SF's onward march falters in Meath?

It looks like the only significant part that Joe Reilly will be playing in the Meath by election is through his transfers. However you play with the percentages, one thing is clear: his core vote has held. But as the only main runner with a high local profile (he first ran for the Dail seat here in 1997) and with a fair wind from voters in other parties, he might have hoped to be in the final run in. Is this the price he’s paid for publicity flowing from the bank raid and the McCartney murder?

With the constituency breaking up from a five seater to two three seaters, it’s unlikely he’ll get another bite of this particular cherry any time soon.

  • Young Irelander

    I’m sure he did hope to be in the final run-in but I guess the majority of people in Meath are not as stupid as Adams and McGuiness had thought…

  • ulsterman

    oh shame. laughs out loudly.

    God Save The Queen.

  • levitas

    “SF’s onward march falters in Meath?!”….well thats a pretty obvious attempt to spin what is undoubtedly a superb vote for SF into a negative one..Joe Reilly’s share of the vote WENT UP from 9% in the last election there to 13% in the by-election, now any fair minded observer would concede that

    a) in the light of a reduced turnout, where apparently working class areas had a lower turnout than middle class areas..

    b) an UNPRECEDENTED anti-SF media campaign around the Northern Bank robbery and the McCartney murder over the LAST 10 weeks…

    This result is nothing short of b****y amazing (don’t want to get red card for bad language..haha).

    I am at work right now, and I can assure you that from the reports I have received the shinners are WELL PLEASED and not surprisingly.
    ANY attempt to spin this any other way is flying in the face of reason.Their core vote held, but despite a poor turnout the global SF first pref vote also rose, whatever way you look at it this has got to be good news for Sinn Fein, and demonstrates once again, that BECAUSE THEY DO THE WORK ALL THE YEAR ROUND they get the votes, it really is as simple as that. Roll on the May Elections in the 6 counties, as Martin McGuiness has said this is a tremendous launch pad for that campaign….put away the sour grapes you anti-republicans, it ill befits a thinking person !!

  • irishman

    Mick,

    You’re letting your union jack mask slip, I’m afraid. The intro to this piece would be more commonly associated with Pete Baker or a Sunday Indo journalist.

    To spin this as anything other than an excellent result for Reilly and Sinn Fein is, quite frankly, ludicrous.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Hardly ludicrous. Admittedly not the humiliation some of us might have hoped for, but certainly not the advance they might have anticipated three months ago. Had they been asked what a good result would be for them back in December, I doubt being eliminated in fourth place would have been their dream scenario. Allowing for the fact that by-elections are fertile ground for protest votes, I think it’s fair to say the advance has been halted at least for the moment. Of course it remains to be seen whether the pressure continues to be applied. If FF conclude that they lost the seat because SF votes didn’t transfer then expect them to start sucking up again.

  • J Kelly

    Mick when I read the title of the thread I presumed it had to com from someone like Eoghan Harris Malachi oDoherty or Anthony Mc Intyre but not from you. Okay you are hardly a shinner but to try and spin this result as bad news for SF is unbelievable. If SF can hold the vote and increase the percentage in Meath what will happen in places like Derry, Armagh, Down not to mention West Belfast in May. As I have already said on another thread WELL DONE JOE.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Unfortunately the lead into this thread reveals a suspicion long believed by many of a nationalist persuasion who contribute to this site and by default lend it credibility.
    The fact is that a lot of the media (now including the electronic media)had hoped (predicted) that the SF vote would decrease. The FACT is it has actually increased. The old saying of making hay while the sun shines has been lost on the PD’s and Labour.
    The myth of the ‘south’ being the soft underbelly of SF has now been exposed as being a load of crap. given this increase in % vote the SDLP must be a bit glum, but hey, that’s life.
    Has there ever been a time when they could hope to prosper at SF’s expense.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “lend it credibility”

    Are you sure they can spare it at the moment?

  • Young Irelander

    Do you Provo apologists ever shut the hell up?Mick’s post was fine and the title is in the form of a question!How can that be offensive?!

    This thread is an excellent example of how SF/IRA supporters seek to bully and intimidate those with different opinions away from this site.Now you’re starting on the site’s owner!

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    YI,

    your rather tedious and intemperate post reveals why no one ever posts on your site. You hate people who don’t agree with you, all well and fine. There are diverse opinions out there, believe it or not supported by the electorate. Learn to be more tolerant and enlightened it helps in trying to paint a more rounded picture of events.

  • Young Irelander

    Pat,

    People don’t visit my site?Who are those people leaving comments then?

    I hate people who stifle debate.This thread is shameful and the attacks on Mick are unnecessary.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I was amused by the suggestion that this site derives its credibility from those who slavishly post SF talking points on it. Not in the least presumptuous.

  • Henry94

    Young Irelander

    If you feel bulied and intimidated by people posting opinions then your are going to find any talkboard hard going. This is one of the most mild-mannered ones I’ve seen.

    This place needs a balance to be worthwhile and in fairness if you look at the stories blogged most of them are hostile to republicans. So it is up to republicans to put the other side of the story.

    I think Mick was being delibrately provcative with his interpretation of the Meath result exacly in order to generate such a response.

    I’d be astonished if he felt one bit intimidated by the fact people rose to the bait.

  • Mick Fealty

    Irishman, what can I say?

    The core vote held. That comprehensively defies the party’s critics. It’s probably a result of having a good candidate and a good campaign on the ground. I think the party will/should be pleased with his performance.

    But I also think it’s somewhat misleading if it’s not also seen in the longer term context of recent Sinn Fein’s roll forward in the Republic.

    It does seem as if the door is now closed in Meath for a candidate who’e put a lot of work in locally. How long that remains so I guess may depend on how quickly the current deadlock can be resolved.

  • Young Irelander

    Henry94,

    With respect,I am not the only one to feel this way about Slugger.There is an attempt to bully those who do not agree with the ‘republican movement’.

    I don’t believe Mick was being deliberately provocative.I think he posted a reasonable post and people did the kind of thing that I’m talking about – they started the bully-boy tactics.

  • barney

    “Do you Provo apologists ever shut the hell up?”

    “I hate people who stifle debate.”

    Will the real YI please stand u?

  • Henry94

    YI

    The first reponse on the thread was from you

    I guess the majority of people in Meath are not as stupid as Adams and McGuiness had thought…

    You give the impression that you can give it out but can’t take it.

  • Young Irelander

    barney,

    So I am stifling debate by asking those, who are stifling debate on a regular basis, to stop?

  • Young Irelander

    Henry94

    “You give the impression that you can give it out but can’t take it.”

    How is that?It was Mick that was taking it not me.That is what I objected to.That and the blatant attempt to drive away non-SF supporters.

  • JC47

    I posted this on another thread.

    It does seem from Sinn Fein’s vote in Meath that the electorate is either unconcerned with the criminality of sections of the IRA or else they can differenciate between the POLICIES of Sinn Fein and the ACTIONS of the IRA.

    The possible repercussion for Fianna Fail is that they will require an electoral ‘understanding’ with Sinn fein if they wish to remain in government after the next election. Bertie may yet regret the ‘not on my watch’ speech.

    A similar election result in the May elections will strengthen Sinn Fein’s position on their analysis of the GFA and perhaps give them further leverage over the IRA ie “our policies have the support of the nationalist people”.

    Finally Jock and the ‘boys’ in the Short Strand won’t be sleeping to soundly tonight. The vote in Meath seems to suggest that the electorate would support (or at least punish Sinn Fein) for any ‘action’ by the IRA to bring closure to the McCartney murder.

  • JC47

    (or at least NOT punish Sinn Fein)

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    YI,

    Stifling debate,

    virtually every thread for weeks now has been an invitation to attack the alternative view to unionism.
    Granted, ther was a virtual kick in for unionists for 2 weeks or so but thanks to Mick that has now ended.
    Unionists and their hangers on seem to get frustrated at the responses they receive, preferring to hector rather than debate. That is a weakness that people like myself feed off, rather voraciously. What a tastey treat it is to.

  • Henry94

    YI

    So we’re trying to intimidate Mick away from his own site??

    Mick

    Do you feel intimidated in any way by anyone posting on the site.. Or do you feel intimidation is an issue here in any sense? Do you see an attempt to drive away non-Sinn fein supporters?

  • Young Irelander

    Pat,

    That’s some ego you’ve got there.

    Henry94, people on this site clearly are trying to intimidate Mick from posting anything that might be critical of the republican movement in some way.I too would like Mick’s views on the issue of intimidation on this site.

  • ShayPaul

    Do you Provo apologists ever shut the hell up?

    YI :

    That’s the worst case of man not ball I’ve seen here for a long time.

    Please explain the justification for such an outburst and the constructive contribution to debate ?

    Mick tried to open a new angle on the election results, seeing them as the first signs of a slow down in the forward march of SF.

    The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

  • Young Irelander

    ShayPaul

    “That’s the worse case of man not ball I’ve seen here for a long time.”

    Come on Shay!I didn’t even refer to a particular individual!If you want the worst case of man not ball in a long time try this from irishman to Mick:

    “You’re letting your union jack mask slip,I’m afraid”

    Pat McLarnon got a bit personal with me as well.But hey, I can take it;)

  • PS

    Very satisfying result for Sinn Féin. The most important factor for any emerging poltical force is that the share of the vote continues to rise and once more Sinn Féin have achieved this. Chances of a seat were always almost non-existent but a consistent base has been built in Co. Meath and even though electoral boundary changes may make life difficult, a Sinn Féin TD in Meath in the future is a real possibility.

    As for those who feel slugger has become something of a Unionist stronghold, can I recommend a new developing blog at http://gaskinbalrog.blogspot.com/ for those wishing to read a more Republican friendly analysis! (Sorry Mick, couldn’t resist!)

  • Young Irelander

    PS,

    I didn’t know you were involved with a blog.
    Best of luck with it,anyway.

  • PS

    Neither did I untill yesterday morning! Thanks for the good wishes, I’m sure our differing views on the way forward for Irish Unity could lead to interesting debate between our sites!

  • ShayPaul

    OK YI

    Team not ball – will that do ?

  • Alan

    SF should celebrate this result because their support is holding, but only just. Their share of the transfers was substantially reduced in the penultimate count( for only four positions) – at barely 8%. Nationally, I am sure that would be significant.

  • Young Irelander

    PS,

    Yes I’m sure it could.We’ve the same goal, just very different views on how to get there!

    ShayPaul, what’s wrong with playing the team?Jose Mourinho does it and he’s the coolest guy in the world.:)

  • ShayPaul

    YI

    He doesn’t go in with both feet off the ground and his sharpened studs in the air, and by the way he’s about as cool as Jimmy Hill.

  • Young Irelander

    ShayPaul,

    To be fair,the attitude of other contributors was similar to Blackburn’s attitude to Chelsea earlier in the season.OTT.
    And Mourinho isn’t cool?If Fonzie were a football manager,truly he would be Jose Mourinho!

  • levitas

    Hey Young Irelander, I just checked out your site just to see how busy it is, I cut and pasted your number of comments from what was on the screen in front of me and this is what I saw,

    “posted by Young Irelander @ 9:25 PM Comments (0) Trackback (0)”

    So maybe your counter is malfunctioning or something, but it said you had your busiest day ever with 105 hits..(well done by the way! ).

    But I do wonder why you don’t seem to be able to get the old debates going? It seems to me that you are a little too concerned about people disagreeing with you, maybe you should loosen up a bit like us “provo apologists” and roll with the punches occasionally, thats what debate is like…you give a little bit and you take a little bit.
    Until you learn this you are destined to continue to enjoy the sound of one hand clapping.It would be a lot better if you freed up another hand to get a bit of free debate rather than….whatevers going on at your site most of the time.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Levitas excitedly proclaims : “BECAUSE THEY DO THE WORK ALL THE YEAR ROUND”

    What work exactly ? What is it that they are doing that causes people to say to themselves “well, yes they are linked to an armed paramilitary group that robs banks, shoots Irish police officers and otherwise threatens the Irish state, and yes that group stabs entirely innocent people to death, and yes the political party hesitated before coming out against that stabbing, but I’m going to vote for them because of the all-year-round great work they do ?”.

    I’ve heard similar claims made about the votes Paisley keeps getting in. Often it is even claimed that Paisley gets votes from Catholics, because even though he is a raving bigot he gets “the work” done. What work is it ?

    I am wondering if this “they get the job done” talk is a 21st century version that old chestnut “at least the buses ran on time”. Is it a case of saying, well they may be oppressive but as long as I’m alright jack and the drains in my street are kept unblocked they’ll have my vote ?

  • Young Irelander

    levitas

    “So maybe your counter is malfunctioning or something,but it said you had your busiest day ever with 105 hits..(well done by the way!)

    Actually it didn’t say I had my “busiest day ever with 105 hits”,it said I had my busiest day of the week and considering I took a break from blogging this week I’m actually pretty pleased with that.

    “But I do wonder why you don’t seem to be able to get the old debates going?”

    Do you?Perhaps you didn’t read my posts over the week then?Weekends don’t tend to be too busy on my site,I’ve found.

    “It seems to me that you are a little too concerned with people disagreeing with you”

    What are you basing that on?I welcome anyone to my site who debates in a reasonable and respectful manner.

    “maybe you should loosen up a bit like us “provo apologists” and roll with the punches occasionally,”

    So if I compromise my principles and integrity, I may get more comments on my blog?Nah,I don’t think so.

    “that’s what debate is like…you give a little bit and you take a little bit.”

    I don’t need lessons on debate from you.I have visited this site for a while and I have engaged in alot of interesting debates here.

    “Until you learn this you are destined to enjoy the sound of one hand clapping.”

    Quite frankly I’m not sure what on earth you’re talking about.I am more than satisfied with the amount of comments my blog receives.
    levitas,perhaps you should set up your own blog since you seem to know the dos and don’ts of blogging.
    If a blog’s success is to be determined by the amount of visits it gets, then that’s a real shame in my opinion.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “Learn to be more tolerant and enlightened”

    Young Irelander, you could just go to your nearest pub and stab a few people to death, and then try to get away with it. Apparently that’s what tolerant and enlightened people do if they want to win votes.

    FWIW I don’t doubt Sinn Fein’s success in this election, and it is wrong if people are trying to spin that they have a failure on their hands. But what I would say is that SF threw everything including the kitchen sink at this election. Their party leadership and everything were down canvassing and supporting the candidate. SF are the best people in Europe to talk to if you want to know how to win elections, and they bet the house on fairly good odds – and fortunately for them they won comfortably. The problem is that they will not be able to throw those resources at every seat in the election – the party president cannot be throwing snowballs everywhere at once. While SF are justified in celebrating their success it would suit their opponents just fine if they became complacent with that success.

  • PS

    It’s a fair point Roger than SF put a lot of resources into this election, but it’s probably no more true for them than any other party. Any by-election will get a significantly higher number of election workers from all parties as they attempt to make use of one of the few attempts to gauge the public’s mood mid-term.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It is perhaps unfair to hector YI on the indifference to the site that it produces, but hey, who can help themselves.
    Slugger, for the most part, encorages debate and is not a vehicle for partisan corner boy antics. Although to be fair a visitor from Mars in the last few weeks could be forgiven for believing that the site was an electronic punishment beating for Gerry et al.
    Other blog artists should therefore not apply their own rules to a separate site.

  • Young Irelander

    “It is perhaps unfair to hector YI on the indifference to the site that it produces, but hey, who can help themselves.”

    It is perhaps unfair to hector YI on what makes a site successful when you have not got a site and therefore cannot be judged yourself.

    I am proud of my site.It has lasted longer than I thought it would, it hss attracted diverse opinions, I have readers who have stuck with it for a long time and it has been a useful vehicle for my opinions.I have enjoyed the numerous debates immensely!

  • levitas

    No Roger W. Christ XVII it is simply an explanation (writ large for emphasis rather than an expression of excitement)of why I think Sinn Fein will continue to do well in the ROI as well as the 6 counties. There needs to be an explanation you see? Because had say Fianna Fail or Fine Gael (or for that matter the SDLP) been subjected to the pounding by the media that the Shinners have endured since the end of last year, I sincerely doubt whether their vote would have held up as well. As for it being the 21st century version of getting the buses to run on time, ( I presume some allusion to Fascist Italy). Well with respect I would disagree, its simply a return to old style constituency grass-roots campaigning. Most FF or FG politicians are careerists or opportunists or both,and they gather around them a coterie of parasitic and largely middle class personal followers who hope to somehow gain a piece of the action, whatever form that may take, when “their” man or woman is elected. They notoriosly concentrate their efforts on persuading people “like themselves” to vote. They gave up entering the estates in their suits and BMW’s a long time back.
    Sinn Fein went into those estates back in the late eighties, and then word spread of their effectiveness and hard work to beyond the estates to working class house owners etc. Regular newsletters often appear 3-4 times a year not just in the month prior to an election. I am not interested in scoring political points, its just that if you are serious about discussing the recent election results you need to answer the question why so many ordinary voters in Meath (who read the papers and watch the telly) chose to put aside the media’s and the PDs’/FF/FG/Labour Party’s/ SDLP’s opinion and chose, in increasing numbers, to consciously vote for a Sinn Fein candidate.

  • levitas

    Young Irelander you wrote, in response to my

    “It seems to me that you are a little too concerned with people disagreeing with you”

    “What are you basing that on?I welcome anyone to my site who debates in a reasonable and respectful manner.”

    Well I was basing that observation on your outburst…as reproduced below

    “Do you Provo apologists ever shut the hell up?…How can that be offensive?!This thread is an excellent example of how SF/IRA supporters seek to bully and intimidate those with different opinions away from this site.Now you’re starting on the site’s owner!”

    As for “the sound of one hand clapping”, its self explanatory really, being a commonplace literary allusion to silence or irrelevance.

    It naturally begs the question as to what the other hand is doing.

  • Moderate Unionist

    levitas
    Seems to me that there is no such thing as bad publicity. The low turn out aids extremist parties particularly those who feel themselves to be victims.

    The politics of protest is easy if somebody else is picking up the bill.

  • Mick Fealty

    Please don’t worry on my part. Just stick to the argument. And may the best man/woman win!

  • Mick Fealty

    Levitas:

    “…in increasing numbers”

    What were the numbers?

  • Young Irelander

    levitas

    My “outburst” as you call it was directed at the unnecessary attack on Mick Fealty by numerous contributors.I see you left that out when you quoted what I said.
    You go on to say:

    “As for “the sound of one hand clapping”,its self explanatory really, being a commonplace literary allusion to silence or allusion.”

    I’d like to know the relevance of this literary allsuion since my site which is far from silent.

    “It naturally begs the question as to what the other hand is doing.”

    Who knows what you mean by this.You confuse your “literary allusion” with reality it would seem!You can’t seem to distinguish between truth and fiction.

    I guess we can’t expect veritas from levitas!

  • PS

    Actual numbers are 6042 SF voters in Meath in 02 and 6087 in 05. For some reason RTE used this statistic more than once to claim that the Sinn Féin vote had stayed still when in reality its the percentage which is the only meaningful statistic.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Pat. Must got to bed! See you all tomorrow!

  • beano

    “I’ve heard similar claims made about the votes Paisley keeps getting in. Often it is even claimed that Paisley gets votes from Catholics, because even though he is a raving bigot he gets “the work” done. What work is it ?”

    Believe me when I say I’m no Paisley fan but the example I remember hearing was (before my time admittedly) Paisley successfully argued for electricity to be brought to the (catholic) residents of Rathlin Island. This is just the example I know, if there are more, I don’t know of them.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    For SF this is a decent result, but not really worth the hyperbole that has been heaped on it. I have a certain sympathy, as in previous times I too often had to try and spin an encouraging message out of unpromising material like this.

    But SF really need to be asking themselves why, in a classic “protest vote” situation, their vote only went up by 4%, while an independent who had shed her party ties was able to take the seat in Kildare. Also, because of the new boundaries coming in, Reilly’s vote needed to double rather than increase by 4% for a chance of winning next time.

    The real news, for me, is that Fine Gael beat Fianna Fail in Meath, for the first time since 1927; this a few months after they won more seats than anyone else in the Euro-election. I know this doesn’t fit with the huge gap between them and FF in the polls, so am still thinking about what it all means.

  • Henry94

    Nicholas

    It reminds me a bit of the Tipperary by-elections in the last Dail. A left wing independent won one and Fine Gael won the other but it made no difference to the subsequent general election result.

    My theory is that party supporters tend to vote in by-elecctions but the uncommitted swing-voters don’t. The latter group support the current government because the economy is going well and will make sure they vote for them when it counts.

    But they don’t care about by-elections as they are not really interested in politics.

    As for Sinn Fein the division of the constituency effectively scuppered the chances of a seat in Meath at the next election anyway. Sinn Fein’s growth is slow but steady and the party can no more hurry it up than their opponents can slow it down because it is based on groundwork.

    Kildare already had a Labour seat so theat vote was there. But it went to the maverick rather than the party canditate. It will revert to I FF I FG I Lab at the next election when Stagg runs for Labour.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Henry94
    An interesting piece. I acknowledge SF’s hard work on the ground, but what happens once they have mopped up the bottom 15% of the electorate (not saying these people have any less right to representation, just that SF are more effective in dealing with their type of problems).

    How will SF move beyond this section of the electorate. The conditions south of the border are different to those north.

  • Alan

    Henry94,

    Looks from what you are saying that SF intend to remain a party of protest and await the opportunity of government by invitation from one of the larger parties.

    Interesting too that Labour / FG transfers appear to have worked in Meath, albeit they don’t seem to have been decisive. Do you see SF being offered Electoral pacts in the near future ?

  • Liam

    Well done Joe Reilly.

    Against the background of unprecedented attacks on Sinn Féin, the vote actually rose by 30%. Brilliant result for Sinn Féin.

    Even the Sindo acknowledges that today.

    Go maith thú Seosamh!!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Henry:

    “Sinn Fein’s growth is slow but steady and the party can no more hurry it up than their opponents can slow it down because it is based on groundwork”.

    This is a point that is too often missed by the party’s opponents in a sometimes undignified rush to condemn them for their ‘attachment’ to the IRA. Although it’s a view that’s had ample expression here on Slugger through the years.

    Picking up on Nick’s important observation: is the Fine Gael victory significantly connected with Kenny’s prominent anti IRA stance?

    That’s a serious question by the way. It would be good to hear from people who know the constituency sufficient well to give us an educated guess rather have the party spin on it!

  • fair_deal

    “You’re letting your union jack mask slip, I’m afraid” – Irishman

    “the lead into this thread reveals a suspicion long believed by many of a nationalist persuasion who contribute to this site and by default lend it credibility.” – Pat McLarnon

    “Mick when I read the title of the thread I presumed it had to com from someone like Eoghan Harris Malachi oDoherty or Anthony Mc Intyre but not from you.” – J Kelly

    “This place needs a balance to be worthwhile and in fairness if you look at the stories blogged most of them are hostile to republicans” Henry94

    On slugger this week republicans have said Henry McDonald and Michael Gove are not allowed to have a different perspective from theirs, now they add poor Mick fealty to the list. I must start checking on the availability of little black books for enemies list I could do a roaring trade.

  • Mick Fealty

    FD, everyone is entitled to their view. I’ve never attempted to argue with anyone about how they read me personally. That’s entirely a matter for them.

    On the matter in hand, I’ve argued further up that the significance of the result depends on the time frame you put over it. In the short term, this is an excellent result.

    However, in light of where they were before the bank raid, it’s plainly disappointing. I don’t know much about Reilly, but I have heard that he was an excellent candidate.

    I plumped for the longer term reading (and headline), because it seemed more relevant to Sinn Fein’s own strategic approach to politics in general.

  • Henry94

    Mick

    FG got 16,000 votes in Meath. Fianna Fail got the same. In the last general election FG got 17,000 and Fianna Fail got 28,000.

    My view is that if there was a general election tomorrow the figures would be more like the last general election than the by-elction.

    Enda Kenny has made no imapact on this and the north was not a factor in the election at all.

    The current government will be returned because of the economy. It’s as simple and as boring as that. But no economy stays sweet forever.

    Moderate Unionist

    My view is that the IRA will have to go away if Sinn Fein want to reach their potential vote which I believe is around 30%. Given that a lot of that growth would be at FFs expense 30% could make Sinn Fein the biggest party in the south.

    If it doesn’t happen I think it will be the greatest missed opportunity in Irish history.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “There needs to be an explanation you see?”

    It’s not a very satisfactory one. You made the claim that the votes are coming in because of all this work that SF does, I’d love to hear what it actually is. People should know exactly what they’re getting in exchange for their TD’s salaries and outrageous expenses allowances.

    “Because had say Fianna Fail or Fine Gael (or for that matter the SDLP) been subjected to the pounding by the media that the Shinners have endured since the end of last year, I sincerely doubt whether their vote would have held up as well.”

    FF have been in the middle of massive financial and corruption related scandals for the past decade and there has been no evidence that any of this has effected their vote. There is no evidence for example that the Brendan Smyth business in the mid 90s effected FF’s vote as far as I am aware. So the scenario you are talking about is not hypothetical. I have no idea, after everything that has happened regarding FF, how anyone could even contemplate voting for them – I can only put it down to tradition.

    Henry94, the IRA need to go away otherwise SF’s rise will grind to a halt. It has hard to argue with Nick Whyte’s point. While SF’s vote has increased despite the odds, it can hardly be said that the Irish people have turned against the government given their line on SF and the IRA lately. I’m reading now that Ted Kennedy has decided to pass up on meeting Sinn Fein – that’s quite an extraordinary development and I have difficulty seeing how the republicans can spin their way round it.

  • Henry94

    Roger

    I have no idea, after everything that has happened regarding FF, how anyone could even contemplate voting for them – I can only put it down to tradition.

    It’s the economy.

  • ShayPaul

    YI

    How can anyone be cool who is named after a Strangford Lough cleaning company ?

    Hose a Marina.

    PS : Fonzie wasn’t really cool, they were taking the piss…