Martin McGuinness switches back to run for the City he’s never left…

Aha, so Slugger was right. Martin is going to run in Foyle, and no doubt will be carrying the flag for the party’s now by routine decapitation strategy on the SDLP.

Sinn Fein’s residual electoral strength means that its top players don’t actually require a presence in their own constituencies (which is a huge advantage when all the smaller party leaders have to work hard just to keep their seats).

So Mr McGuinness comes back to represent a constituency he never actually left, seeking to pressurise the SDLP machine – who need to defend three seats against both Sinn Fein and People Before Profit candidates – in hopes of weakening its efforts elsewhere.

I assume that yesterday’s hastily got out ‘overtures’ were some kind of effort to soften the unionist vote in the city, ahead of the election…


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  • Croiteir

    So busy reading and commenting another thread I missed this post. So I will repeat the post I made on that other thread. This is because my posts are so astute you really do deserve to get to read them twice.

    And right on cue the shinners do the right thing and put pressure on the SDLP in Foyle, Martin is going home. An excellent move. Not only does it move in to take advantage of the retirement of Pat Ramsey but also make it harder for the extreme left wing to get a beachhead. I like the aggression in this move. This could well be the bursting of the SDLP dam in Foyle. If so they may as well strike the tents and PBP and their ilk will be on the back foot also.

  • SDLP supporter

    Stop press: self-obsessed, narcissistic senior citizen seeks further boost to his already over-inflated ego. I hope Martin McGuinness falls flat on his face in Foyle. He’ll certainly boost the SDLP campaign and they’ll pick up transfers from those people who have no great love for SDLP but who absolutely loathe the Provos. McGuinness will awaken a lot of dark memories for which he has to be made accountable: Joanne Mathers, Frank Hegarty, Patsy Gillespie…that’s just for starters.

  • Nevin

    “I assume that yesterday’s hastily got out ‘overtures’ were some kind of effort to soften the unionist vote in the city, ahead of the election…”

    No assumptions needed:

  • Nevin
  • Acrobat_747

    Sounds like a Sinn Fein supporter this one. Not a member, they’re not like this. Just a supporter.

  • Acrobat_747

    Fair play to Martin McGuinness. This is a courageous move. Sinn Fein are really pushing this election.

    But why this year? Why did they wait until now?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well it will be interesting to see who Sinn Féin also run here, to me I don’t think Martin McGuinness is much of a better politician than Martina Anderson is, effectively I see that exchange as like for like. Apathy is the biggest pool Sinn Féin or any other party in Foyle can claim from, it’s fairly tribal and there is very little in terms of Sinn Féin/SDLP swings. They’ll say they want the three seats but it’s easier for People for Profit to challenge for the last seat with the SDLP than it is for Sinn Féin to get three even if it does beat the SDLP count, a moral victory in itself it will fall short of three quotas and need transfers, unionist, nationalist, other to take on McCann and the SDLP third seat, or even have a Sinn Féin surplus decide that contest.

  • banana man

    People in Derry have been calling for this for years and it seems like a perfect storm, Ramsey retiring and this will probably be MMG last Assembly election so the last chance to make a concerted effort at what would be a major breakthrough. Also if he stayed in Mid Ulster there would have been 2 high profile Sinn Féin ministers on the ballot sheet which may have jeopardised the 3rd Sinn Féin seat there

  • kalista63

    Is the inference that Rodney was told to ask the question(s)?

  • mjh

    I agree that PBPA appears to pose a greater threat to the SDLP third seat than SF provided the candidate is McCann. In 2011 he got 3120 first preferences, while on the same day his party colleagues standing in 4 of the 5 Derry Council District Electoral Areas could only manage 1307 between them.

    It’s hard to see any other PBA candidate coming anywhere close.

  • Graham Parsons

    I suppose when you have run out of new ideas on how to engage or grow your electoral base all that’s left is to move your high profile politicians about.

  • kalista63

    Not sure that’s the real her

  • Kevin Breslin

    Who else do they have, they didn’t stand in the Super council election, unless with a nod and a wink they backed a few independents.

  • Ernekid

    McGuinness has nicely made the transition into an elder statesman figure and will easily pick up votes in Derry, It makes sense for him to move to Foyle and secure another SF seat in Derry, so when he retires from Frontline politics in the next 2 years they can easily co-opt a new SF MLA from their council team in Derry

  • Nevin

    ‘I can’t believe it’s not’ Ruth?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well that may not go according to plan, there are three obvious contenders for the two places on the undercard: Maeve McLauglin, Gearóid Ó hEára, Raymond McCartney. Having a party heavyweight doesn’t really expand your vote, you need to break the 3 quota threshold.

    1998 – The SDLP beat Sinn Féin in Newry and Armagh, heck Mallon’s vote beat the 3 member Sinn Féin delegation by himself, but it ended up SDLP 2, Sinn Féin 2, DUP 1, UUP 1.

    Sinn Féin already have to secure a new MLA candidate for Mid Ulster to partner Michelle O’Neill and Ian Milne.

  • mac tire

    Have to agree gendjinn. To get a dig at McGuinness, Mick insults the Unionist electorate’s intelligence (as if they would ‘soften’ because of what McGuinness said yesterday).

  • Robin Keogh

    Mick, the hastily got out overtures could have been got out at anytime between now and polling as a softening tool. But, if you truly believe that such announcements could soften the Unionist vote in favour of Martin McGuinness, well all I can say is that there is more than one soft tool in the house. 😉

  • kalista63

    See, this is the sort of attitude that damages the SDLP.. Dolores Kelly would applaud you, Mark Durkam would pulling his hair out.

    The question on Racio Ulster this evening was, where is Colm Eastwood? I like the fella but where is he, where’s his big idea? SF are VERY vulnerable at the moment, to be taken down on policy but bitching will only gain them votes.

    Your party were invited to give alternatives, they were totally unable to give any. Nolan’s interview with McKinney was even worse than Crawley’s with Ruth Patterson. Nolan gave the perfect opportunity to give a position of opposition but nought came.

  • Jollyraj

    “Fundamentalism….. is impervious to suppression. The more one tries to squelch it, the stronger it becomes. Counter it with cruelty, and it gains adherents. Kill its leaders, and they become martyrs. Respond with despotism, and it becomes the sole voice of opposition. Try to control it, and it will turn against you. Try to appease it, and it will take control.”

    Not easy.

  • SDLP supporter

    Why on earth is mentioning three murders that McGuinness knows a lot about “bitching”?

  • Robin Keogh

    This is a wholly expected move and a good one. Apart from the pressure it will load on the SDLP it will also give a Marty a chance to see out his twilight political years as a rep in his home turf. Nothing more to see except an exciting count.

  • Ciarán

    because its the same old tired retort and it never works. Anyway you said a lot more besides.. pensioner, narcissistic… that’s bitching. Do keep it up though, if the last 15 years have taught us anything its that the SDLP doesn’t need a change in tactics.

  • Ciarán

    this for me is the key. Mick is on course for a nice shiny plaque from Ruth Dudley Edwards for protecting us from those no-good Shinners (if only we could see!) so no surprise in the attack but… this time in attacking MMG, he’s also questioning the integrity of a respected journalist. Does Mick really think Rodney Edwards would lay up something like that?

  • Brendan Heading

    No harm to you but if the SDLP respond to SF with this kind of tone then they’ve already lost.

    It would be wise for the SDLP to pay close attention to this without lashing out everywhere (they will hardly need anyone to tell them that of course).

    SF are playing quite a clever game here, and as far as I can tell it’s win-win for them. They’re sitting on two fairly safe seats, and McGuinness will probably get elected on the first count. The seat McGuinness vacates in Mid Ulster s probably pretty safe. Even if they fail to win the third seat they’ve lost nothing.

    On the other hand, for the SDLP this significantly ups the stakes due to the seat being the party leader’s home base. Not only that – Eastwood scraped in last time on the last count. Losing a seat in Foyle, or worse, losing Eastwood are nightmare scenarios which the SDLP won’t want to contemplate, therefore they will have to reallocate campaigning resources and time away from other areas and into Foyle. All of this suits SF just fine.

    The wildcard is, of course, the People Before Profit/Eamonn McCann candidacy. It’s not clear to me whom McCann’s votes come at the expense of, but any slight bump in his vote – in a year where PBP will be running a high profile campaign to take a seat in West Belfast – could cause real problems on Foyle for the SDLP.

  • Graham Parsons

    It’s still a bit pathetic though. Personality politics.

  • Mary Anna Quigley

    Well said we have a long memory of making example out of vulnerable innocent Paddy Flood, Patrick Duffy one of disappeared Derry The list is endless, Tony words ” on no account arrest this man, is a man of peace now” how sick is that

  • hugh mccloy

    Yes, he never cared much for the Mid Ulster area, he hid in Mid Ulster to afraid to take on the SDLP. Reality is he is not moving to take on SDLP he is going to consolidate the Anderson vote

  • kalista63

    Lampooning Ruth is a biblical challenge.

  • eireanne3

    With Ruth’s comments about St Patrick being a “Pradestant Christian mawn” historical revisionism went full retard!!

  • Gaygael

    They did. The stood Sha Gillespie (of foyle pride) in Foyleside.

  • Chingford Man

    Her point may well have been that Celtic Christianity was closer to Protestantism than to Romanism. Or maybe you’re too bigoted to notice it.

  • Reader

    While Ruth was – in some senses – correct; I am nearly sure that was an accident.