Dr Alasdair McDonnell
SDLP Incumbent since 2005
First favourite: SDLP
Second favourite: DUP
NB See all about the DUP candidate here https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/south-belfast-our-jonny/
South Belfast Electorate: 59,524
2010 Votes 2010 Share
SDLP 14,026 41.03%
DUP 8,100 23.69%
UCUNF 5,910 17.29%
MIN 5,114 14.96%
OTH 1,036 3.03%
SDLP Majority 5,926 17.33%
What do we know about Dr McDonnell?
* 1949 born in Cushendall, Co Antrim;
* 1974 Graduated from University College Dublin, then worked as a family doctor in Belfast for over 30 years,
*1970 Initial involvement in politics with the National Party (founded Belfast 1965, dissolved 1970)
*SDLP is his second party
* 2005 MP for South Belfast
* 2011 SDLP Leader
What does the SDLP stand for?
A new, agreed Ireland based on partnership. The SDLP’s vision is a reconciled people living in a united, just and prosperous new Ireland The SDLP is committed to protecting human rights and ensuring sound management of public money to deliver high quality public services.
All SDLP founders opposed IRA violence, a policy the party has always adhered to.
Comments: Hardly a radical or revolutionary party with an enthralling vision to move the masses
Indeed, since Sinn Fein espoused peace the SDLP has haemorrhaged votes.
Constitutional nationalism appears so old-fashioned in today’s world of Syriza, Podemos and the 5 star movement
I’ve tried to make the SDLP interesting but it’s very staid
The 2015 conference shows party members tend to be middle-aged
So does the party political broadcast
1) SPAD ACT 2013: SDLP decided not to help block a rejectionist unionist bill discriminating against former political prisoners working as special advisers in the NI Assembly
2) The UK National Crime Agency 2015: The SDLP changed its mind and decided to support the NCA.
“The SDLP worked long and hard to bring about accountability on the NCA and after many months of negotiations with the Minister of Justice and the Home Secretary agreement was reached.
Gerry Kelly Sinn Fein
described efforts to allow the NCA to operate fully in Northern Ireland as an “underhanded process”,
“the Home Secretary could increase its remit without consulting the Assembly”.
“The police say in the end to me, the only argument they have is over resource – then let’s argue for more resource,”
Pat Sheehan Sinn Fein
“People would say this was another shadowy organisation“.
3) The Raymond McCreesh playground in Newry.
Cause of such Unionist angst
The SDLP policy is against naming facilities after paramilitaries
SF councillors swung the vote at Newry and Mourne District Council, with only 1/9 SDLP councillors turning up.
4) The SDLP ‘s anti-abortion policy. Dr McDonnell’s recent comments stirred up a lot of opposition
Here’s what he said
And here’s what one of the most senior Consultants in NI had to say in reply
Comment: SDLP appears to adhere more to its policy of achieving further devolution of powers while Northern Ireland remains part of the UK rather than its avowed aim of Irish unification
Queries: So will the SDLP win South Belfast?
There is no doubt the general good will certainly benefit more from Constitutional Nationalism than from the Orange Order and the Caleb Foundation
South Belfast voters understood that twice in the past
Will they prefer a different option in 2015?
Final comment: Our friend FitzjamesHorse, SDLP rank and file member, doesn’t agree with this assessment.
Read what he says about his party here