As Donegal South West goes to the polls….

Pretty much all of the Donegal world agus a bhean chéile thinks Pearse Doherty is going to top the poll with ease this time out. Since they managed only to scrape 8k last time out, that’s likely to be a game changing moment for the party. On the ground, Sinn Fein have run a pretty canny campaign. In contrast with the 2007 general election, there is little evidence of Gerry Adams on any of their posters.

In fact they’ve put out three different kinds of posters throughout the constituency: those clearly branded Sinn Fein; those with a Sinn Fein logo even smaller than Brian Ó Domhnaill’s Fianna Fail logo (and that is small); and those without any SF logo whatsoever. A canny, (very FF-like) campaign in which the candidate is uncharacteristically elevated above party. Accordingly, expect Sinn Fein to ship a record number of first preferences, and a record number of transfers.

Privately, they accept the Paddy Power poll exaggerates their county strength, but private polling both for them and other parties in constituency still confirms an historic performance on their part. For now, there no plans to run a second candidate in the upcoming Generals.

Much of the rest of the campaign may prove academic. Fianna Fail’s Brian Ó Domhnaill was on the world’s stickiest wicket from the start, but his ‘I’m the only candidate who will be part of the government’ message has come severely unstuck with the visit of the IMF and subsequent admission by Brian Cowen that he will call an election early in the new year.

The word (from their opponents) is that much of the party’s base will simply not show up today. Indeed, the famous FF party machine has been little in evidence on Donegal doorsteps throughout the campaign. Early feedback suggests an all time low in the turnout is on the cards. Under normal circumstances that would favour Fianna Fail.

But these are not normal circumstances.

Beyond a highly favoured (by Paddy Power on that 500 sample anyway) Sinn Fein win, the substantial national interest lies in the relative performances of Barry O’Neill of Fine Gael and Frank McBrearty the avuncular, larger than life Labour candidate.

Whichever of those two pulls in the bigger share of the vote, has a chance of pulling in on Doherty.  And, as you might expect, both camps are talking up their chances.

Fine Gael are confident their support is motivated and determined to turn up. They expect a three way split (with FF and SF) with their man coming through on transfers, which, the biggest tranche (45%) in last year’s locals came their way.

But McBrearty is penetrating a voter base way beyond the derisory figure that his predecessor – the Worker’s Party veteran Seamus Rogers – received last time out. Whilst few seriously expect him to take the seat this time, if he registers anything north of 15% in today’s poll, the history books on Donegal politics may have to be pulped in the wake of the upcoming General Election.

In which case, FG may have a much bigger struggle on their hands to keep Enda’s name on the taoiseach’s office door than heretofore. But for now, this is about channelling anger with a government which has lost control of the narrative (and, in the national perception at least, the country’s finances).

For further detailed updates, join our live blog tomorrow from 11am on when we hope to bring you the early press and tallies from the Finn Valley count centre.

, , , ,

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    The impending General Election makes the election today irrelevant (indeed an Independent has already pulled out) save for the fact f the mood music it creates.
    A low turn out is reasonable….the usually biggest Party in the constituency being at an all time low, the upcoming Election, general disgust at all parties and the question of sovreignty which raises the question of why bother when there is not a choice.
    When Pat Rabbitte twice yesterday referred to “our European masters” that sets the tone.
    Pearse Doherty will win of course……if ever there was a time to record a protest or nihilistic vote then the time is now.
    He has actually fought a good campaign and is far removed from the Sinn Féin stereotype. The acceptable face of it so to speak.
    You draw attention to the fact that Mr Adams is not on his posters. Well clearly that was a mistake last time….as was the numbers of northern canvassers descending on parts of the Republic.
    But they are used to that in Bundoran and Ballyshannon. It s not threatening. Apart from the fact that it failed monumentally last time….Adams is largely irrelevant. They dont need him to win or lose in Donegal.
    Its not an issue.
    But Adams not being there can be spun as his fading from the scene.
    Or if he appears on them its a slap on face to his Dáil colleague Caomhan O’Caolan.
    It is often the case that there are two rival and contradictory “spins” for anything Adams does. Damned if he does. Damned if he doesnt.
    His moving from West Belfast is hardly a reflection on his unpopularity there. He saw off naysayers in May. But it is a reflection of needing to shore up Sinn Féin in the Republic…..and like any ol’ granddad he is looking for a change of pace. The unseen unheard Colette is probably a happy woman.

    Yet an almost inevitable Doherty victory and his being carried shoulder high into Leinster House will have a knock-on effect. Sligo-Leitrim, and inner city Dublin…………….AND in the Northern election. As SF picks up the mantle of “Irish sovreignty” and moves one step closer to respectability or we merely enter a phase where nihilistic politics is acceptable, then its a boost for Sinn Féin.
    For all the “tut-tutting” on Sky News about the student protests two weeks ago and yesterday, there is actually not very much condemnation in the broader community. Students have never been more popular.
    Likewise if there are riots in Dublin……well normally that would impact more negatively. But this time round the rioters seem at least as popular as anybody inside Government Buildings.

  • Mick Fealty

    FJH,

    It’s way simpler than that. In 07 SF was trying to flog its candidates on the basis of the recently completed Peace Process. Now they are selling on the basis of a good local candidate who needs to dig out of the traditional SF constituency. All good, and well tested FF chaw.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Yes. To some extent …..a large extent……SF hopelessly miscalculated. A coach load of big lads with our harsh accents from Belfast and Armagh going down to middle Ireland evoked the worst days of the Troubles rather than a Golden Peace Process age.
    Lesson learned.
    But its not a totally bad tactic.
    Gerry Adams will boost their vote in Louth……because its not middle Ireland. So scary Northern men wont be a turn off there.
    Nor would they be a turn off in South West Donegal. But as Doherty can make an impact without Adams or other help then that sends a message to middle Ireland.
    I dont see it as a general tactic….rather horses for courses and how to repond to the ground conditions in Louth, Donegal, Middle Ireland and inner city Dublin.

  • medillen

    Would either of you concede that there is an interesting gameplan at work here?

  • Mick Fealty

    I would, and happily. Tell us more med?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I thought we already stated that…….although Id hardly say it was a concession.
    To make it clear I think there are several game plans.
    The single game plan from 2007 was a failure.
    There are different game plans in 2010 for Donegal…….and in 2011 for Donegal, Louth, Middle Ireland and inner city Dublin.
    Id say that Donegal 2010 was a specific game plan which SF will use as a morale booster for 2011 (theyve got lucky…..or made their own luck thru the court case that this is friendly territory). And a successful Donegal campaign followed by a better General Election result than in 2007 will lead on to a boost in the Assembly.
    They would of course easily hold their own (27/28 at Stormont but the southern campaign will stave off criticism for the no mark dissidents in North.

  • medillen

    Mick I can only give you my interpretation of the gameplan, as you will appreciate it is not my plan.

    But I think FHJ is not far out in his analysis. SF have been working hard on reorganising in the south. The siezed on the strategic timing of taking the court case in Donegal SW which has beginning a series of events that was leading to an early General Election. events have moved on and an early GE is now certain. If they are victorious in DSW, which would be a massive achievement, they will forced themselves once again into the national agenda. In the run in to the Budget and the General Election I feel they will look to establish themselves as the only true opposition to the cuts agenda and the acquiecence in the IMF bailout. I think their strategy will deliver between 8 to 14 seats in a General Election. The outing of a new Irish government is to hard to predict as things are changing quickly but if the predicted FG/Lab Government emerges SF will be a sizeable opposition alongside a disgraced FF. Sinn Fein will hold their Ard Fheis in Belfast in February and begin the six county Assembly election campaign in the north with renewed vigour and energy. A pincer move towards reunification north and south would now be firmly back in place.

  • Munsterview

    Mick & Fitzh

    The late Redmond O’Sullivan of Killarney was a seasoned republican, he was deported from England for the pre WW2 bombing campain and went trhrough the usual process here. He was also a consumate politician, that like Jackie Healy Rae, knew everything to know about local voter ethos while always also having a keen eye for the bigger National picture.

    Redmond while very much a minority party in Kerry County Council was never the less elected chairman with cross party support because of his ability.

    Redmond held that while republicans had appreciation of Sinn Fein for their position and respect of the communities they were part of, they could never the less not get elected as a party members, but only as members of a party building on their individual reputations and that was the reality for them or any other small party.

    He also held that the last thing Sinn Fein would get from the people would be their vote and as PSF and OSF were basically in the same respective political gene pools as Fianna Fail and Labour, it waould take the shattering of both parties or some major scandal or discrediting of the main parties for both Sinn Feins to make a breakthrough .

    He did not forsee a Official Sinn Fein / IRA reverse take over of the Labour party to give them a new face and enable them to smartly walk away from their Stickie baggage.

    Presentation problem solved for them !

    With Provo Sinn Fein, well, they carried the flag and were all Fianna Fail were in their early days, but politics were politics and Fianna Failure had an open ‘goody bag’ and were able to deliver favours big time so human nature being what it is, general republican sentiment went pramatic and with Fianna Fail.

    Fianna Fail are now seen to be an abject failure in terms of guarding the National Interest, in fact they have been seen to have wrecked it and sold out, not for the benifit of even their own rank and file or party, but for top level cronies of their own top people who are now all gone. Worse not alone are all those Financial Cronies gone, Fianna Fail are left holding the blame baby for their actions.

    Fianna Fail now have nothing to deliver to the Southern Irish electorate other than grief and more grief. Republicaqns that voted for them have not lost faith in republican values and ethos, they have, by in large, lost faith in the political party, fianna fail that they expressed these beliefs through.

    Fianna Fail have now become Fianna Failure in the eyes of Ireland South, North and the watching world. They will keep hard core political families and their friends who treat elected public office as a well paid profession and like any other individuals in such a financially lucrative situation, they will fight and mobilise to keep their source of revenue, and fight hard to so do.

    However the main impediment to Sinn Fein is now gone in that there is no longer….. ‘a more relevant to daily lives’ …….outlet for republican ethos. Sinn Fein have the high ground on this one and can present themselves as having fought for republicanism in the North and they are now prepared to do the same thing in the South. Dohertys protection of the Irish constitution and democracy was an example of this.

    One Donegall win swallow do not a Sinn Fein Summer make. Doherty could actually get over 50%, that would not surprise me one bit, but it is still a pecular local situation that will have few if any factors that will apply to other electoral areas.

    Michael Moynihan of Fianna Fail North Cork is generally below the radar at present, but within the party he is seen as one of the up and coming leaders of the party. Some days back he hosted a bus load of the local party faitfull in Leinster House that included a visit to the Dail restaurant.

    While they were there Bertie came in and a got a rousing prolonged round of applause followed by introductions and handshakes all around. This for the ex-Taoiseach that that went into a a kitchen Press on public television for for a fee to sell an English Red Top newspaper.
    Fianna Failure may have fallen in public esteem with their credibility shattered, but this event is an indication of how it appears to their own insiders.

    Fianna Fail finished with its own core supporters? I will believe it when I see the General election Box tallies !

  • Sean Og

    You were going well until: –

    “A pincer move towards reunification north and south would now be firmly back in place.”

  • Munsterview
  • Pod

    Mick, how do you know what Sinn Féin think ‘privately’??

  • medillen

    OK sean fair point, I’ll refrain from an miltary analogies.

  • medillen

    I assume because he speaks to them.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    medillen,
    I was trying to base my analysis without any kind of spin. I am not a member of Sinn Féin.
    I merely say that their (and the rise of FG and Labour) rise is as much to do with Fianna Fáil imploding.
    FF is not merely about cronyism.
    It has a “state employee” vote which will fall to Labour.
    It has a “small business in small town/auctioneer/publican vote which is now vulnerable to FG.
    And it has a “republican semi constitutional” vote which is vulnerable to SF.
    The fact was that for decades FF could be all things to all people…….(Plaid Labour as Max Boyce might say) …..but it is vulnerable on welfare/state employees (to Labour) on fiscal responsibility (to FG) and sovreignty (to SF).
    It will sink to merely its core vote.
    Far too early to make predictions for SF…..which of course has not stopped me from making predictions in different message boards……..10, 12 and 15 for example.

    The re-unification issue? I think its more a question of national sovreignty.
    The one thing which might or SHOULD unite all aprties in the Dáil is that they are all Irish and Id say patriotic. Id certainly never believe that anyone representing any party there is less patriotic than I am.
    And all are republican.
    With just about every pillar of Irish pride torn down……Church (which has been quasi monarchy), finance institutions, politics and the Nation itself…….people of good will (whether FF, FG, Labour or Sinn Féin) should as republicans have a forum to discuss the future of the Nation and our Republic.
    The SDLP as republican and patriotic as any of their mouthy detractors should be part of that conversation as indeed should anyone else in the North.
    We are at a ground zero….unless of course theres even worse to come……but at some point the fightback starts. Paradoxically the more pain first suffered galvanises us more.

  • Pod

    Possibly, I’m just wondering. Pretty definitive statement if in actual fact he isn’t speaking to them and it’s merely his opinion.

  • Mick Fealty

    Pod,

    Not everyone believes there’s a war on between SF and Slugger…

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Munsterview,
    For someone like me who saw the Official IRA/Official SF/Republicans Club/Workers Party/Democratic Left up close and personal in West Belfast in the 1970s and beyond……it always strikes me that their entryism……..oops I must mean merging……with the Irish Labour Party…….remains a curious and under-scutinised event by the Media.
    Not that Id expect too many journos from RTE to scrutinise the Workers Party/DL types.
    I have a latent hostility towards them which is only now evaporating. Gilmore seems reasonable enough but it does seem the DL tail wags the Labour dog.
    Of course its generational. Most Labour folks now are untainted by the past. As FG and FF in the 1960s. As SF will eventually become……although the selection of Pat Sheehan to replace Adams in West Belfast is a curious back to the future statement.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    For the record…I tend to believe that there is. With the proviso that its a very one sided war due to SF not actually engaging with Slugger.
    As with the DUP its a good tactic. They couldnt possibly win any agrument here due to the sniping theyd get on all fronts.
    There IS a Slugger Concensus.

  • Anon

    Sinn Fein have been known to talk while war rages, Mick.

  • Neil

    Very interesting stuff.

  • Anon

    Maskey’s replacement in City Council is just a sick choice.

  • Mick Fealty

    It’s an activist blog. Fair enough as far as it goes, but it shades a far bit of context into the background. Not least that Politico is Vincent’s own project.

  • pippakin

    Sinn Fein needed to keep a relatively low profile and let a very able candidate shine, since all the party could do is tarnish the gloss. The SF rep should win, he has put a lot of work in and deserves it.

    The other thing is if people are going to go back to the year dot they might remember that all the movers and shakers of those days are gone. Each new generation brings its own ideas and so it should.

    Any attempt to paint Labour and SF as cheese and cheese will likely put many people off both!

  • Munsterview

    Not too much in that Fitz that I would disagree with !

  • JR

    Does anyone think that the bailout will cause a rise in nationalist sentiment in the south and contribute to a swing to SF?

  • medillen

    http://www.sinnfein.ie/contents/19595

    A well thought analysis and reinforces some the points I made earlier about this strategy.

  • Neil

    I thing there will be a swing towards SF, but not so sure the bailout or Nationalist sentiment specifically will be responsible for that. More likely a realisation that the shinners could do no worse than the current crop, coupled with a deep and understandable hatred of same.

  • drumlins rock

    Definately yes, and definately no.
    There is going to be alot of change in the south over the next 5-10 years, having piled nationalism, europeanism, capitalism and socialism into the one party, which then played on the worst traits of each before blowing it all, there is no obvious direction to go in as the failure has been associated with each of them. As the old saying goes, patriotism is the last defence of the scoundrel.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Logically from 1973 we have had a rise in European sentiment at the expense of nationalist sentiment. Its impossible to pass a hotel or whatever without seeing that European flag.
    A peculiar irony of watching An Taoiseach being interviewed in his office is the sight of the European flag.
    Who exactly does An Taoiseach serve? A good start for the new man/woman might be to throw it out.
    As the rise of European sentiment was based on Europe giving us loads of money, then it follows that nationalist sentiment will rise as Europe is seen to be taking money off us.
    Of course we are not as bad as Germany between the Wars but there might be a parallel in the rise of very extreme nationalism in the 1930s. Part of that was because of resentment at punitive reparations and of course the bankers.
    Can the same happen here? Well no….the crisis is not as big and we have a democratic legacy……but the culture of blaming Europe seems to be catching hold.
    When all politicians are currently avoiding Miriam O’Callaghans passionate question “why not tell them we cant pay it back……..banks who leant irresponsibly are as much to blame as irresponsible borrowers……why not just default?”….then Id submit that idea will take hold. …..especially in the hot house atmosphere of an election.

  • Archie Noble

    FJH, I always appreciate your posts as thoughtful and informed I do have some comments though.

    “FF is not merely about cronyism.” Quite so.

    “It has a “state employee” vote which will fall to Labour.” Most of that group I know will now go to SF, mind you they are young (ish) by which I mean under 40.

    “It has a “small business in small town/auctioneer/publican vote which is now vulnerable to FG.” I think SF might have more appeal than you think. I think Munsterview has explained some of the reasons why recently.

    “And it has a “republican semi constitutional” vote which is vulnerable to SF.” Yes, surely a given.

    I think we are at one of those moments of change in Irish politics.

  • Munsterview

    Fitz and others ! First off a health warning, I am writing as a Sinn Fein supporter so the objectivity of the following piece will have to be taken in that light.

    Re the Sticks, I was there and wore that particular T shirt. However it was then also prior to the Provo split the Republican Movement per se so I am still reluctant to go into certain aspects of what they were up to.

    Even political insiders do not still know the full extent of the sticks penetration of media, universities, unions etc. I was approached to join as I had by then established a record and profile inside an trade union and I was on a branch exectuive. In an effort to keep me from jumping ship to the Provos, I was given some of the game plan and the levels of their penetration by a leading figure in the young guard, who was later to die in tragic circumstances defending workers rights against scab strikebreakers.

    Not all aspects of the overt organization of that time is known even to current political insiders. However the real story is there were the covert cells operating inside universities, trade unions, Government sections, County Council staffs etc. During the seventies RTE was simply known in government circles as ‘Sticky Land’

    These never came out in the open, their very covert nature added to the sense of elitism and had the rug not been pulled from under the Sticks feet by the Provo split it would have very interesting indeed as to how far that penetration would have got and what results it would have produced.

    Oops nearly landed Mick in it with a name ! I will rephrase this, a leading Southern academic figure brought back a truckload of Communist Literature from Moscow, no one in the University wanted it yet every time it came to a vote, because of cells and string pulling, the university staff just could not get a decision as to what to do with the books.

    I had a close personal friend for some years prior to his death who had been on the exectuive of the British Communist Party for quite a few years and had served at top levels in the party for most of his adult life. He retired to Ireland and died here. During his final illness I met several of his former comrades and sat in on discussions and reviews of what could have been and should have been.

    The one thing I quickly learned is that key figures in the leadership of the Republican Movement had been got onside by the KGB and were co-operating in unison with a pan European project. In every one of these countries the KGB wanted revolt and unrest to engage the local working and middle class discontented but they most definitely did not want revolution, but, as another former central committee put it,…..” to keep the pot simmering nicely but not to let it boil over “!

    ‘Fund raising’, ‘funny money’, arms smuggling, KGB collusion and Goodness only knows what else are in those old Garda HQ C3 files. Even if Eamonn makes the grade as Taoiseach, I am sure that what the late John Healy, journalist used to refer to as…… ‘The Permanent Government’…… of Departmental Secs, their establishment supporters and their likes will make their views known to Eamonn and he will be invited to read a few select files.

    In short if and when Eamon takes up the reins of of government, do not be surprised to find the same old tired State Nag, not headed for the Knackers yard but pulling the cart and all in up to the next election !

    A delicious irony is it not, in terms of power potential all the Sticks Mark 2, Mark 3, four or whatever, all their Christmases have come together in this present discrediting and seen corruption of politics and State, yet the ghosts of Christmas past will come back to haunt them from C3 Garda files if they win, shackling their radicalism.

    They will either have to openly confront their past and take the fall out or negotiate a programmed of Government with the ‘ Real Government’. Which will they most likely do? No bets on this one, not even with Turgon if he is so inclined !

  • pippakin

    In many ways politics here has never moved far from its founders It might have happened anyway but the crisis is focussing minds on what we really believe. It is a time of soul searching and change. Socialists are spoilt for choice not so the ‘conservatives’ among us, there turn will come and I suspect when it does they will be more powerful than the splintered socialists, there really isn’t room for three or four socialist parties here.

    I wish Mr Doherty luck if he doesn’t get a whopping majority some will be saying he lost!

  • Munsterview

    Archie,

    If memory serves me right Marin Ferris’s offecial Biographer is an a prominent Tralee Auctioneer ?

    As far as I know the same man also arranged a breakfast meeting, suits only for Gerry and co with the local business community.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I suppose the stae employee vote by which I mean the Co-Ops, CIE, Bord na Mona, ESB etc…..depends where that vote is located….if its near an urban centre it would go Labour or SF in a rural setting.
    Im not totally convinced of your “generational” shift but it seems a valid point……SF having less baggage and possibly more “sexy” to a younger voter while Labour appears (possibly to them) stuck with the cloth cap image.
    The auctioneer/publican vote….by which I mean that coterie which seems to run “small town Ireland” (and its partly crony) I cant see that vote going SFs way.

  • becky

    sure hes a stick.same as the rest of them

  • becky

    breakfast meetings n suits the hunger strikers n the blanket men spring to mind

  • Archie Noble

    I don’t claim any great insight on the generational shift thing FJH but for what its worth I was talking about Dublin. A generation ago the same sort of people would have been enthused by the WP.

    On small town Ireland, yes, I see what your saying. But, I think it is different depending where your talking about. Sometimes old loyalties and aspirations lie just under the topsoil of expediency.

  • becky

    i wish mr doherty luck…. fair play to anybody going out to vote up in thon god forsaken hole a night like that the land of turf n sheep thats all i seen init on my first n last visit

  • pippakin

    becky

    Mayo and a lot of the north is not so different!

    SF need young, capable people if they are to move forward. So do the DUP etc. All these parties are mired in the troubles.

  • Reader

    Munsterview: Redmond while very much a minority party in Kerry County Council was never the less elected chairman with cross party support because of his ability.
    Was this a measure of his ‘ability’?
    http://www.historiccoventry.co.uk/articles/s-shaw.php

  • becky

    young capable people.like the 1 just co opted onto belfast council who still hasnt went to the police about robert mc cartneys MURDER oh i forgot she was in the toilet with the other 40 odd shinners

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Revolutions…..American,French, Russian, Irish, never turn out the way the “founding fathers” anticipate.
    Their rigid certainties are enforced forever (USA) or are re-designed (France……the Fifth Republic) for changing circumstances.
    To some extent the seeds for a divisive legacy were already sewn in 1916…..as clearly Connollys vision was different to some others.
    So rather like Jacobins and Girondins…..or Trotsly/Stalin the legacy is fought over.
    If De Valeras vision of Ireland really won out…..it was temporary. The comely maidens at crossroads are more likely to be found lap dancing.
    Have we reached a crossroads ….so to speak? I suspect not yet.

  • pippakin

    becky

    Yes I had heard about that. Shameful! If SF are shielding the murderer/s of Robert McCartney they should be charged as accessories.

    But, it is also true that we have to move beyond those times and those people and in order to do that young people have to be encouraged to take part in the political process, from all sides and all religions.

  • pippakin

    FJH

    Not yet? I’m not so sure. It depends on the truth when it finally emerges. People are not rioting yet but they are waiting and it may be that some of the opinions being formed now will not be easily moved by the claims of the past.

  • pippakin

    becky

    Sorry, I meant of course if member of SF are shielding etc.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Any exit polls expected tonight?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    pippakin,
    I just feel there is more to come.
    Riots…maybe even a death. It could be that bad.
    Vandalism at TDs offices might just be a start.
    At best theres a lot of European flags to be burned. I think the EU office in Belfast gives them out free.

  • pippakin

    FJH

    I agree there is more to come but hopefully it won’t be violent.

  • Supposed party exit-poll (says Stephen Spillane’s blog)

    Pearse Doherty (SF) 33%
    Brian Ó Domhnaill (FF) 21%
    Frank McBrearty (Lab) 19%
    Barry O’Neill (FG) 18%
    Thomas Pringle (Ind) 8%
    “Fianna Fail have managed to get a good turn out according to some tallies on turnout with FF strong holds of Dunfanaghy and Gortahork have a turnout out of over 60%, while it was 55% about Donegal Town. This should favour Ó Domhnaill.”

  • Munsterview

    A warm welcome everyone for Maskeys little sister ?

  • Alias

    FF will spin second place as a victory, and it’s not a bad showing really, all things considered.

  • JR

    I’m shocked at how weak FG’s performance is. If the above exit poll is to be believed then it is a Strong vote for SF, given Pringle has split their vote.

  • Coll Ciotach

    Is there any possibility of a FF/SF coalition if labour/FG repeat this showing elsewhere?

  • pippakin

    Coll Ciotach

    I don’t care what they say now. If FF continue this way watch the change as they rush to keep what they’ve got.

  • Valenciano

    Sinn Fein would have to be barking mad to do any such thing, propping up a massively unpopular FF administration that had been turfed out by the voters. If they did that they’d get massacred at any subsequent election much as the Greens will be next time. Criticise the chucks all you like but they’re certainly not ignorant of history and the lesson of Labour in 1992 is there for anyone.

  • pippakin

    Valenciano

    If they did that they’d get massacred at any subsequent election

    Would they? maybe but I doubt it. Politics is the art of the possible, its possible, especially if FG and Labour are tied to the FF budget. For FG and Labour to have a real chance they must emphasize the difference between them and FF.