Politics Show, Northern Ireland
Yvette Shapiro talks to the veteran SDLP politician about the state of the party and the challenges it faces.
A veteran member of the SDLP has said the party needs to be rejuvenated quickly and dramatically.
Seamus Mallon made his remarks as nominations open for the post of leader to replace Mark Durkan.
So far two people have put themselves forward - Executive Minister Margaret Ritchie and South Belfast MP and MLA Alasdair McDonnell.
Mr Mallon said: "You can't have politics without ideas, without idealism, without ideology."
Mark Durkan announced his intention to stand down on the BBC's Inside Politics programme in September sparking the party's first leadership contest in its history.
Mark Durkan announced his intention to stand down on BBC's Inside Politics
Political commentator and former SDLP councillor Brian Feeney believes whoever wins faces a tough time to reinvigorate the party.
"Neither of them has sparkling style. Alasdair is a very brusque character - he's somewhat offhand. He doesn't suffer fools.
"Margaret Ritchie doesn't have an outgoing personality. Neither is an inspiring candidate," he said.
The SDLP has suffered a slide in popularity in recent years and it is thought attracting younger people to the party could be key to giving it a more youthful image.
The party's youth group does have a say in choosing the leader and officially they have endorsed the Social Development Minister.
Nominations for the leadership contest close on November 14th and there will be a vote at the party's conference in February next year.
The Politics Show 11am BBC One