Greens moving into position to be king-makers?

The Sunday Business Post/Red C tracking poll continues to chart the long term trends in declared first preference votes ahead of the expected summer Irish General Election. Red C Managing Director Richard Colwell gives his view on the results here – and there’s a brief RTÉ report hereFrom the Sunday Business Post

When we look at the underlying trends in support, based on three months of our tracking poll data rolled together, the key insight is that the long-term downward trends for Fine Gael, and the long-term upward trend for Fianna Fail, have been brought to an end.

It will be crucial to see next month whether this is the beginning of a real closing of the gap in support between the two largest parties, or if this is where support for the parties now lies and remains relatively steady.

The two parties that should be most happy with the underlying trends at this stage are the Labour Party and the Green Party, both of whom are the only ones to see gains in underlying support over time.

and potentially of interest to our own, more local, political landscape..

Support for the Green Party in today’s poll rises again to 8 per cent, twice as high as the party obtained at the last general election, and this confirms that the party has the opportunity to do extremely well at the next one.

Green Party strategists will be working hard to try and convert that support into seats, which is the more difficult task for the party.

Sinn Fein, on the other hand, performs relatively poorly in this poll; its support has fallen off in recent months and it receives just 7 per cent of the first preference vote. This is the same as recorded last month and is back to the same level the party gained at the last election.

Having spent much of the time between elections with support hovering at about 10 per cent, this poll is very bad news, and suggests that the party has an uphill task to turn its fortunes around at the polling booths in three months’ time.

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  • Shore Road Resident

    I wonder if this poll explains Tom McGurk’s extraordinary piece in today’s Business Post? In summary: we’re still outbreeding them, and all the smart ones are leaving. It’s pretty nasty stuff.

  • Crataegus

    Green Party strategists will be working hard to try and convert that support into seats, which is the more difficult task for the party.

    Where can they gain? Obviously they think Galway West hence the conference there. Perhaps Carlow Kilkenny, Wicklow? This election should see them moving out into rural Ireland.

    I would imagine it then starts to get even more difficult. Dublin Central, Dublin North Central, Dublin North East, Louth and Clare? Very difficult to make large gains.

  • Sean

    Farewell to the PSF fantasy of holding the balance of power in the South. As the Southern election date becomes nearer, then the more irrelevant PSF will become down south. Why should voters waste a vote on PSF when there is no prospect of them being players. So the “astute” republican leadership get it wrong again! Nothing new there:-)

  • Mick Fealty

    A few things strike me about this poll.

    One, it is taking place in the middle of a conference season which has seen some spectacular policy initiatives (Labour’s tax cut for instance). At 14%, that is a good very show in the context of the stasis of the last four years.

    Two, Labour’s problem is not it’s own performance, but that of its partner Fine Gael. Mullingar will be null and void if FG’s performance remains as poor as this.

    Three, the Greens have done well by staying outside the political consensus and working on a small number of influential issues that the government have little expertise/interest in. But if it retains this level in the summer election, it shows that the power of the small party in the middle.

    Four, if the Greens do do it, it will provide Sinn Fein with some hope that even as a small party it can, if it plays its cards well, it can make it into government.

  • MÓG

    The media again try to play down support for Sinn Féin.

    These polls always neglect the fact that SF will confidently defend their 5 seats. The target is for SF to pick up 2 seats in Donegal and make gains in Dublin. If they can get any more seats then they should be pleased.

    More interesting to see is whether the PDs will be totally wiped out. Let’s hope!

  • Shore Road Resident

    Errr…the SBP is the very last media outlet that would be playing down support for SF.

  • lib2016

    The McGurk piece is on Newshound for those who want to take a look and yes it is yet another demonstration of how it is impossible to discuss NI demographics and their effect on politics without sounding sectarian.

    That’s what happens when you set up a border on a sectarian headcount and is hardly a reason for attacking the messenger.

    Remember that McGurk is writing for a Southern audience who aren’t as up to speed as the political nerds on Slugger and who won’t realise that the DUP is what happens after the death of ‘political unionism’ in the form of the UUP.

  • mark

    According to the poll, SF is only on 6% in Dublin, indicating that the next election won’t be so much about gaining in Dublin (as MÓG suggests), but about trying to keep Crowe and Ó Snodaigh in place. As for Donegal, that may well produce results for SF, but the overall trend points to the failure of the leadership strategy, which has been emphatically about electoral success. Think back five years, MÓG, to when SF were heading towards 15% and beyond in Dublin, outstripping Labour in the city.
    Gerry A has messed up.

  • Paddy

    MÓG

    “The media again try to play down support for Sinn Féin.These polls always neglect the fact that SF will confidently defend their 5 seats.”

    Thanks MÓG….where has all the talk of electoral breakthroughs and holding the balance of power gone?

    Looks like SF are praying that they can just hold onto the seats they currently have. Looks like another failure for the SF leadership. SF support, especially in Dublin, is rapidly going down the tubes. Goodnight Gerry 🙂

  • Mary

    Mick Fealty

    “if the Greens do do it, it will provide Sinn Fein with some hope that even as a small party it can, if it plays its cards well, it can make it into government”

    Mike, perhaps a small democratic party not carrying the Sinn Fein baggage could take hope from this.The reality is that the vast majority of people in the republic have no stomach for Sinn Fein being anywhere near their government. The polls will continue to emphasise this on the run up to the election. Already the mere suggestion of a Sinn Fein link up is costing FF votes.

  • Brian Boru

    Shows reports of the PDs death have been greatly exaggerated.

  • North side

    As to how SF are doing the one to watch is Dublin Central. Fail here and it will be seen as symbolic of reversal. Lose any of the existing seats and it will be a disaster. Their seats are not as safe as they like to think. The steam may be disappearing out of the SF election engine.

    As for Greens it is begining to look as though they may be part of the next government. Could prove interesting. The seats to watch there are the more rural hopefuls of Galway West, Clare, Wicklow, and Carlow Kilkenny. If they win a couple of these then it will enhance their electoral credibility in rural areas.

    Dublin Central is also a symbolic seat for the Greens. If McKenna takes this and SF go down or even if McKenna out polls SF then it will be significant. Will SF hold their Dublin European seat in the next election? On these sort of figures not a chance.

    Brian

    PDs won’t get wiped out but may lose a few

  • mickhall

    Four, if the Greens do do it, it will provide Sinn Fein with some hope that even as a small party it can, if it plays its cards well, it can make it into government.

    Posted by Mick Fealty

    Mick
    Don’t encourage them please, as their budding Generalissimo will sure as hell draw all the wrong conclusion from this poll. The flawless leader will move his party ever more to the centre, believing to gain ground he must appeal to the middle classes. Whereas in reality if a small party is to prosper, it must build a support base within a specific community. The greens have been astute here by appealing to that section of the community who believe there must be a better way of life than going for a mad rush for continuos growth.

    SFs grew when they targeted their resources at that part of the community who were the main victims of neo liberal economics. In the last couple or so years personal ambition has over taken reality and Adams believes it is possible to do a Clinton, and gain mass support by being all things to all voters. Over looking the fact that Billy had the mighty Democratic Party machine behind him, whereas all the Generalissimo has is the smear, lie, innuendo and boot brigade.

    Just in case any shinner objects to my calling their leader a budding Generalissimo, [they can hardly object to my calling him a liar] what’s with all the photos of Adams that have sprung up all over the north.

  • Gabriel Beecham

    Interesting, but Newstalk are reporting that their own poll of Green Party members shows pretty weak support for a FF/PD/GP coalition – only 8 out of 100 delegates they asked. http://www.newstalk.ie/news.aspx?id=34620

  • Truth and Justice

    Maybe they should have Brian Wilson standing for the Greens in the Republic he spends more time picking his own greens up his nose in the Council than working on the ground.

  • páid

    north side

    Galway West is not really a rural constituency any more. It includes Galway City and the new legoland village settlements. The Greens will do well there.

    Mick et al,
    great piece about Sgt. Trevor in the current Phoenix.

    and SF minus the cordite?
    IMO a younger, keener, less bent FF.

    SF heads are being criticized here, but they know one thing about today’s republic. If you want to get elected you’d better have energetic, disciplined, honest, selfless candidates…and they are thin on the ground.

    Where the Shinners have them, they’ll do well.

  • Greenflag

    With an increasing number of EU countries coming around to the realisation that in order to reduce carbon emissions from coal and oil fired power stations – nuclear power is the only practical technology left !(in the short to medium term (10 to 50 years)

    And what will our Greens do then . Stop hugging trees and embrace uranium ? The Republic with it’s rapid rate of growth will be energy dependent on UK producers . No prizes for guessing who will come bottom of the queue if our neighbour has major blackouts or demands a price increase !

    I’d like to see a real debate on ‘energy ‘ and carbon emissions taking place in this election. Could be a ‘winner’ for the Greens or maybe not ?

  • Pete Baker

    Mick

    “Four, if the Greens do do it, it will provide Sinn Fein with some hope that even as a small party it can, if it plays its cards well, it can make it into government.”

    Mick Hall has given his reasons… but I’d suggest that there’s little comfort to be had for SF in seeing another small party double it’s support, and overtake them, in the same time as SF’s support has stayed unchanged.

    MickH

    The comparison of the targetting of a particular and focussed message with an attempt to over-reach with broad ambiguous strokes is possibly over-stated – although I do acknowledge the point.

    But the Green Party also has none of the problems with baggage that SF has – possibly accentuated by the policing debate. Given time, and major changes in their approach, even SF could potentially shake that baggage off.. whether they would still be recognisably SF is a different question.

  • Crataegus

    Pete

    There are several major problems for SF; first they have raised expectations and cannot deliver in the foreseeable future; second they are psychologically used to moving forward so slow down will be a blow and reduce the appeal for ambitious new members; thirdly in a southern context what real relevancy do they have?

    If the Greens can hold their present level of support they will have a good election and may well be part of the next government.

  • John Farrell

    Surely its only a matter of time before Ian James PARSLEY the Alliance guy in Bangor defects to the Green Party.
    Id almost vote for the Greens if he did.
    Which is more likely than me ever voting Alliance.

  • Crataegus

    John Farrell

    Surely its only a matter of time before Ian James PARSLEY the Alliance guy in Bangor defects to the Green Party.

    It would probably be a clever move if he did given that Brian Wilson is probably fighting his last election. That said IJP strikes me as a sincere sort , the type of person who is loyal to the end.

    The main problem for Alliance in the immediate is the UUP and SDLP. Increasingly in the mad world of NI politics they are seen by the media as the parties of the ‘center’. As this increasingly happens Alliance are being squeezed.

    The second problem in image. There is definitely something wrong with it. Think Alliance and what comes to mind, dated, aging, yesterday, sugary, smug, neither them nor them etc. You definitely don’t think young, dynamic, idealistic, tomorrow etc. The impression is probably totally wrong, but is damaging. Perhaps the problem they have is their concept is out of date just as SF’s will increasing be seen as peripheral in an Irish context.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Which is more likely than me ever voting Alliance.

    Oh look, John’s a Stoop.

    The main problem for Alliance in the immediate is the UUP and SDLP. Increasingly in the mad world of NI politics they are seen by the media as the parties of the ‘center’. As this increasingly happens Alliance are being squeezed.

    I have never noticed a direct correlation between the rise and fall on the SDLP/UUP vote, and the rise and fall in the Alliance vote, except in certain specific local circumstances where the campaign was fought on domestic issues.

    I think that a lot of Alliance’s typical voting base probably just stays at home these days; that’s just based on my personal experience. They’re either people who are fed up with the bullshit and think that voting is a waste of time; or they are people who are doing quite well for themselves in NI’s relatively newfound economic prosperity and aren’t sufficiently motivated to go out and vote. I think this is the same reason why New Labour and Fianna Fail can hold on to power for so long; if there is money sloshing about and people have a house, car, job etc and are doing better than they were 10-15 years ago, they’re not going to come out and vote for change. I think dramatic change only comes when the existing regime pisses people off. See the UK 1945 or 1979 General Elections. Or the situation in 1985 where Alliance’s vote dramatically increased as people registered their annoyance with Unionist posturing over the Anglo Irish Agreement. At that time the party was within a hair of being the third largest party in NI. To the middle class electorate, all this to’ing and fro’ing is just background noise.

    You can tell from Alliance’s approach in this election that they are focussing on noting that staying at home is hitting us all in the pocket; hence the party’s concentration on the incompetence of the other politicians here which has led to increased public spending and cuts to essential frontline services. We’re all paying more tax, and indeed entire new taxes, and yet £300m is to be cut from the police, for example. What the feck is the crack with that ?

  • Crataegus

    Comrade

    I couldn’t agree more about the gross, collective incompetence’s of the political class in NI. For far too long they have been able to get away with a convoluted esoteric form of politics that has sod all to do with the real world in which we live. However I still think the media’s current tendency to bracket the UUP and SDLP as moderate and middle of the road will in the long run make the position of the Alliance Party more difficult.

    As for politics in NI we are in all probability going to have one of the most dysfunctional administrations imaginable. The very structures of the agreement will enable it and the mutual distrust will ensure it.

  • mickhall

    As for politics in NI we are in all probability going to have one of the most dysfunctional administrations imaginable. The very structures of the agreement will enable it and the mutual distrust will ensure it.

    Posted by Crataegus

    Will it make a blind bit of difference to the man in the street, I doubt it. What powers will this ‘government’ actually have to change peoples life’s for the better.[or the worse come to that]

    This is a genuine question, as few of the Party’s are arguing over policies, it is all the usual northern political crap. Will there be more public services or less, who can tell, for apart from having few real powers over such things, we do not even know if there will be a government, talk about Ruritania.

    Take Mr Adams internet broadcast to announce the beginning of his party’s campaign. There he was in his black shirt being interviewed by someone off camera who had a north american accent, and not a mentioned of what SF actually stood for, beyond that is those broad infantile brush stroke words so beloved of todays flim flam politicos. Plus he told a peach of a porky to get poor old Bobby Sands into the picture.[the guy obviously does not read the books others write for him]

    However I have no wish to upset the shiners as I am not just singling out Mr Adams. I could of highlighted Paisley too, as he and his party are no better when it comes to policies, indeed they will not even tell the electorate why they are standing for election, is it to enter ‘government’ or just to continue to pick up their pay checks? As to the UUP, they seem to have dropped below the media’s radar these day.

    This absence of policies does beg the question why are these people standing for office, it does not seem to be because they wish to build a better type of society in the north, as the mentioning of infrastructure, education and health care hardly seems to come into their minds, let alone any costing.

    As I have said already, welcome to Ruritania.

  • Crataegus

    Mickhall

    does beg the question why are these people standing for office, it does not seem to be because they wish to build a better type of society in the north, as the mentioning of infrastructure, education and health care hardly seems to come into their minds, let alone any costing.

    Begs the question why should anyone vote for the bulk of them?

    Was out and about this last few days and maybe it is my imagination, but there seems to be a hell of a lot less posters than normal. Is apathy going to be the real winner in this election? The only reason I am voting is in the hope that someone accountable will take control of the local Civil Service (and perhaps we will see some begrudging progress), but must confess that accountability and NI politics do not belong in the same sentence.

    No our bunch can get away with murder, literally. So with that as a background why should we expect considered debate on housing, health and education. Ohh and they are all against the water rates, but the former executive to which DUP, SF, UUP and SDLP belonged agreed to them. Bunch of hypocrites with selective memory loss if you ask me.

    So I will vote for Independents (if there is any) Conservatives, Greens, Alliance, Labour anyone who is marginal.

  • DK

    Greenflag: “nuclear power is the only practical technology left !”

    One nuclear power station would comfortably cover Ireland’s energy needs. But would you want to put all your eggs in one basket? So you’d have to build two, which will produce far more energy than two Irelands would need (and still be risky).

    Waste of money when you have a massive coastline and a wind galore.

  • Red Mist

    Mick Hall,

    “Take Mr Adams internet broadcast to announce the beginning of his party’s campaign. There he was in his black shirt being interviewed by someone off camera who had a north american accent, and not a mentioned of what SF actually stood for, beyond that is those broad infantile brush stroke words so beloved of todays flim flam politicos. Plus he told a peach of a porky to get poor old Bobby Sands into the picture.[the guy obviously does not read the books others write for him]”

    Interested to know what the porky was Mick..any chance of some clarification?

    Does it revolve around his discovery of when Bobby won the seat?

    Would be interested to know if you have caught the great one out. Hope you have.

  • Trevor Sargent TD is driving North on his Green Party ‘battle bus’ Tuesday 17th Feb. He’ll be stopping off at Botanic Avenue approx 11:15am before heading for South Down….a man who likes to lead from the front…

  • Greenflag

    DK,

    ‘One nuclear power station would comfortably cover Ireland’s energy needs. ‘

    Have you any numbers to prove this assertion ? IIRC the last time Ireland was considering building a nuclear power plant there was no talk of dismantling the peat fired/or coal or oil fired power stations . Since that time the Irish economy has probably tripled and the population has increased by over 50 % . I’m sure there is a role for using windpower and in principle I’m not against it as such but wind is notoriously fickle even around the coasts and the technology is still developing.

    Natural gas is preferable to coal as is oil . But the biggest impact on reducing carbon emissions in Ireland would come from going nuclear and away from coal /oil fired power generation .

    Oh but I forget -nuclear- is a bad word and upsets the children . With the economy continuing to grow our dependence on oil and coal imports can only grow . So by 2016 you should be able to celebrate the 1916 -100th anniversary by attending the miltary parade in your donkey and cart unless of course you can afford the 300 euros for a gallon of petrol !

  • The potential king-maker himself, Trevor Sargent TD, drives to Belfast tomorrow (27th) on his biofuelled battle bus. He’ll be stopping off at Botanic Avenue/University Street approx 11;15 before heading to South Down.

    A man who likes to lead from the front…

  • slug

    “Surely its only a matter of time before Ian James PARSLEY the Alliance guy in Bangor defects to the Green Party.”

    Very unlikely, he has stated he does not agree with the Green party’s philosophy.

  • Trevor Sargent TD is driving North on his Green Party ‘battle bus’ Tuesday 17th Feb. He’ll be stopping off at Botanic Avenue approx 11:15am before heading for South Down….a man who likes to lead from the front…

    But not going to Bangor… ho hum.

  • petewhitcroft

    Sammy

    Not enough fuel to get to Bangor and back.

  • Crataegus

    Petewhitcroft

    I assume you are the Green candidate for south Antrim.

    Not enough fuel to get to Bangor and back.

    But enough to drive from Dublin to Belfast and then back down to South Down?

    Would it be fair to assume that Trevor Sargent and his battle bus would be seen as a potential electoral liability in North Down but an asset in South Down?

    You could do well in South Down with SF being ever so slightly out of gear. With weak Alliance, no Woman’s Coalition, divisions among Republicans, a lot of luck and a good campaign who knows, but you would need to double your first preference votes and that is a tall order. Your best opportunity for gain is still North Down.

    So what we now have is Comhaontas Glas hoping to gain a few seats in the North and to use that to further boost their electoral campaign in the South in 3 months time?

    SF in its recent form has alway struck me as being deeply northern at its core and its advances in the South seem almost an invasion into that deeply conservative country. Comhaontas Glas by comparison is a party of the South and very much of southern Irish society in a way that SF perhaps is not. So what we now have is an Irish political party trying to establish footholds in the North with potential electoral consequences in the South. Interesting turn around and if successful may herald in similar moves in other parties.

  • Crataegus

    Greenflag

    Would you like to live anywhere near a nuclear power station? I wouldn’t. The problem is the stuff they are working with and produce is just so poisonous that it puts that industry in a league of its own.

    I actually think we look at the nuclear industry with rose tinted glasses. If there is a leak at say Sellafield then unless it is disasterous no one keels over and dies, well not immediately. But low doses of radiation do kill. It just takes time so we don’t correlate cause and effect. If it was a quick killer there really would be an uproar.

    Another minor little problem is to do with our chromosomes, their instability and our ability to pass on defects to future generations.

    I think that nuclear will have a role in future energy, but our technology just isn’t robust enough at present and the problem of what you do with waste products remains. Some of it remains a potential threat for a hellish long time. (for longer than there has been human civilisation)

    Too big a risk, spend the money on research and installation of renewables and in the case of Ireland look to Hydro and the seas as well as wind.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Crat, maybe TS should go to North Down and play his Protestant card (he’s fairly into the Christian thing as well which might go down well with some).

    Although maybe he should leave his enthusiasm for Irish for South Down!

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus,

    ‘Would you like to live anywhere near a nuclear power station? ‘

    No but I would prefer it than to live downwind of a coal or oil fired power station . I have it on good authority from a nuclear physicist who worked at Aldermaston that if you lie in a bed between two women you will receive more radiation than if you lived next door to a nuclear power plant!

    ‘I actually think we look at the nuclear industry with rose tinted glasses.’

    I don’t. The opposite in fact . Yes we all know about Chernobyl , the near miss at Three Mile Island and the Sellafield problems . But when you add up all the ‘nuclear’ casualties and compare them to the number of shortened lives caused by carbon emissions since the Industrial revolution began then it’s clear that ‘nuclear power’ is by far less harmful to the environment.

    CO2 emissions are seen as the biggest threat facing the survival of all life on earth . If there were a serious practical alternative to nuclear power which could accomodate the growing need for electricity power in countries such as China/India etc etc then I’d be all for it . But that is not the situation in the world today. Which is why the USA/France/Britain and other countries will continue to build nuclear power plants to ensure essential power supplies. Even the Germans are regretting their decision of a few years ago to phase out their nuclear power stations . If the Chinese and Indians and other fast developing South American / South East Asian nations build only coal/carbon fuel fired stations for their power needs then we can all look forward to a slow mass asphyxiation of human life on the planet .

    All I’m saying is that for the next 50 years or so there is no real practical alternative barring a major technological breakthrough. Given that circumstance and understanding that with a an island populations of 6 million (Ireland ) and 60 millions ( Britain) none of us would want to live in a society in which electricty power is affordable only by the top 10% of the population .
    Apologies if this sounds alarmist but seriously if people imagine that we will all be nice to each other without electricity power then I’d reply that might be the case for the small minority of people that would be left in a ‘powerless’ world -but even that I would’nt bet on!

    If we in Ireland can get solely by on power generated from wind/sea /hydro sources then fine . But there is no one out there IMO who would state that this is a realistic possibility at this point in time and for the next 30 to 50 years .

  • Crataegus

    Tochais Síoraí

    maybe TS should go to North Down and play his Protestant card

    Learn something everyday.

    Greenflag

    You can keep the Nuclear plant I would prefer the two women. Nothing like body heat on a cold winters night.

    But when you add up all the ‘nuclear’ casualties and compare them to the number of shortened lives caused by carbon emissions since the Industrial revolution began then it’s clear that ‘nuclear power’ is by far less harmful to the environment.

    There is increasing research into the time lag effect of radiation on your health. It really is one to give very careful consideration to and I wouldn’t be in a great hurry to be the first to support a nuclear plant.

    Also how long does it take to build a nuclear plant if we decided we are going down that road today? First we have to find the site, get approval and then construct. I will take at least 10 years and unbelievable protests. It is political dynamite.

  • prolefodder

    Tochais Síoraí
    I think its great that in Trevor Sargent (and the Greens in general) we have someone who does not fit the usual categories we’re used to here in the North – he speaks Irish but is Protestant, the party is organised on an all island/Ireland basis but is not committed to a simplistic ‘reunificiation of the island’ analysis or solution….and oh they’re also talking about issues like climate chnage and the need to detox from fossil fuel, and nuclear which is a red herring in terms of dealing with the energy crisis – more energy could be saved according to bodies like the UK Energy Savings Trust and the Carbon Trust from energy conservation and efficiency than from new nuclear.

  • Greenflag

    Crataegus ‘

    ‘You can keep the Nuclear plant I would prefer the two women. Nothing like body heat on a cold winters night’

    This is true however the Aldermaston physicist made it quite clear that other than just lying between the two females of the opposite gender – no physical activity of any
    kind was required in order to receive the dose (of radiation) . 🙂

    ‘I wouldn’t be in a great hurry to be the first to support a nuclear plant. ‘

    Not of course if you value a political career or have intentions in that area .

    ‘ I will take at least 10 years and unbelievable protests. It is political dynamite.’

    If Americans and French can build them in 3 years I don’t see any reason why we Irish can’t . Modern nuclear power plants are much more efficient and safer than those built 40 years ago .

    I believe that sooner or later the Irish economy among others will be faced with a choice which the Green Party or any other anti nuclear power party will be unable to deny. While I can agree with much of the Green Party’s agenda I think they are playing to the gallery re nuclear power just as the Irish Labour Party and FG did back at the time it was first considered . Since then the coal fired stations in Ireland have contributed how much CO2 into the atmosphere ?.

    Lets not ape the Australians who are now making ‘incandescent bulbs ‘ illegal to be replaced by the cooler energy saving ones . This at the same time as they are basing Australia’s future electrical power requirements solely on building more coal fired power stations ? A case of the left hand not just undoing the work of the right hand but cutting off the nose to spite the face as well 🙁

    I’d like to see a real debate in Ireland on the whole issue of carbon emissions /energy conservation measures and the coming electricity power deficit which the Republic will face in the not too distant future . If the Green Party can help bring this issue forward they will have done the country some good !

    It is possible that the Green Party might yet outpoll the very Green party in the Republic at least .

  • Greenflag

    Prolefodder,

    ‘nuclear power which is a red herring in terms of dealing with the energy crisis -‘

    Not true when you look at the major beneficial impact nuclear power plants have on reducing CO2 emissions worldwide. Nuclear power is the means by which the ‘planet’ can buy the time to come up with a practical replacement to burning fossil fuels for electrical power. Solar and Wind power will help and should be encouraged but in the time left they will not be able to produce the power shortfall . That’s why the Germans are now reconsidering phasing out their nuclear power stations and also why the UK is proposing to build more . Reason being – no real practical alternative in a world where oil will be 200 dollars a barrel in the not too distant future !

    And no the kindly Mr Ghadaffi will not be giving any Irish delegation any special price reductions just because it’s 2016 and we’re freezing because we can’t afford heating oil !

  • Crataegus

    Greenflag

    I’d like to see a real debate in Ireland on the whole issue of carbon emissions /energy conservation measures and the coming electricity power deficit which the Republic will face in the not too distant future . If the Green Party can help bring this issue forward they will have done the country some good !

    I agree with you on both points. We do need a proper open minded debate on this one. The answers will probably be far from obvious. Nuclear only produces electricity.

    In my opinion the fuel of the future is hydrogen but that technology is probably a few decades away.

  • prolefodder

    Greenflag

    I’m always amazed at how quickly the energy debate focuses mypoically on ‘production’ – renewable, nuke or other, without seriously considering the waste and inefficiency in production, distribution and consumption which, as I noted in my original posting, should be used when considering the nuke option. As Crataegus notes, nuke only produces electricity, it won’t power cars, buses or other transport options as well as being highly unpopoular and as the UK govt’s Sustainable Development Commission put it last year in advance of the Energy White Paper which put nuke back on the UK energy agenda, there is no compelling evidence for the nuke option given all the other non-nuke ones available.