Dolores Kelly has suggested that Sinn Fein moving on to SDLP territory has impacted on the level of choice for nationalists in elections.
The SDLP deputy leader said that Sinn Fein was better at flag waving politics than her party, and that young nationalists wanted more than that.
“Within the nationalist community young people are confident about their identity,” Ms Kelly told the News Letter.
“They don’t need flags to wave about to tell them whether they’re Irish or British or whether they’re Northern Irish.
“But what they are interested in is the opportunities that are available to them.”