Continuing good news for Bertie

The latest Irish Times poll is good news for Fianna Fail with its highest poll rating, 40%, since the last election. Satisfaction with the Government, Bertie Ahern and his coalition leader Michael McDowell are also all up, allthough the PD’s slip down 1% to 3%. This leaves the government parties 5% ahead of a FG/Labour alliance but only 1% ahead of FG/Labour/Green alliance. The poll news for SF is disappointing, they are down 1% to 7%. Their lowest rating for at least a year and barely above their last election performance. The personal ratings of Gerry Adams were also unchanged.

  • Greenflag

    Not counting Bertie’s ‘boost’ from Brian Cowan’s Budget which will nudge FF up to 42 or 43% on election day. I expect the PD’s will get back to 4% plus as some independent minded ‘thinking’ voters will not want to see FF get a clear overall majority which becomes a possibility if they can get 44% of the vote .

    PR for all it’s cumbersome counts etc etc has enabled the Republic to have a two /multi party system where a change of government is possible . Under the British first past the post system the Republic would have been a one party State since 1932 . And that as somebody said would not have been good either for the Republic or democracy in Ireland . By getting rid of any possibility of PR in NI in the early months of the new State the UUP consigned Northern Ireland politics to effective one party rule and curtailed any possibility of the emergence of a sizeable coherent opposition .

    De Valera tried to remove the PR system in the 1950’s /60’s but despite voting FF into government the people refused to back Dev in the PR referendum.

    An FG/Labour/Green alliance could have a chance in 2012, by which time Bertie will have done enough or had enough to just want to go back drinking pints with his Man Utd supporters at the Cat & Cage pub in Drumcondra .

    But as yet it does not look like an FG/Labour/Green combination has got the right formula to convince voters that change is necessary or even desirable at this time -IMO.

  • Its dificult to know how much faith we should have on the poll, given that the General Election is likely to be in June or July 2007 and that the snapshot of those polled in any given window is the likely indication of only those surveyed. However when added to the number of polls published over recent months, even allowing a 2% margin of error, Bertie appears to have the upper hand on the months remaining to the run up to the Generl Election.

  • elvis parker

    Shinners look to be totally screwed.
    Will this poll:
    a. encourage them to be the Ard Fheis in Jan in the hope that it gives them some bounce?
    b. realise their dreams of holding the balance of power are over and just sit on their hands?

    and make no mistake when they fail to hold the balance of power next year its all over for them – by the following election they’ll have lost the whiff of cordite and the excess media coverage the derive from the northern situation

    2010 merger with Labour? Or slow death?

  • lib2016

    As Henry on this board has pointed out previously Sinn Fein do need to consider where they position themselves in a thirty-two county context.

    Many supporters, including myself would like to see them stick to a socialist position to the left of the centrist social-democrat position as held by the Irish and English Labour Parties. Henry has said that he would like to see them move towards a Fianna Fail rightwing populism, though not in quite those terms. (Sorry, Henry!)

    PR means that there will be room for a party on the left but I would have thought with both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael competing for the centre-right there wasn’t much need for another party on that side.

    It may even happen that the unionist wing of Fine Gael and whatever emerges from the collapse of ‘Ulster’ unionism may coalesce. Certainly the DUP are downplaying their ‘British’ identity recently and concentrating on the Ulster dimension.

  • lib2016

    Of course I’m speculating about the position AFTER the British withdrawal becomes clear ie after the 2010/2011 General Elections.

  • Greenflag

    Elvis ,

    ‘and make no mistake when they fail to hold the balance of power next year its all over for them ‘

    Why would it be all over ? In NI SF is a catch all party in the sense that it appeals to the majority of Irish nationalists . In the Republic that does not apply and has never applied . As long as North & South are divided there will be a niche for SF as a minority party in the Republic and as the largest /second largest Party in Northern Ireland . In a 32 county context most of SF would move towards a left alliance with Labour and the Greens .But as a 32 county Republic in any near future is less likely than the Pope becoming a Muslim I think conjecture on what if’s is just that -conjecture.

  • Alan

    Actually, in the event of SF remaining static their greatest challenge will be how not to return to violence as the Adams / McGuiness axis could then be challenged for not delivering.

    Where that might lead, dear only knows.

  • elvis parker

    Not in 2010/2011 let alone 2016 mate – and you know it!

  • Greenflag


    ‘in the event of SF remaining static their greatest challenge will be how not to return to violence as the Adams / McGuiness axis could then be challenged for not delivering.’

    Doubt it . Direct rule and reforms since Stormont was abolished have ruled that option out for all but a tiny minority . Even the most ultra UI Republican must realise by now that the violence of the past 30 years has only driven Unionist and Nationalist in NI further apart and also driven North & South further apart .

    If they really want a UI they should put away their guns, go back home to their wives and start breeding instead of killing . 🙁

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    I find it funny that everyone seems to think the only thing sinn fein can do to get back on track and have their approval ratings back to rising like it was a few years ago…instead of this decline….is for the republican movement to return to the armed struggle….nah….the way for sinn fein to advance politically is to get rid of the leadership of adams/mcguiness…they are the ones bringing the party down.

    sinn fein needs new leadership….

  • Henry94

    Going back to armed struggle is not and option and neither those who fear it or those who advocate it really understand what is going on.

    Like all opposition parties Sinn Fein are finding the going tough in Bertieland. But they have problems all of their own that they need to address.

    – The peace process has become a bore. People know where it’s heading so trying to extract credit for every move in that direction is pointless. The faster they can get into government in the north, the better.

    – Advocating left-wing socialism makes the party appear unserious in the south. Sideline the Trotskyites and stop acting like a radical Students Union.

    – They need to find better candidates.

  • Elvis appears to be overestimating the extent to which SF ever really expected us to hold the balance of power in the next election. And Henry appears to be underestimating the number of core supporters we would lose by making the move to the right that he advocates. To the extent that we’ve already lost some support in the 26 Counties it’s virtually all been from the left (see Éirígí). Labour have a similar problem; far more sensible for us to position ourselves to pick up votes or transfers from their disaffected left wing than to try to compete with their leadership for the soft centre.

  • dublin_sf_supporter

    For Sinn Fein to do well in Dublin I would advise keeping a strong left wing flavour to Sinn Fein policies and bring on more sourthern-based politicians into the leadership as soon as possible. They have done this with Mary Lou; that’s great but more needed.

  • The Greens are about to announce new levels of cooperation,with full recognition of the Green Party in Northern Ireland, as a regional council within the Republic’s Green Party/Comhaontas Glas. A memorandum of understanding to be signed Monday, 4 December, will also cement ties with colleagues in Scotland, and the Green Party of England and Wales.

    At the Green Party AGM in Belfast on Saturday, the Party unanimously agreed a motion to allow future MLAs to designate as other, nationalist or unionist, subject to advice from the Party Executive. This is an attempt to create a genuinely inclusive party organisation.

    Three seats are to be targeted if Assembly elections follow in March.