SDLP chooses Patsy McGlone to contest Mid Ulster…

This is worth noting since it’s a smart choice. And the SDLP have not been known for those in recent years. McGlone has a sound rural base of voters, and a decent local machine. You can almost certainly rule out a win against SF veteran Francie Molloy. In the last Assembly elections Sinn Fein’s team scooped 50% to the SDLP’s 15%. That’s roughly in line with the last Westminster elections. McGlone may see a decent improvement in that relative performance, …

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The SDLP leadership candidates, ranked on internet use and internal organisation

The SDLP elects its fifth leader this coming weekend, with four male candidates in the running (the deputy leadership has been filled, without contest, by a woman). Since 1998, when the party topped the first preference tallies for the first Assembly election, the SDLP has lost votes and seats at almost every election cycle (the one exception being a sliver of a gain at the last European election) and now runs consistently 10% behind Sinn Féin, whereas twenty years ago …

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McGlone throws his cap in the ring, with a call for pluralist nationalism

So Patsy McGlone is in: “The SDLP has revolutionised Irish politics. The founding principles of the party are as relevant today as they were during the civil rights campaign. The unity of the people of Ireland, a unity built on trust, along with practical social democracy – being there for people through the good and bad times – lie at the heart of every SDLP member and supporter. “The way forward for us needs three strategic elements: strong leadership, clarity …

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Rumbles in the SDLP over November’s leadership election…

Margaret Ritchie SDLP leadership campaign promotional poster - with the ink running in the Newcastle rain

Patsy McGlone has been keeping his counsel to himself ever since ever since he was overlooked for the one Ministerial post open to them, but the SDLP’s deputy leader was not happy at being overlooked. Now the BBC is reporting speculation that Mr McGlone may declare his candidacy as early as next month. Given his main rivals in Mid Ulster are all Sinn Fein and all have some formal status (DFM Martin McGuinness, Agriculture Minister, Michelle O’Neill, and the Speaker …

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Sinn Fein suffers another memory loss at the PAC?

There’s much to be said about where the PAC’s investigation of NI Water leaves us all. As noted previously there is plenty of material to draw out from the final report. But there’s one wee detail worth noting in passing. Mitchel McLaughlin had this to say on Monday: It was revealed during Ministerial questions in the Assembly today that Mr. McGlone, an SDLP member of the Public Accounts Committee had submitted questions to the Committee investigation into NI Water procurement …

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McGlone rallies the faithful at opening night of SDLP conference

There was relatively little Twitter traffic from the SDLP conference on Friday night. This could just point to the party being gathered together and meeting face-to-face. But given the opportunity for putting out positive messages about their party’s thinking and plans, the low level of news might just point to a much smaller gathering than the masses who turned up for February’s leadership election conference weekend. In his Friday night speech, SDLP deputy leader and director of elections Patsy McGlone …

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NI Water: “As for the minister, he’s not commenting…”

I see Senator Mary White’s husband Padraic is taking on the role of Chair for NI Water. I hope he has a guarantee that he cannot be sacked for failing to address a problem he’s not been told about until he’s actually under investigation. Okay, back to the main story. There’s a nice piece by Martina Purdy which probably sums up most people’s feeling about this Byzantine tale from NI Water. It’s interesting that she concludes with a note that the Minister …

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NI Water: DRD kept their ‘demonstrable independence’ hidden from Commissioner

Yesterday’s written answer from the Minister of DRD to Patsy McGlone’s AQW will bring some disquiet, particularly in light of the aribitrary manner by which his department dealt with the last Board at NI Water. What DRD understands by the word ‘independent’ is not something many people in business or the wider world would recognise. But this is DRD world, where ‘independence’ – it seems – is just a state of mind… For example the minister tells us he received an …

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