Fianna Fail edging into electoral darkness?

I put together a post on the Irish Times TNS/MRBI poll on Thursday night when the news first broke of this quarter’s findings, I wiped it after coming to the conclusion it didn’t tell us very much about the Euro poll coming up. Today’s offering tells us more. But the truth is that Fianna Fail’s low ratings look like they will have minimal effect on the Euro poll, but the councils could be another matter.

Stephen Collins reckons Fianna Fail (who were in a similar dip in 2004) only stand to lose Eammon Eoin Ryan (who got 11%), who could be in a bear fight with Mary Lou McDonald (14%) for the third Dublin seat. It will all come down to transfers. Sinn Fein are also pullling in resepectable ratings in South with Toireasa Ferris pulling in 12% (although, she’s bunched with three other likely more competitive rivals); Padraig MacLochlann’s on a disappointing 10% in north west, where Pat ‘the Cope’ appears to be saving Fianna Fail’s bacon quite comfortably, after Sean O’Neachtain decided not stand again.George Lee’s jump from journalism looks as beautifully set to get him the South Dublin seat in the Dail, just as the year’s delay between his victory in the Lisbon treaty act as a long brake on Declan Ganley’s hopes to lead his Libertas party from within the European Parliament. Though word is that he’s doing rather better than the polls indicate, and Gallagher rather worse, it may not be enough to get him in. His spats with independent Marian Harkin are thought to be playing against him.

Nationally, the real damage is likely to be pyschological. As Stephen Collins points out in the Irish Times:

Unless there is some dramatic reversal of fortunes in the next three weeks Fianna Fáil will slip into second place in a national election for the first time in 80 years. Even worse for the party, the indications are that it will end up trailing far behind Fine Gael in terms of its share of the popular vote.

Since its Cumann na nGaedhael days, Fine Gael has been decidedly the second choice of the people of the Republic. Fianna Fail’s unremitting micro local focus on constituency and and secondly the nation has served it extraordinarily well over the succeeding generations.

As Dan has argued here on Slugger, substantial damage at the root of Irish democracy, the councils, is likely to hit the natural party of Irish government systemically in its most vulnerable spot: the ward and the parish…

Collins argues a bold move on the part of the current government would pitch the opposition into a position of responsibility at a time when their agendas (Labour and FG) look mutually exclusive. Cowen’s successor might find it easier to rebuild the party from ‘principled’ opposition rather than government benches.

Stranger things have happened at sea…

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Doing the correct thing may be on FF agenda for the first time – as they have by now exhausted all the alternatives completely.

    They should pedal the idea of a National govenrment and offer a postion to Kenny, this would have two benefical effects – if he accepted. Firsty, it would put a very unpopular Fine Girler in the public eye and secondly damage the Fine Girlers by association with the economic mess. If he declined he could be accused of not acting in the best interests of the country and forcing an unpopular election.

    We might then have a bout of left/right politics in Ireland similar to that in the UK before Tony picked up the Tory legacy and rebranded it as New Labour – benefitting both Labour and SF – and probably eventually leading to a merger of the Fine Girlers and the Warriors of Corruption.

  • bootman

    “Stephen Collins reckons Fianna Fail (who were in a similar dip in 2004) only stand to lose Eammon Ryan (who got 11%), who could be in a bear fight”

    Eoin Ryan, not Eamaon Ryan. eamonn is a green minister, Eoin is the FF MEP

  • Greenflag

    Bootman,

    ‘Eoin is the FF MEP ‘

    If you’re going to use a name like Bootman then you should apply the whole boot and nothing but the boot . Correction to above should then read

    ‘Eoin is the FF MEP- ffs ‘;)

    The ‘natural party’ of Ireland needs a spell in opposition . Unfortunatley those parties who hope to replace them in Government exhibited no great talents in oppostion and were equally blind to the mounting dual insanities of both the property bubble and the accompanying world wide ‘deregulatory’ inspired financial chaos .

    Being deficient in crystal balling seems to have been prevalent among all the Anglophone ‘opposition ‘ parties be it in the USA , UK or Ireland . The question of whether these oppositions now have the non crystal balls requisite for Government is one that electorates will soon enough be considering . Assuming of course that attention spans can last that long 😉

  • EWI

    just as the year’s delay between his victory in the Lisbon treaty act as a long brake on Declan Ganley’s hopes to lead his Libertas party from within the European Parliament. Though word is that he’s doing rather better than the polls indicate

    Please. Ganley and his ‘Libertas’ organisation (including the bits that are actually his company Rivada) are no bigger than the man’s chequebook (cf. Walesa, Lech), and never have been. As to your “word”, I’m presuming that this comes from Libertas itself? Not shy to make grand claims without much of a basis in fact, those boys, not least the former members of the old Freedom Institute.

    And it wouldn’t have been my first choice of description, but it’s hard to find grounds to disagree with De Rossa’s description of Libertas as being fascists – it’s certainly all too easy to find people and organisations who fit that bill among the Chairman’s motley collection of allies and supporters, both here and abroad.

  • Mick Fealty

    EWI,

    I have two sources on that EWI. How and ever, it won’t be enough to get the great leader a seat.

  • Dave

    Given that Proinsias de Rossa was the only Irish MEP to vote in support of an EU amendment not to respect the outcome of Ireland’s democratic referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, no one of sound mind is going to take lectures from that anti-democratic thug about fascism. Proinsias de Rossa is a fascist, as are the other 499 members of the European parliament who voted against the amendment “to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland.” Only 129 MEPs supported democracy.

  • Dave

    By the way, you have to admire how successfully the EU spends its 2.4 billion propaganda budget to brainwash these muppets. They now think that a party which argues that the democratic will of the people must be respected is “fascist” whereas a quango which argues that the democratic will of the people must NOT be respected is democratic. Priceless.

  • EWI

    Proinsias de Rossa is a fascist, as are the other 499 members of the European parliament who voted against the amendment “to respect the outcome of the referendum in Ireland.”

    Parliamentarians taking part in an above-the-board vote are fascists? Shirley not!

    By the way, gotta love a website that quotes Jim Corr as a serious commentator:

    http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=890

    Good to know that the pool of Libertas supporters intersects with the loony fringe that Corr – our own David Icke – represents (i.e the UN&EU; Black Helicopters/AGW Denialist/Fluoride Poisoning set).

  • EWI

    I have two sources on that EWI. How and ever, it won’t be enough to get the great leader a seat.

    I’m presuming that at least one of your sources is not a Libertas employee?

    In any case, thanks for that Mick.I’m sure that the beloved Chairman will declare victory in any case (and equally sure that his promise to stand down as leader of Libertas if failing to be elected will be revised sharply, post-election).

  • Fianna Fail (who were in a similar dip in 2004) only stand to lose Eoin Ryan (who got 11%), who could be in a bear fight with Mary Lou McDonald (14%) for the third Dublin seat

    Already is. And that’s not news.

  • PS, this:

    Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 500 people in each of the four Euro constituencies. The margin of error is 2 per cent.

    is a misintrepretation (ahem). A national poll of 2000 has a margin of error of 2.2%. But this is effectively four regional polls of 500, and each as an MoE of 4.4%/

  • Mick Fealty

    Sammy,

    Collins kind of gives it to Mary Lou. I was surprised at MacLochlainn’s rating though. Not sure what I expected. The huge amount of Adams posters around Donegal indicates they’re not selling the candidate directly. It’s getting them some negative play in the local media.

    EWI, that would correct.

  • Greenflag

    Mary Lou will win a seat . SF will benefit in terms of the total vote by disenchantment against the Gov parties . There are many who will vote for SF -not because they are ‘natural’ SF voters but they would’nt be willing to cross the street to spit at FG or Labour never mind vote for them . Some of these will also vote YES for Lisbon with some relief . That relief is based on a widespread sense that perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that ‘above’ the DAIl out there in the real world there may be ‘politicians ‘ German , French , Dutch etc who actually understand how the world works . British voters might be coming around to a similar point of view.