Tuesday 20 April 2010

Help from afar for the SDLP?

Margaret Ritchie set out her strong preference for the Labour Party as the SDLP's southern bestest friend. Right said some, wrong said others (this blog included).

But in purely practical terms, the fit is hard to see. The map below, taken from the NUIM Geography's Eye on the World blog (and cited in today's Irish Times) shows that the Labour Party in the south is, well, definitely in the south. It is weakest precisely at the points closest to the SDLP heartlands of Derry and South Down. In fact, it is almost nonexistent in all of the constituencies around the border.

This means that if Ritchie expects her new friends to canvass for her she might get a surprise. Because they simply aren't close enough to do so. Very few are going to come from Kildare, let alone Cork, to help out. The constituencies within an easy commute of the SDLP's target constituencies have virtually no Labour presence and thus no hands and feet to offer.

More evidence of Ritchie's poor judgement?


New times, New approach said...

Margaret is behaving very much like a child whose bigger brother / sister is being given more attention and she doesn't like it.

She has only just taken over the SDLP leadership, but rather than overseeing a mature reflection on how well the party is moving towards it's objectives and what it can do to avoid a steady haemorrhage of it's electorate to Sinn Féin, she is rather rushing to make it clear that she has no desire to do business with either Sinn Féin OR Fianna Fáil and thereby effectively alienating the only two parties who were showing any real interest in working with her.
Not the cleverest possible strategy when your back is against the wall and one she will find it difficult to persuade these parties to forget in the future.
If she continues along this ill considered and egocentric path it will not be long until she has expelled all the remaining toys from the SDLP pram and will find that there are no friends at all left to yell 'look at me' at.

hoboroad said...

Sinn Fein have withdrawn Alex Maskey from South Belfast.

Anonymous said...

Great! Somebody is using their head within nationalism!

Anonymous said...

Ritchie has just doomed the SDLP, even if Mc Donnell holds onto s belfats and SF lose fermanagh s.t. SHE AND THE SDLP WILL LOSE IN THE LONG RUN. I fear this is the final nail in the coffin.

pagasp said...

Bad news for the SDL... WHO? in the assembly's.