Alasdair McDonnell

Alasdair McDonnell

Infobox MP
honorific-prefix =
name = Alasdair McDonnell
honorific-suffix = MLA, MP

office= Deputy Leader of the SDLP
term_start = 2004
term_end =
leader = Mark Durkan
predecessor = Bríd Rodgers
successor =
constituency_MP2 = South Belfast
parliament2 =
term_start2 = 5 May 2005
term_end2 =
majority2 = 1,235 (3.9%)
predecessor2 = Martin Smyth
successor2 =
constituency_AM3 = Belfast South
assembly3 = Northern Ireland
term_start3 = 25 June 1998
term_end3 =
majority3 =
predecessor3 = "new assembly"
successor3 =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1949|9|1|df=yes
birth_place = Cushendall, Northern Ireland
death_date =
death_place =
nationality = Irish
spouse =
party = Social Democratic and Labour Party
relations =
children =
residence =
alma_mater = University College Dublin
occupation =
profession =
religion =

website = [ Alasdair McDonnell]
footnotes =

Alasdair McDonnell (born 1 September 1949, Cushendall, County Antrim) is a Northern Irish politician, deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party and both a Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and a Member of the Legislative Assembly for South Belfast.

A family doctor in Belfast for over thirty years, Alasdair McDonnell grew up as the eldest child in a large farming family in Glenariff, near Cushendall in the Glens of Antrim, and attended medical school at University College Dublin, graduating in 1974.

His first involvement with politics came when he joined the National Democrats and stood as the party candidate in the 1970 election in North Antrim, losing to Ian Paisley. []

McDonnell first won election to Belfast City Council in 1977, representing Belfast 'Area A' which included the Short Strand and Upper Ormeau areas. He lost his council seat in a surprise result in 1981 but returned in 1985 and served as Deputy Mayor in 1995-1996. He first stood for the Westminster constituency of South Belfast in the 1979 general election and subsequently contested the constituency at each subsequent general election, though not in the 1986 by-election (caused by the resignation of Unionist MPs in protest at the Anglo Irish Agreement).

He was also elected from the constituency to the Northern Ireland Peace Forum in 1996 and the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998 and 2003.

In 2004 he became his party's deputy leader. In the 2005 general election McDonnell generated one of the most sensational results in Northern Ireland when he won South Belfast, primarily due to a split in the unionist vote. He received 10,339 votes while the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidate Jimmy Spratt received 9,104 votes and Ulster Unionist Party candidate Michael McGimpsey received 7,263 votes.

He is married with four children.

External links

* [ Alasdair McDonnell's website]
* [,9290,-9665,00.html Guardian Unlimited Politics - Ask Aristotle: Alasdair McDonnell MP]
* [ - Alasdair McDonnell MP]
* [ Maiden Speech : House of Commons - 15 June 2005]

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