Pat Doherty stands down as an MP

Former Sinn Fein Vice President and MP for West Tyrone since 2001, Pat Doherty has announced he will not seek re-election.

His successor will be local MLA, Barry McElduff, who will be defending a majority of 10,060 votes that the party achieved at the 2015 election.

So far the confirmed candidates are, Daniel McCrossan of the SDLP and Alicia Clarke of the UUP.

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

  • Hibernia

    Pat was a much loved representative who did great work for his community. He will be sorely missed

  • the keep

    Barely noticeable as an MP now they have put in that little squirt to replace him.

  • smcgiff

    Another old stalwart gone. Anyone obvious still left ? 😉

  • Vince

    Come on AntrimGael and SDLP supporter, let’s try to keep it civil. Shortcomings can be pointed out w/o need for the personal and OTT.

  • Jag

    2017 is quite a transitional year for SF. The death of Marty, God rest him, was untimely, though he said he was planning to retire in May 2017 anyway. Now you have a clean sleeve “leader of the north”. Gerry Kelly is hanging up his running shoes in north Belfast for a bright young solicitor from nationalist royalty. Say what you like about Barry McElduff but unlike Pat Doherty, he has no known link to the IRA.

    I wonder where Gezza sees himself in 12 months.

  • SDLP supporter

    Ok, then. Try this for size: Pat Doherty was a man of towering intellect and a world statesman who worked tirelessly for peace and who, at the very least, should have been Uachtaran na hEireann or Secretary-General of the United Nations.
    Happy now?

  • Jag

    Ah now, he’d never scale the heights of Margaret Ritchie’s towering abilities 🙂

  • AntrimGael

    Now, now she was leader of that party…..titter!

  • AntrimGael

    Just following the current political rules and atmosphere set by the DUP, Theresa May and right wing local, British media.

  • SDLP supporter

    ‘republican royalty’ would be an oxymoron.

  • Muiris

    I’m a southie pan nationalist, so don’t don’t know anything about anything, I suppose .

    What nationalism/reunification needs, imo, are two nationalist parties. Yes, Sinn Séin is on the ascendant, and fair play to them. However, there are some nationalist leaning people that SF don’t reach. For them, we need the SDLP.

    Just as not all SF representatives are perfect, I suspect that not not all SDLP ones are bad.

    From my perspective, the DUP is politically the only ‘enemy’

  • Vince

    We can do better than that low threshold.

  • Jag

    Ah now Clover, come out with me and let’s read those seven commandments again on the side of the barn. What? Is that a new one?

    “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”

  • AntrimGael

    Fair enough, shouldn’t have responded to the initial childish comment. I don’t think that sort of nonsense should be allowed at all.

  • Vince

    I work in the public sector and, in the area in which I work, personally know that SDLP reps like Nichola Mallon, Patsy McGlone, Carmel Hanna (Claire’s mother) and Alasdair McDonnell have made and make interventions that benefit people across the community. There will be reps like them in the same party and in others.

  • Obelisk

    Two Nationalist parties, yes, but the SDLP is no longer capable of competing with Sinn Fein if we are honest. Instead they try and protect what they have left, and to some degree their remaining parliamentary seats in Foyle and South Down are sustained via personal votes and they are simply the lucky party in the six or seven way tussle in South Belfast. Foyle and South Down are clearly in the crosshairs of Sinn Fein, and eventually tactical voting by Unionists in those constituencies will not be enough.

    Long ago there was talks that the SDLP would be better off becoming Fianna Fail north. For various reasons that clearly didn’t happen and given what happened during the Financial crisis they are probably thankful for that.

    Yet I am convinced that if you believe two Nationalist parties is good for democracy, then only Fianna Fail is capable of offering a credible alternative to Nationalist voters. Yet as long as the SDLP remains it, like Labour in England in regards to hypothetical new centre left parties, will likely choke off the potential of any southern party to establish itself here,

    You see, the thing about the SDLP is…they just don’t do the vision thing. It’s like voting for a party of bland unimaginative bureaucrats.

  • Jag

    Don’t let Baron Northstead hear you saying that!

  • Hibernia

    These changes just help transform the party into the mould of a leader without a paramilitary past.

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Except to Shinners – experts at synthesising any paradox.