Gallagher to fight FST for the SDLP…

One of the fascinating differences between north and south is the difference in age profiles of the parties. I read somewhere recently the average age of the Dail is somewhere in the early sixties. But at the rate all parties are dumping old hands it should be considerably younger after the elections than now.

So it is interesting that the SDLP in Fermanagh South Tyrone have plumped to stick with their veteran incumbent MLA Tommy Gallagher, choosing to deploy their younger impact player from the Westminsters, Fearghal McKinney, in an organisational role instead.

It won’t do the party’s overall age profile any good (where it is hard to find many of its 16 MLAs under the age of fifty), but it probably indicates too a lack of confidence within the party organisation in that area. And possibly a lack of confidence in the party’s intervention in the FST where both Unionist parties withdrew in favour of an independent Unionist candidate, and the Sinn Fein MP squeaked through by the narrowest of margins.

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