4/13/2005

Divided They Fall

The SDLP's election prospects took another turn for the worse as the party appears to be in disarray and ravaged by internal conflict in a number of different areas. In West Tyrone, Mark Durkan's decision to select a sacrifical lamb (sorry candidate) to run against Pat Doherty has met with opposition from local SDLP activists who wanted the Sinn Féin MP to be the only candidate advocating a United Ireland. Reports of local side-deals with Dr. Deeney not endorsed by the party's leadership are threatening to undermine both campaigns in the area. It's strange that often the SDLP criticise Sinn Féin for being subservient to their leadership, yet it now seems the SDLP show more signs of a dictatorship.

The Daily Ireland also reports that Martin Morgan's re-evaluation of his position has led to internal bickering as neither selected candidate in Oldpark was willing to stand aside to allow the former Lord Mayor to return. Mr. Morgan was a relatively popular SDLP representative and his exclusion from the party ticket could well indicate another steep fall in SDLP support in the area. As the date of the election approaches I find myself becoming more and more confident that Sinn Féin's performance will leave no possible doubt as to who the significant majority of the nationalist people want to represent them.

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