I’d hazard a guess the SDLP’s Margaret Ritchie impact on the southern electorate’s consciousness is somewhere just above that of Tom Elliott and a fair way below Peter Robinson’s. Despite that and declaring “she had no wish to interfere” in the forthcoming election there she has done exactly that with an attempt to damage Sinn Féin’s vote (no mention of Fianna Fail and their destruction of the economy?):
We in the SDLP want good relations with the three main parties, and we would not be telling anybody how they should vote in this particular election
But what I would say to them is they will not gain any further comfort, or they will not gain any further, shall we say, legs up the ladder, if they are going to be voting for sectarian politics and the politics of division through Sinn Fein.
Sinn Féin were not impressed:
This is more sour grapes from Margaret Ritchie, whose party has been eclipsed by Sinn Féin.
Though as her party has long gained support from the south, it seems only fair she does her bit for them:
At every single election, Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, the PDs (Progressive Democrats) and the Labour Party have all come and campaigned on behalf of the SDLP
As even the CPI noted a number of years ago
The left in the Dáil has not broken free of 1980s-style anti-republicanism. The mass media have reverted also to an anti-republican position of witch-hunts and demonising.