#GE16 – The Goss

As #GE16 motors on we will be taking a look behind the scenes to keep you informed of the latest gossip from the front lines. If you have views or news from your constituency then email johnny@sluggerotoole.com and keep us posted

Labour, Sinn Fein, Renua and Social Democrats are all due to Launch campaigns today. Labour will be talking about reducing the National Debt (snores). Sorry, there is method in the Labour plan though apparently as they hope to pitch themselves as a sane and sensible alternative and win back some of that middle Ireland vote. The National Debt apparently is something that concerns them when they think of the recovery and so we will be hearing quite a bit about it.

We are hearing that Renua and Social Democrats are engaged in quite a bit of rivalry on the ground as the two new parties battle it out for supremacy. While apparently coming from different social platforms both believe there is a floating voter just happy to go with a new party and this voter may easily opt for either despite the different ideology. With both parties candidates set to need transfers in many cases it will be interesting to see who they start to cosy up to.

FF will be adding another candidate in Roscommon with former GAA star Shane Curran being put on the ticket. This will greatly upset the existing candidate selected at convention Eugene Murphy. The story is that FF on the ground has been much divided for some time now. Party HQ and Curran himself were particularly indecisive and have left the addition late. However they have a plan (so they say), the theory is that with National Media distracted a late addition of Curran allows him a short campaign without a lot of scrutiny and his name will bring him over the line. We are not so sure, two candidates in a tight 3 seater on the current FF percentage seems a wild gamble and if the two candidates don’t get on it doesn’t seem to point to a good transfer rate.

Labour is increasingly confident of their chances of holding Aodhan O’Riordain seat in Dublin Bay North, reporting a much better reception on the doors than some months earlier. It is reported that with the likes of Richard Bruton and Finian McGrath storming ahead, O’Riordain is locked in a battle for votes with Tommy Broughan, this one could be tighter than the fiscal space.

We have heard a few reports of Dublin based Labour Candidates saying on the doorsteps that ‘Irish water is dead in its current form’ We would like to hear more on this. Is it just a doorstep diversion under questioning or do candidates believe its all change once the new term starts?

Ruth Coppinger yesterday suggested that the battle in Dublin West may come down to her and Joan Burton. It has been largely accepted that Burton should hold on but fears are increasing that with the amount of time she will have to spend on the campaign trail nationally Burton may fall behind on the ground. Labour is reportedly planning a big push among party workers to keep Joan’s seat and the Socialists and Sinn Fein believe they will have to react to this making for a real dogfight. Labour of course has other worries too as a majority within party feel Burton needs to remain leader post election. A nightmare scenario according to one source would be if Burton were to lose her seat and Alan Kelly were to hold his. All we can do is put on our best rapper outfits and say ‘Yo’. As Journalist Richard Chambers has done amazing work in ensuring that the Alan Kelly Rap was revived. Fiona Donnellan of Tipp FM News tells us Alan Kelly says he loves the Rap and even treated her to an impromptu rendition including hand movements and all. Now, have that picture in your mind all day.

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  • mickfealty

    Fair amount of fury on Twitter last night when Curran was announced. FF don’t hide their arguments like we’re accustomed to seeing in NI. Truth is though Roscommon should have been a shoo in in the Bye election, and the local candidate (who the party stuck with from 2011 failed to make a mark.

    I cannot say for sure, because I’ve not seen or studied the tallies here, but my hunch is it’s the party’s structural weakness in the midlands that screwed up that two candidate EP electoral strategy for them.

    I’d say this is a recognition that the brand itself is no longer the big pull it was even ten years ago, and that bringing in someone with his own personal brand is a way of securing what has become a very difficult constituency for them.

    It’ll be a redner for HQ if it doesn’t work, and if does, the party will have something to build on, though I suspect Mount Street won’t be thanked for it.

  • Kev Hughes

    Are they still in Mount Street Mick? I thought they’d left, though FG’s offices used to be across the road from a company I used to work for which made for occasionally interesting times at lunch…

  • mickfealty

    Ah, maybe you’re thinking about the campaign headquarters, but the main one is still…

    Áras De Valera,

    65-66 Lower Mount Street,

    Dublin 2

    D02 NX40

  • Kev Hughes

    Ahhh! I worked Upper Mount Street, where we even got some hate mail for them back in 2010.