Slugger O'Toole

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Fianna Fail lining up former TDs to run in the next local elections…

Mon 7 January 2013, 12:55pm

I thought this snippet from the end of last week worth noting… Niall O’Connor reports that Fianna Fail are calling on some of its younger veterans to run in next year’s local elections

Ex-ministers Barry Andrews and Sean Connick are two of the highest-profile names linked with a run at the locals. Former TDs Margaret Conlon and Charlie O’Connor, as well as ex-senators Lisa McDonald and Maria Corrigan are also considering standing.

“In areas where there is no Fianna Fail representation, former office-holders will be throwing their hats in the ring. There will be a significant number put forward but there has to be a balance between the old crop and the new,” a senior source explained.

FF leader Micheal Martin has installed ex-minister John Curran as the party’s campaign director in Dublin. The former Government chief whip, who is refusing to rule out a return to politics, said that a number of deputies are “considering their options”.

In 2009  the party polled a record low of just 25%. A record that is until just two years later when it scraped the bottom of the barrel with a paltry 17.4% in the February election which saw the former senior members mentioned above unceremonially defenestrated.

The place to watch in particular will be Dublin (where IEL predicted they would back in October) where, with the exception of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Labour are currently dominant. If the polls are correct, Labour ought to yield the largest payout in terms of seat losses. With no FF TDs in Dublin, the party will want to get Dail candidates back in and on the ground before the big show down of 2015-16.

Currently FF are hovering about the 20% in the polls. That’s up on their General Election performance, but still below their relatively dismal performance in the last locals in 2009. However there is about 18 months (and another nasty budget) to go, and the trend is moving modestly upwards since October.

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Comments (4)

  1. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    It’s worth adding that FF have also managed to unhook themselves from the Household Charge (which this year will be related to the rateable value of your house), despite the fact it was their idea in the first place.

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  2. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Mick, they must be saluted as ‘cute’ for having managed to do so.

    FF are very far from extinct. Voters have only so many options. Given enough time, they’ll vote for the opposite of what they have now.

    If the big boys of unionism had any wit they’d be talking to FF, now.

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  3. sherdy (profile) says:

    David, – Can’t expect to see such a meeting anytime soon then?

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  4. David Crookes (profile) says:

    Thanks, sherdy. Whether you believe that the union will last for centuries to come, as PR does, or that the union is on a life-support machine, as I do, it makes sense for unionists to win friends on both sides of the RoI fence. Years ago the British Conservative Party got far too close to the American Republican Party, and then had to cope with the fact of a Democratic administration.

    Mebbe Oor Wullie cud hae a wee word wi tha FF heid yins efter eez flegs thang.

    Thon man az goin tae kall me. An fect A’m startin tae dee thass mannit, A tell ye. Wi laughture.

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