With just over 4 hours to go before the new SDLP leader is elected it is worth looking at the local situation in Newry and Mourne.
I think it is very interesting indeed, in his recent interview in the ‘Belfast Telegraph’, Alasdair McDonnell outed assembly hopeful Justin McNulty as one of his supporters.
I understand Justin McNulty is seeking the nomination and after his admirable performance in the Westminster election he is sure to get it – that’s despite disappearing from the political radar since then.
The other hopeful is Peter Byrne from Crossmaglen – he is remaining tight lipped – but he hasn’t ruled it out either.
The problem for Byrne is that he is completely unknown.
The problem for the SDLP is that they are both South Armagh men – what about Armagh City?
Could, should, Sharon Haughey be given her chance? – Could she more effectively target Sinn Féin’s Megan Fearon -whose press releases are increasing lately?
Would she be more able to debate the Sinn Féin MLAs in open fora?
Outgoing MLA Dominic Bradley is keeping his views to himself, at least from the media.
I am unsure as to the views of Karen McKevitt and Sean Rogers in South Down but I do know Deputy Council Chair Gillian Fitzpatrick “backs Alasdair”.