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Why have the SDLP become so unpopular?

  • 09-06-2017 4:00am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 17,797 ✭✭✭✭


    Can somebody give me an unbiased account of what exactly happened to the SDLP? From the party which essentially helped to spearhead the Good Friday agreement to a party which has now apparently lost all of its seats in Westminster is pretty spectacular. I don't know that much about the local politics of NI - what happened?


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    Can somebody give me an unbiased account of what exactly happened to the SDLP? From the party which essentially helped to spearhead the Good Friday agreement to a party which has now apparently lost all of its seats in Westminster is pretty spectacular. I don't know that much about the local politics of NI - what happened?

    Awful candidates, no leadership and the rise of support for the DUP helped SF destroy them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭zoobizoo


    Some commentary earlier on Radio 1 suggested that the comments from Arlene Foster over the last number of months drove middle class voters, who would never have voted SF before, into voting for SF.

    Those comments were pro Brexit etc


    I think if she'd had a less hard line position, that they'd have continued voting SDLP.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,750 ✭✭✭Avatar MIA


    Jayop wrote: »
    Awful candidates, no leadership and the rise of support for the DUP helped SF destroy them.

    The loss of Hume was big, but the polarisation of NI politics meant one of the traditional parties from each side was going to lose out. Arguably the "demise" of the UUP is a far greater fall from Grace. They pretty much invented NI.

    Basically, the UUP and the SDLP brokered the deal against the backdrop of 30 years of bitterness and bloodshed. Both communities took a 'not an inch' approach. 'What was good for them, was bad for us.' So, while the people endorsed the UUP/SDLP plan, they didn't like the concessions. So, the [then] hard line parties became popular because 'they were going to be the best to deliver for our community'. And so, both SDLP and the UUP lost out over time when people realised they would maximise their vote by backing the bigger party.

    TL/DR if you want to be successful in politics give the people what they think they want.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    Avatar MIA wrote: »
    The loss of Hume was big, but the polarisation of NI politics meant one of the traditional parties from each side was going to lose out. Arguably the "demise" of the UUP is a far greater fall from Grace. They pretty much invented NI.

    Basically, the UUP and the SDLP brokered the deal against the backdrop of 30 years of bitterness and bloodshed. Both communities took a 'not an inch' approach. 'What was good for them, was bad for us.' So, while the people endorsed the UUP/SDLP plan, they didn't like the concessions. So, the [then] hard line parties became popular because 'they were going to be the best to deliver for our community'. And so, both SDLP and the UUP lost out over time when people realised they would maximise their vote by backing the bigger party.

    TL/DR if you want to be successful in politics give the people what they think they want.

    I wouldn't disagree with any of that either.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Avatar MIA wrote: »
    ...the polarisation of NI politics meant one of the traditional parties from each side was going to lose out...

    This. I don't think they understood what the post Good Friday reality was going to be. They probably expected a gradual normalisation of politics and didn't realise there was more to be gained by maintenance of a constant state of tension and using the perpetual threat of a return to violence to keep the region relevant and the money flowing in. It rewarded anyone who tacked to the extremes, hence the rise of the DUP and SF.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 66,719 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    So, the entire core vote (almost) of the SDLP has become polarised enough to switch to SF?

    I think that is just so wrong it is funny tbh.

    The fear of just admitting that people reward parties with their vote because they achieve for them and will take that vote away if they don't.

    It really isn't anymore complicated than that. There is no need for the patronising 'they know not what they do' attitude. They are more politically aware as an electorate than almost anywhere I can think of.

    The SDLP are no longer relevant, simple as that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    zoobizoo wrote: »
    Some commentary earlier on Radio 1 suggested that the comments from Arlene Foster over the last number of months drove middle class voters, who would never have voted SF before, into voting for SF.

    Those comments were pro Brexit etc


    I think if she'd had a less hard line position, that they'd have continued voting SDLP.

    I'm not disagreeing with you, but surely people recognised that by voting for an abstentionist party they were effectively ceding the right to the representation of NI in Westminster to the DUP and their Brexit vision? It seems that while voting SF is not exactly a vote for the Tories, it is a vote that makes their life a bit easier?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    So, the entire core vote (almost) of the SDLP has become polarised enough to switch to SF?

    I think that is just so wrong it is funny tbh.

    The fear of just admitting that people reward parties with their vote because they achieve for them and will take that vote away if they don't.

    It really isn't anymore complicated than that. There is no need for the patronising 'they know not what they do' attitude. They are more politically aware as an electorate than almost anywhere I can think of.

    The SDLP are no longer relevant, simple as that.

    That's a bigger part of it than people like to admit too. SF are far far more active at a local level and that is transferring into votes.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭judeboy101


    When you need help from unionists to get elected you don't have much of a nationalist identity.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    ....people reward parties with their vote because they achieve for them and will take that vote away if they don't...

    Nail on the head. It's all about who can bring home the most to their electorate.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,750 ✭✭✭Avatar MIA


    The fear of just admitting that people reward parties with their vote because they achieve for them and will take that vote away if they don't.

    Really, right - what have the 4 SF MPs achieved for their constituents over the past 2 years, so much so that 3 other constituents said, 'I'll be having some of that'?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,712 ✭✭✭zoobizoo


    Jawgap wrote: »
    I'm not disagreeing with you, but surely people recognised that by voting for an abstentionist party they were effectively ceding the right to the representation of NI in Westminster to the DUP and their Brexit vision? It seems that while voting SF is not exactly a vote for the Tories, it is a vote that makes their life a bit easier?


    You'd swear, listening to the SF candidates that everyone that votes for them wants them to abstain. It'd be interesting to see what those percentages are. Obviously not everyone who votes for them will agree with all of their policies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,719 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Avatar MIA wrote: »
    Really, right - what have the 4 SF MPs achieved for their constituents over the past 2 years, so much so that 3 other constituents said, 'I'll be having some of that'?

    Ask them and ask those who no longer vote for the seat taking SDLP, why?

    I guarantee you they will use the language I just did. This notion peddled by people, who just don't like the parties concerned, that the electorate are being hoodwinked or indoctrinated or have become polarised is just excuse making.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    Avatar MIA wrote: »
    Really, right - what have the 4 SF MPs achieved for their constituents over the past 2 years, so much so that 3 other constituents said, 'I'll be having some of that'?

    The SDLP are getting dinked in the Westminster elections because of their poor performance in every other hall of governance. The SDLP taking their seats have achieved nothing for a long long time so I see this vote more as a complete rejection of Westminster by nationalists.

    That said, I'd not have voted SF in this election unless I was in a constituency where a Unionist was the likely winner. Greens, Alliance or SDLP would have been my first choice as I'd personally prefer a voice in westminister regardless of how small.

    FPTP has a lot to answer for.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,750 ✭✭✭Avatar MIA


    Ask them and ask those who no longer vote for the seat taking SDLP, why?

    I guarantee you they will use the language I just did. This notion peddled by people, who just don't like the parties concerned, that the electorate are being hoodwinked or indoctrinated or have become polarised is just excuse making.

    It doesn't stack up. Why would anybody leave the comfort of their home to not vote for someone who you say hasn't delivered for them to vote for a party that's stated they wont try to deliver for them at Westminster.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    Avatar MIA wrote: »
    It doesn't stack up. Why would anybody leave the comfort of their home to not vote for someone who you say hasn't delivered for them to vote for a party that's stated they wont try to deliver for them at Westminster.

    Maybe they support the abstentionist stance?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Nail on the head. It's all about who can bring home the most to their electorate.

    I think in a 'normal' political environment this would hold true, but NI has yet to come even close to normalising.

    West Belfast has some of the most deprived wards in the UK and yet they keep voting in SF candidates as MPs - to me that suggests that something in addition to self-interest (or maybe in place of it) is operating when people make decisions about where to put their 'X.'

    A few SF MPs in Westminster now would be capable of doing a 'Gregory Deal' for their constituents.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,719 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    Avatar MIA wrote: »
    It doesn't stack up. Why would anybody leave the comfort of their home to not vote for someone who you say hasn't delivered for them to vote for a party that's stated they wont try to deliver for them at Westminster.

    It's patently obvious.
    They don't need to take their seats to achieve for them.
    Westminister is clearly redundant.
    Lets see how much things improve for the people of the north now. It surely should be evident?
    It won't be much let me tell you that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,326 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm


    So, the entire core vote (almost) of the SDLP has become polarised enough to switch to SF?


    It's a bit like asking the question where did all the former labour voters go to in our own last GE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,110 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    It's patently obvious.
    They don't need to take their seats to achieve for them.
    Westminister is clearly redundant.
    Lets see how much things improve for the people of the north now. It surely should be evident?
    It won't be much let me tell you that.

    West Belfast is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, it has has a SF MP for a long, long time. It is very difficult to believe therefore that self-interest is the reason why they keep voting for one.

    Can anyone tell us what exactly Sinn Fein have achieved in the last five years for anyone anywhere on this island? The only place they remain in any sort of power is on Dublin City Council which now has record levels of homelessness.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 21,999 ✭✭✭✭Esel


    Do the SF MPs engage in constituency work via their offices in Westminster?

    Not your ornery onager



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,388 ✭✭✭✭Jayop


    Aaaand another SF bashing thread.

    Just what we all needed.

    *unfollow*


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,110 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Esel wrote: »
    Do the SF MPs engage in constituency work via their offices in Westminster?

    My understanding is that it is a very nuanced position. They will take the salary and expenses, have a constituency office and write to Ministers etc., but they won't take their actual seat in the Commons.

    Maybe someone with better knowledge could clarify.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,719 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    blanch152 wrote: »
    West Belfast is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, it has has a SF MP for a long, long time. It is very difficult to believe therefore that self-interest is the reason why they keep voting for one.

    Can anyone tell us what exactly Sinn Fein have achieved in the last five years for anyone anywhere on this island? The only place they remain in any sort of power is on Dublin City Council which now has record levels of homelessness.

    Gosh, do we really want to get into listing deprived areas with sitting MP's?


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,264 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    Jawgap wrote: »
    I think in a 'normal' political environment this would hold true, but NI has yet to come even close to normalising.

    Look at the subvention figures for Northern Ireland in recent years. They most certainly have delivered.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    Look at the subvention figures for Northern Ireland in recent years. They most certainly have delivered.

    Maybe in absolute terms of money going in - but what about in terms of social and economic uplift? In other words, what are they doing with all that money?

    For example, economic inactivity in NI is the highest of the twelve UK regions (and of those deemed economically inactive 78% did not want a job while 22% did).


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,110 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    Gosh, do we really want to get into listing deprived areas with sitting MP's?

    How many of those deprived areas have repeatedly elected the same MP from the same party, decade after decade?


  • Registered Users Posts: 66,719 ✭✭✭✭FrancieBrady


    blanch152 wrote: »
    How many of those deprived areas have repeatedly elected the same MP from the same party, decade after decade?

    They've had a variety of MP's from different parties and it has made no difference, you mean? I sure there are plenty.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,116 ✭✭✭RDM_83 again


    I have not had a chance to vote in the north in a long time but one of the major reasons for me years ago was the rejection of following a Scottish style system of "free" university fees.
    Basically without Hume the SDLP to me can be perceived as the party of middle to upper middle class nationalists, for example the SDLP person I am most familiar with (who is a rising star in the party) comes from a family with a lot of business interests (and AFAIK has a few himself now). In a more normal political situation I haven't got a big issue with voting for parties that are pro-business but the SDLP can't enact those type of policies anyway and I'm unsure if they are actually that pro-business in a wider sense.

    TLDR - The same way the UUP lost out because they were considered "Big house" Unionism, the SDLP without Hume are "Big house" Nationalism


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,084 ✭✭✭Persephone kindness


    judeboy101 wrote: »
    When you need help from unionists to get elected you don't have much of a nationalist identity.
    Or in the case of the UK. That identity is split by class.


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