Divide and conquer by Sinn Fein?

Sinn Fein’s decision to stand Alex Maskey down in South Belfast has massively stepped up the pressure on the SDLP to do the same in Fermanagh South Tyrone.

They will in all likelihood refuse to do so however, Fearghal McKinney is the new glossy poster boy, but they are firmly backed into the corner.

Arguably the situation is win/win for Sinn Fein. The move will directly appeal to nationalist voters in FST over the heads of the SDLP.  If, as expected the SDLP will refuse to stand aside, they will look stubborn while Sinn Fein can argue they have acted in the greater interest of nationalism.

The SDLP’s campaign so far has been poor to say the least in the west. As it lies now, Gildernewwill become the unofficial  unity candidate for nationalism. The tribe will respond.

Does the fact that Sinn Fein have let Alistar McDonnell take the South Belfast seat raise any suggestions of a divide an conquer tactic by SF? McDonnell lost the leadership race to Ritchie not too long ago, and represents an older string of the party versus the great white hope members, namely McKinney and McDevitt.

About AldousDuke
Mid Tyrone journalist, not so freelance any more.

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