SDLP Leadership race – Where’s the smart money?

Not that slugger would encourage anything as iniquitous as gambling but for anyone looking a slice of the action on the SDLP leadership race www.paddypower.com are currently offering odds. Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie is priced at 6/4 with the bookies offering much less value on South Belfast MP Alasdair McDonnell placing him as odds on favourite at 1/2.

When the betting opened the odds were shifting around a bit reflecting a close race, but they seemed to have settled at current levels for a while….. Does Paddy know something the rest of us don’t?

Any more bets???

  • “they seemed to have settled at current levels for a while”.

    No they haven’t, they were the opposite last night with Ritchie as favourite. Why lie?

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Paddy Power probably based his odds after hearing Margaret interviewed on Radio Ulster before 6pm. She was frankly awful.
    I have a lot of respect for SDLP, genuine heroes over 40 years and an alternative is needed to SF……but I despair at the choice put before its membership at the weekend.

  • KieranJ

    Margaret Ritchie is the most honest political figure in the six counties. If there were more folks like her in public office, the north would be a much better place for all.

  • Marcionite

    Fitz is on the money, she was dreadful. Seamus McKee wiped the floor with her and he didn’t havevtovtry hard. If she wins SDLP RIP.

  • nollaig a chara

    Fitz u sound like a man happy to jump on the finna fail band wagan

  • nollaig a chara

    Lets be honest it doesn’t really matter who wins the SDLP are a spent force neither candidate has anything close to a working class background they are never going to be able to connect to average working person….

    I listened to ritchie last nite and she was woeful…

    Also listened to Big Alister tonight on utv live…. what an aragant man…

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Actually Nollaig,
    I am not in favour of a merger between SDLP and Fianna Fáil.
    The SDLP are the most principled politicians on the island…they are to some extent victims of their own success.
    What does a political party do for an encore when it actually achieves its aims (peace, power sharing and an Irish dimension). It must make them sick to see SF-IRA “inherit” what SDLP tried peacefully to do.
    But frankly McDonnell & Ritchie are both very poor.
    I think the people of Norn Iron have reason to be grateful for the contribution of SDLP for 40 years. Their casual dismissal by SOME IGNORANT SF-IRA types as “the Stoops” is just nasty and wrong.

    History will I think show that John Hume put Nation before Party.
    The SDLP have built their reputation on integrity.
    Quite frankly Fianna Fáil have not done that.

    FF will benefit from a link up with SDLP.
    SDLP wont benefit from linking with FF.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Just to add that although SF-IRA is a 32 county party, it has not benefitted in the South by having too many Gerry Adams posters on lamp-posts at Election time.

    Yet the “good” thing about SDLP linking with FF, would be another 32 county Party.

    Thus the Irishness of the voters of SDLP and SF is under-lined.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Judging by the two runners performances on Hearts and Minds Margaret Ritchie will win the race by 6 lengths.

    KieranJ called it well in #3. Margaret has more balls than most in her party, my money is on her.

  • nollaig a chara

    PRINCIPLED…..? victims of success..?success in what? they failed to do anything for the Nationalist/Republician community while in there ‘prime’

    I also ask what contribution over 40 years u refer to yes i have alot of respect for John Hume but the truth is the SDLP repprsented Middle class nationalism with the attitude of as long as were ok F~~k the rest

  • Coll Ciotach

    Fitzjames – FF is NOT interested in the SDLP.

  • Davros

    “they failed to do anything for the Nationalist/Republician community while in there ‘prime’”

    They gave us the choice to support nationalist ideals while emphatically rejecting blowing people up. For me they will always, irrevocably have the moral high ground, whatever that’s worth anymore.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Nollaig,
    For many..not blowing up is a principle.
    Luckily these things are judged by History rather than bloggers.
    The position where Nationalists/Republican community is now WAS achieved by the combined efforts of the SDLP and SF-IRA.
    Both of course claim it was them “wot won it”.

    The fact is that neither could have achieved anything without the other.
    The Partisans for SF an SDLP routinely deny it but it is sadly true.

  • nollaig a chara

    U see that depends Davros i remember certain SDLP people congratulating the RUC on ‘A job well done’ when they killed an IRA man in Downpatrick… i also seem to remember another SDLP rep discribing Sinn Fein voters as ‘Bar flies’ if that is there nationalist ideals then i’m quite happy not to share them….moral high ground…i suppose that fepends on what ur morals are then

  • nollaig a chara

    Fair enough Fitz i can see what ur saying there however thats very different than what u said earlier when u were talking about IRA/SF and principled SDLP rep’s who were basically robbed off there credit for 40 years of work ur now saying that they needed each other…. by the way i’m looking beyond there stance on the conflict etc look at there record within working class area’s its non existant

  • Scaramoosh

    Yes, somebody has placed a 50 bet. These betting markets are a gimmick and are closed down the moment anybody places a half-decent wager.

  • Henry94

    fitzjames

    History will I think show that John Hume put Nation before Party.
    The SDLP have built their reputation on integrity.
    Quite frankly Fianna Fáil have not done that.

    FF will benefit from a link up with SDLP.
    SDLP wont benefit from linking with FF.

    I think that’s the truth. That’s why the nationalist community must take an active interest in what’s going on in Sinn Fein. If it’s going to be the only all-Ireland party on offer them it must be pushed prodded and shaped into a democratic and open party. Extricating the republican movement from armed struggle was a great political achievement. The same energy is required to make Sinn Fein the leading party on the island.

  • Alias

    If the SDLP wants to complete its juouney into political oblivion then appointing Margaret Ritchie as its next leader would be a good way to go about it.

  • J Kelly

    Last night political broadcast clearly demonstrates who the current leadership want and it aint Big Al. The SDLP had an opportunity to look forward but what did they do give Mark Durkan his swansong. He is yesterdays news, no strategic thinking, no vision, no ideas no hope. Thats what Mark Durkan, Alex Attwood and co have brought the SDLP down to. I stick by what I said months ago, they are between a rock and a hard place. They cant even have a party conference thats not overshadowed. I’m sure many of the whinging speeches will have to be ripped up now. But I’m not crying.

  • Odds are now the same for both of them. Any chance of an update to your article, Cusack? It seems they didn’t “settle at the current levels”. Or are you just going to let the innaccuracy remain?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    The SDLP are in slow decline as they are. There seems to be (at least) two distinct wings in the party so why don’t they a Czechoslovak style velvet divorce and seperate into regional FF and Irish Labour? Not only part of all-Ireland party but a direct northern link inside probably every Irish govt with the labour wing (with poss links to British Labour) having the possible potential to eventually attract left wing protestant support in a way the SDLP with would not have.

    As for the subject of the thread, political betting markets like these, they are generally farcical – not only as already has been said serious money won’t be taken because of inside knowledge, supporters of candidates have been known to bet in order to shorten the odds on their man or woman. Remember Chris Huhne in the 07 Lib Dem leadership contest?

  • John O’Connell

    Henry94

    The same energy is required to make Sinn Fein the leading party on the island.

    Sinn Fein is actually finished as an all-Ireland force once Gerry Adams goes. Of course, they can keep him and turn their political position into one of pure sleaze. I would bet that he’ll go soon enough.

  • Alan N/Ards

    Fitzjames
    Is the sdlp’s policy of wanting continued discrimanation against protestants trying to join the police principled?

    A young family friend has applied twice to join the police, and although being placed in the 200’s on the list, he knows of catholics who are in the 800’s on the list getting in. Is this fair? Sdlp members claim that they were heavily involved in the civil rights movement so how can they support this obnoxious discrimanation against protestants.

  • FitzjamesHorse

    Alan, N/ards.
    Yes.its extremely fair.

  • DerTer

    I’m with you Alan. FJH, it takes some mental contortion to call 50/50 recruitent as “extremely fair”. It was bad enough having to bite one’s lip and put up with it until now, but surely we should all be glad of the chance coming up soon to get rid of it once and for all. I was truly shocked to hear the SDLP/Attwood demand yesterday that it be continued.
    Getting back on thread: as a determined non-member I am nonetheless sympathetic to comments already made: “The SDLP are…victims of their own success. What does a political party do for an encore when it actually achieves its aims (peace, power sharing and an Irish dimension).” and even, “They gave us the choice to support nationalist ideals while emphatically rejecting blowing people up.”
    As for the leadership issue, AMcD’s notorious opportunism over the mayorality of Belfast is enough to rule him out. Moreover MR didn’t do herself much good by her silly gaffe over internment recently. However, her performance as a Minister and her famous ‘No surrender’ declaration to the UUP Conference a year or so ago more than make up for that. So, though it’s strictly none of my business, I’m in the Ritchie camp.