SDLP internal report predicts up to 5 seats under threat.

From John Manley at the Irish News

The Irish News has seen an internal report from the SDLP predicting up to 5 seats are under threat with seats in South Belfast, Upper Bann and West Belfast likely to fall to parties like People Before Profit and Sinn Fein.

It forecasts that the party will hold its seats in the strongholds of Foyle and South Down, where it has three and two MLAs respectively.

However, in Alasdair McDonnell’s Westminster constituency of South Belfast, where the leader was returned as an MP with the lowest ever share of the vote, the party will lose one of its two MLAs.

The report also predicts the loss of representation in North Belfast, where senior party figure Alban Maginness is the incumbent, and in East Derry, where current MLA John Dallat is not expected to stand again for election.

Overall the figures point to a poor assembly election performance with the party’s Stormont seats cut from 14 to just nine.

Other places are under threat will no mention of gains elsewhere;

In deputy leader Dolores Kelly’s Upper Bann constituency, the SDLP is likely to lose out to Sinn Féin, while European Election candidate Alex Attwood’s West Belfast seat is expected to be snatched by People Before Profit’s Gerry Carroll, who received almost 7,000 votes in May’s Westminster poll.

The report forecasts no gains for the party but it would hold its single seats in West Tyrone, Mid Ulster and Newry and Armagh.

To read the full story you can do so here

Who are the seats under threat to?

Upper Bann-Catherine Seeley (Sinn Fein) and current Deputy Mayor of ABC Council.

South and North Belfast-Alliance’s Duncan Morrow who is a party activist and researcher/Paula Bradshaw who is a local Councillor, then let’s not forget we have a second DUP candidate in the hunt to, who I would punt would be Christopher Stalford and in North, Nuala McAllister who is a local Councillor.

West Belfast-Gerry Carroll (PBP) who is a current local Councillor in the constituency.

East Derry- Caoimhe Archibald (Sinn Fein) who is an activist with the party or with a crowded Unionist field maybe sitting MLA Claire Sugden.


David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs