I blogged this on 5th November.
“There are three groups in SDLP. One supporting Alasdair and one supporting Colum….but dont ignore a large body of opinion that this contest (for two different reasons) should not be taking place.”
Dare I say I might have been right. Colum Eastwood won the Leadership. Fearghal McKinney won the Deputy Leadership. What else really explains the seeming contrfadictory results.
I suggest a few things.
1…most people think that the SDLP Leader should be in Stormont, not Westminster.
2 ..most people assumed that the best option for Leader was Colum Eastwood.
3…but once he had declared to stand, Colum HAD to win. He would only have one chance.
4…the Party did not want to consider more damaging elections provoked by an “anyone but Alasdair” faction.
5 …more than anyone Colum is representative of the McDonnell legacy.
6..Yet, Fearghal’s victory will surprise some outside SDLP but he has been loyal to Alasdair as a defacto Chief ofStaff. Again he preserves the McDonnell legacy.
7 The Party does not like factions. Neither Eastwood or McKinney owe their election to a “faction”. This was a victory for the Party.
I think it is the best possible ticket…there is balance. More so it is the best combination for uniting the Party.
A curious thing in a way. But I was not the only one to observe body language which seemed contradictory and the only reasonable explanation was that the candidates and their entourages were getting mixed signals.
The young “payroll professionals” appear to have over-reached themselves.
Yes…thats the best possible result.