So the SDLP holdouts in West Tyrone have a third defector: timed, presumably, for maximum disruption of the party’s manifesto launch this morning. Last week the party’s campaign launch was the target.
Joanne Donnelly, from the Omagh end of what’s a rather disparate constituency, is the youngest and the latest councillor to leave. It’s not clear either from the MSM reporting or the various statements what it’s all about.
Here’s the party’s statement:
“These issues are difficult. We’re a democratic party, we’ve had two selection conventions – one to replace Joe Byrne as an MLA, the other to decide who our candidate was going to be,” Mr Eastwood said.
“We’d one person put their name forward – that was Daniel McCrossan. He got unanimous support from the party membership, unanimous support.
“If people wanted to put their name forward, they should have put their name forward.”
The irony is that in plumping for just one candidate, headquarters has made West Tyrone one of the party’s sure fire seats. The local attempt to stymie the whole party’s NI wide efforts probably won’t ingratiate the rebels much at headquarters end (or anywhere else).
Hard to see where the gang of three will go after this.
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