Saturday 22 October 2016

Social Democrats decline to join Right2Change vote transfer pact

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Published 29/10/2015 | 18:30

Deputies Stephen Donnelly, Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy.
Deputies Stephen Donnelly, Roisin Shortall and Catherine Murphy.

THE Social Democrats have declined to take part in the Right2Change vote transfer pact.

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The newly formed party sent a letter to the organisers saying that while they commend them for a proposal built on “sound principals” they want to remain wholly independent heading into their first General Election.

The decision is a major blow to the group who want to build up a strong left-wing pact in advance of the General Election.

Right2change is made up of a coalition of unions, politicians and groups opposed to water charges.

Sinn Fein have signed up to the arrangement whereby parties and independent who agree on a range of principals are supposed to encourage their voters to transfer to each other.

However, a number of TDs and candidates have suggested that while they will happily accept Sinn Féin transfers they will not be returning the favour.

The Social Democrats, which is led by sitting TDs Catherine Murphy, Stephen Donnelly and Roisin Shortall, said they had given the invitation to join the group “considerable consideration”.

“However, at this point in time our focus is on building the Social Democrats with the intention of standing in the upcoming General Election as a wholly independent party,” they said.

“While we wholly support the principles of Equality, Democracy and Justice which underline the document, we do have a concern that the substance of the entire document amounts to a manifesto and given that we intend to produce our own manifesto it would not be appropriate for us to sign up to that of another group.”

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