South Down Constituency Profile – Assembly Elections 2022…

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Note that I have used the most recent Lucid Talk poll for my projection of party shares in the constituency. The tactical voting by some unionists and others for the SDLP in South Down, which boosted the nationalist share at Westminster elections, appears to have disappeared by 2019. South Down is another one of those places where candidates from outside of the constituency’s main parties sometimes win significant numbers of votes. In the 2019 Local Government elections, these would have …

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Could South Down provide the shock of the night?

Chris has taken a look at South Belfast, but one seat that needs to be examined is South Down. At the start of the race, I would have punted that this seat would have been more likely than not to remain in SDLP hands, but as the campaign has progressed it has become much more difficult to call. We have had a campaign were some of the issues have benefited Hazzard, from the Jim Wells tweet fiasco which would help …

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#SluggerReport: What’s #AE17 about again? Plus, Lagan Valley and South Down.

So what’s this election about again? According to the media, it’s all about Sinn Fein vs the DUP. Trouble is that this delusion is so widespread no one questions it anymore. Indeed, the political apotheosis of this flawed thinking was the SDLP’s Stop the DUP lollipop signs in that bitterly cold campaign of 2003 (another case of timing being set to inconvenience all but one party). By the end of the first day’s count it was obvious there were to …

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Exclusive: SDLP’s Karen McKevitt will not contest next Assembly election

Whatever is going on in the undergrowth of wider party Slugger hears an interesting whisper from South Down, where we understand that sitting SDLP MLA Karen McKevitt has made it known she will not be seeking re-election in the next Assembly election. It’s thought that the daughter of former SDLP MLA PJ Bradley, Sinead, will stand in her stead. It’s also considered likely that Downpatrick based (and former shortlisted Slugger Awardee) Colin McGrath will stand in the north of the constituency alongside …

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Sinn Fein’s South Down selection sows seeds for a new post conflict generation…

Nice move from Sinn Fein in their choice of MLA to replace Willie Clarke in South Down. The new boy (seen here signing in at Stormont) is Chris Hazzard, a native of Drumaness, in the north of the constituency. He’s a alum of my old school, which we used to call St Pat’s Knock (grammar school) and has just completed his studies for a PhD at Queens on subjects that might almost have been chosen for his new political life …

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Willie Clarke ‘allowed the option’ of working in Down council…

It’s not particularly thought to have anything to do with the SDLP selection of a successor (who’s still waiting in the wings) for Margaret Ritchie. But the official explanation for dropping an MLA whose not thought to have been under particular electoral pressure reads like a transliteration of ‘spending more time with my family’ to ‘community initiatives’. I was particularly struck with this line in the official press release: “I would also like to thank my Sinn Féin colleagues for …

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Cadogan Enright talks up the Green Party in South Down (#ae11 #sdo11)

South Down, along with North Down and South Belfast, is one of the target constituencies for the Green Party, if not for immediate Assembly seats, then at least for growth in its voter base and local council representation. Their Assembly candidate in South Down is Cadogan Enright, already a sitting councillor on Down District Council and the recent runner-up to Steven Agnew for the Green Party leadership in Northern Ireland. I caught up with him while out canvassing in the …

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FM #AE11 Row: ‘No-one’s mentioned it to me on doorsteps’ – McCallister (#sdo11)

Ulster Unionist deputy leader and South Down Assembly hopeful John McCallister may have helped spark a bad-tempered row after his Nolan Show rubbishing of the “we must stop Martin McGuinness becoming First Minister” sham fight, but it hasn’t made him any more convinced that it’s an issue on the minds of the electorate. When I spoke to Jim Wells in Newcastle this week, he reckoned that the First Minister question was one of the main issues being raised with him on …

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