Saturday, 5 November 2011

SDLP elect new leader

The second UK political party leadership election result of the week was announced earlier today in Belfast. The SDLP were replacing Margaret Ritchie after just 19 months with a man, this is not me being sexist but a reality that there were only male candidates in the contest for party leader.

There were 348 votes cast, making the quota for election of 175.

In the first round

Alex Attwood 46
Connall McDevitt 105
Alasdair McDonnell 127
Patsy McGlone 70

Alex Attwood eliminated

2nd Round: Transfer of Attwood's 46 votes

Connall McDevitt 131 (+26)
Alasdair McDonnell 140 (+13)
Patsy McGlone 76 (+6)

non-transferable 1

Patsy McGlone eliminated

3rd Round: Transfer of McGlone's 76 votes

Connall McDevitt 152 (+21)
Alasdair McDonnell 188 (+48)

non-transferable 7

Alasdair McDonnell elected with vote exceeding quota

Alasdair McDonnell the MP and MLA for South Belfast was therefore elected to be the new leader of the SDLP.

Before Margaret Ritchie announced she was resigning she said that she did not feel it was possible to be an MP, MLA and leader of the party, but at the time she said such triple jobbing was 'a fully justifiable position'. The issue of double (triple) jobbing is one that the people of Northern Ireland find themselves in the largely unique position of finding their politicians in. The election of another double jobber as leader makes it hard to see how any of the big parties are going to break the double (triple) jobbing culture. Only the Alliance and Greens have effectively removed double jobbing from their ranks. The election of a new leader doing two jobs one at Stormont and one at Westminster by the SDLP makes it hard to see how the parties are going to get out of the two jobs mentality.

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