The voting 113 to 69 will surprise many.I honestly thought Fearghal would win.But the margin surprised me. The pattern seemed to be that most people had made up their minds…came in voted and went home. By the way, I spent the evening in the company of the charming Ms Martina Purdy of BBC and Ms Sarah Campbell of UTV. I am now a bona fide Media Person.
Perhaps the interesting thing about the voting figures is that it shows people voted beyond the Branch, Gender, Age, Philosophy “boxes”.
And that makes it a good result for SDLP. A winning margin of say five votes would have been a bad result.
For Fearghal …clearly a good night. There was a feeling that if he lost tonight it would be the end of a career. He is in his mid 50s and I think unlikely to have been selected in 2016. That in itself was a small factor.
Claire…clearly disappointed but her time will come again. She is due to have a baby before Christmas. The Timing just wasnt right. Fearghal now has three years ahead as a public representative. Claire remains a Belfast City Councillor.
So a good night for SDLP which of course means its a bad night for Slugger O’Toole.
Only yesterday one of their new columnists was stating that Claire had the edge and that only a late surge could win it for Fearghal. The figures show that is extremely unlikely. …so were David McCann and Mick Fealty being “spun” yesterday. Or were they perhaps “spinning”.
And For Shame Alan in Belfast who tweeted a pic of Fearghal in front of a UUP logo eralier this week. I suggested it might seem inappropriate and was told he would get a better one if he wanted one.
And guess what…that pic appears on Slugger tonight.
I never expect much from Slugger…but Alan youre better than that. Feel free to use the pic I took tonight.