SDLP leadership readers’ survey: McGlone leads with good show from McDevitt…

Okay, as has been said several times, this online survey, and was just for fun… So why do it (I hear FitzJamesHorse calling out from the group of troublesome boys at the back of the comment zone)?

Well, it’s a sampling exercise… Not a sample of the electorate, but the rough opinion of the online readership of Slugger O’Toole… It should be noted that there is a substantial urban and in particular a Belfast bias to our readership (which may make some of the results something of a surprise)…

So if we were to assume that this was an accurate sample of general political sentiment what might it tell us? Well, perhaps, that fortunes favours the bold?

Most notable is the very poor showing for the Minister Alex Attwood. Of the two ‘younger’ candidates, it is McDevitt who has the more significant sentiment with him. If this is reflected in the real figures, he will be some someone the new leader must be prepared to deal with.

At least as far out front as Attwood is behind, Patsy McGlone is a clear favourite to take the leadership. He was first to announce his intentions, and has been in campaign mode for much of the summer, courting party branches across Northern Ireland.

Significantly, if the real results were anything like this one, it suggests that even if Attwood were to cash in his chips in favour of McDevitt (as has been rumoured), they would still not have enough support to catch McGlone…

Alisdair McDonnell gets a respectable share of our virtual electorate… He and his younger south Belfast rival are pretty much neck and neck in second place (there’s just five votes between them)…

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