Quite clearly he regarded it as a 'block vote' spanning both Sinn Féin and the SDLP, rather than a contest between two parties.
Therefore I wasn't remotely surprised to hear O'Loan advocating a single nationalist grouping, to include the SDLP and Sinn Féin. The North Antrim representative is as green as they come.
It is surprising, however, that such a senior member of the SDLP's team has had the party whip withdrawn after he called for 'nationalist unity'. If only the same approach were taken by the UUP to David McNarry.
Well done Margaret Ritchie.