Phil Flanagan deselected for next year’s Assembly elections…

So Phil Flanagan leaves the Assembly at the next election after being deselected by his party in Lisnaskea on Sunday. He was one of the party’s highest profile young bloods. From the get go he seemed ambitious to speak out on social issues,  in ways which did not always endear him to the party leadership.

It’s not at all clear why he was deselected. Michelle Gildernew comes in courtesy of Bronwyn McGahan MLA who it now appears was only keeping Ms G’s seat warm for a while after she had opted for the Westminster job, and who is not standing.

Perhaps he was too much of an individual for a party built on democratic centralist control. Or perhaps it was the result of one indiscreet tweet too many on Twitter. Perhaps the party just feels est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres?

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