The Sinn Fein Leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill has made a proposal towards the SDLP that is almost certain to be rejected.
I am calling therefore on the SDLP to give a clear run to John Finucane and Michelle Gildernew as the only credible anti-Brexit, pro equality and pro-rights candidates in North Belfast and Fermanagh South Tyrone.”
O’Neill is asking for the SDLP to stand aside in North Belfast and Fermanagh/South Tyrone. In both the SDLP have little chance of success, but the Sinn Fein Leader did not offer anything to the SDLP in places like South Belfast to even get some consideration from Colum Eastwood.
The SDLP will be set to run in all 18 constituencies which will make it harder in both constituencies for Sinn Fein to win. Although with parties like the Greens and Alliance running in both as well, it only adds to Sinn Fein’s problems in both constituencies, particularly North Belfast. In Fermanagh/South Tyrone, the party has won with other parties in the race before, which makes it a closer contest.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs