Is a general election imminent in the south?

The Sunday Business Post goes into some detail on the degree to which the Labour party seems to be getting ready for what looks like an historically high tide in the polls in the Republic. Even to the extent of running a conference on ‘winning the west’ where they have traditionally weak.

More interesting is their Back Room column which speculates that in fact, the realists within Fianna Fail may already be calcutating that this could be the best moment to go to the country, on the basis that recovery is still some years away and that losing a general election now (rather than 2012) as a party of government gives them a chance of fighting at the head of a renewed party in 2015.

That would, so the logic goes, force the current opposition into a three or four year period of firefighting many of the intractable problems bequeathed the country by, er, the Fianna Fail (et al) years. “Back Room” even goes as far giving us a date for the next general election: November 25.

Unlikely to prevent a kicking for Fianna Fail, it could (“BR” speculates) have the effect of catching Labour at the high of its electoral power and pushing the better resourced Fine Gaelers out to the side, with Fianna Fail then moving in with whichever of the two cohabiters is more ready for divorce by the time of the 32nd Dail in 2015.

Convoluted? Maybe. But it is not hard to see that FF have a limited number of cards FF can play at this stage. An organised exit in which you retain the advantage, as opposed to the death of a thousand cuts currently on the cards makes some sense. Meanwhile, I shall be putting that date in the diary, for the next couple of weeks at least.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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