Local Elections: Newry, Mourne & Down

Effectively made up of Down (Downpatrick) Council and Newry & Mourne. Both Heavily nationalist. Effectively four DEAs are in South Down, two are in Newry-Armagh and one in Strangford.

SF 14. SDLP 14.
DUP 4. UUP 3. UKIP 1.
Alliance 2.
Independent 3.

SDLP Perspective.
SDLP will be happy. Outscored SF in South Down. Might even be thinking in terms of a third Assembly seat and putting a marker out that Margaret Ritchies Westminster seat is safe.
Less good news in the Newry-Armagh constituency, where SF still has dominance but a lot of SDLP satisfaction in getting a second seat in Slieve Gullion.

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5 Responses to Local Elections: Newry, Mourne & Down

  1. Kevin says:


    I’d be slow about extrapolating any optimistic predictions regarding an SDLP seat in Strangford from the the strong result in the Rowallane DEA. About a third of that area is still in South Down I believe, mainly centred around Crossgar which is the SDLP candidate’s hometown and where he got most support from.

    • Thats true. I didnt mean to imply that all of Rowallane is in Strangford.
      What is significant is that we only have DEAs where we can think about SDLP support in Strangford.
      One is Ards Peninsula where SDLP candidate beat both SF and Alliance.
      The other is Rowallane where again SDLP beat both rivals.
      Of course Alliance do well because of McCarthy but I guess he will be put out to pasture and any successor is not likely to come from these DEAs.
      We cant see the level of SDLP support in Newtownards, Comber and Ballygowan but I know at least one person who is disappointed that there wasnt a candidate.
      Alliance get a free run there.
      Bearing in mind that Joe Boyle has gone close TWICE, Id always be reluctant about predictions but uniting the country vote and suburban vote is the key.

  2. Kevin says:

    To be honest they should’ve taken a seat last time out. I think the main issue will be Nationalist apathy, as it was for Alex in these elections. Boyle’s a good candidate. It will be up to SDLP HQ to try and come up with a strategy to invigorate their electorate in these sorts of areas all over the North. Unfortunately I’m not sure Alisdair’s the ‘invigorating’ sort of guy.

    • I only have one more Council area left to do…Belfast.
      Over weekend I want to compose a blog about SDLP in general. I dont think there is one single strategy. A proper de-briefing will have to take place and a lot of good lessons (Fermanagh-South Tyrone) and bad lessons (Derry-Strabane) can be taken on board.
      There has to be a general strategy.
      But also specific ones.
      Giving a new generation a run in 2015, a few retirements. Some head-hunting ahead of 2016.

      • Kevin says:

        Completely agree. The head-hunting needs to be clever… though not ‘slick’. More Terry Andrews and Joe Boyle, less Conall McDevitt and Justin Cartright.

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