Social Democrats will not participate in Right2Change vote transfer pact

The Social Democrats say they will not be participating in the Right2Change vote transfer pact.

In a statement, the party leaders - TDs Catherine Murphy, Róisín Shortall and Stephen Donnelly - thanked the Right2Change initiative for the invitation to participate.

However they say "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 say that while they commend and support the principles outlined in the Right2Change 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".

They have also committed to their launch statement that they would not be participating in any pre-election pact, and add that they will have their own policy priorities when preparing for the next general election - although acknowledge common ground with Right2Change.

Other parties and left-wing groupings have until tomorrow to commit to the pact.