Belfast Telegraph

This is no ordinary election either, for Europe or the councils across Northern Ireland

By Colum Eastwood

Over the past number of weeks and months, I like other elected reps, party members and activists have been out on the streets canvassing a vote.

I have been knocking doors for the SDLP since I was a teenager so I think I have a good sense of the mood of those I meet. In this campaign, it has been really evident that people are feeling let down by government.

They are fed up by the lack of delivery from Stormont, by the stagnation and broken promises. In this election people are telling me that they are looking for something different.

The SDLP can provide that change, and it will be change for the better; in Europe and at home in the elections to the new 'super councils'.

With 119 SDLP candidates standing in 68 DEAs across all of the 11 super councils, the SDLP are providing a balanced ticket for the electorate.

We have a great mix of energetic young new candidates whose enthusiasm and drive has inspired us all. We have older more experienced candidates, some sitting councillors and some and some first time candidates who after success in their business or careers now want to give something back.

These candidates have helped to shape and guide those less experienced. We have 34% of candidates who are women, among the highest of any party, and hopefully this will encourage more women to run for the SDLP in upcoming elections, something politics here badly needs.

In our European candidate, Alex Attwood the SDLP is providing the option of having strength again in Europe by voting for someone who is well known for being decisive, effective and getting the job done.

This is no ordinary election either, for Europe or the councils across the north. It is up to the people to decide on whether they want an extra-ordinary result by coming out to vote and voting SDLP.

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