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I presume they had no prospect of winning, so it is easy virtue-signalling for them. It does however strengthen the argument that SF MPs should also "do the right thing" and occupy their seats. It is the perfect time to change their policy since they would now not be breaking previous promises since they were made in relation to previous elections.
by det on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 05:58:33 PM EST
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I don't think it is virtue signalling as far as many of their supporters are concerned - many of whom want Sinn Féin contesting every seat.

The longer term Sinn Féin strategy has always been to gradually build an organisation in every constituency through assiduous constituency work on local issues so that they can be competitive a few elections from now.

Even a few thousand committed supporters can be enough to elect a Councillor or two, and after that the basis for electing an MP. That is how they gradually pushed the SDLP out of all their seats - even the seats formerly held by SDLP leaders Gerry Fitt and John Hume.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 4th, 2019 at 08:20:11 PM EST
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