire people to put up posters and deliver election literature

    5. Only visible outside mass the week before an election

  • slug

    People are talking about weaknesses not threats. I see two threats. One from the left, the other from the right.

    The threat from the centre left is Labour. It is surely sensible for Labour to be offered to us as an electorate. When Laboour stand, there is a threat that some people will switch.

    The threat from the centre right is UCU-NF, who, in the longer term, are looking at some of the SDLP’s voters.

  • slug

    Oops. I see this is about weaknesses, not threats.

    Ignore my first sentence in 13.

  • georgieleigh

    Weaknesses for the SDLP?

    It doesn’t matter. They are the people, they’ll come through.

  • aquifer

    They are too catholic. Until they speak to the interests of prods, and get laid into SF, they are just northern middle aged romantic nationalists who go to chapel, and not social democrats who prods could vote into a united ireland.

    With todays SF and the SDLP the Union is safe.