I thought this snippet from the end of last week worth noting… Niall O’Connor reports that Fianna Fail are calling on some of its younger veterans to run in next year’s local elections…
Ex-ministers Barry Andrews and Sean Connick are two of the highest-profile names linked with a run at the locals. Former TDs Margaret Conlon and Charlie O’Connor, as well as ex-senators Lisa McDonald and Maria Corrigan are also considering standing.
“In areas where there is no Fianna Fail representation, former office-holders will be throwing their hats in the ring. There will be a significant number put forward but there has to be a balance between the old crop and the new,” a senior source explained.
FF leader Micheal Martin has installed ex-minister John Curran as the party’s campaign director in Dublin. The former Government chief whip, who is refusing to rule out a return to politics, said that a number of deputies are “considering their options”.
In 2009 the party polled a record low of just 25%. A record that is until just two years later when it scraped the bottom of the barrel with a paltry 17.4% in the February election which saw the former senior members mentioned above unceremonially defenestrated.
The place to watch in particular will be Dublin (where IEL predicted they would back in October) where, with the exception of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Labour are currently dominant. If the polls are correct, Labour ought to yield the largest payout in terms of seat losses. With no FF TDs in Dublin, the party will want to get Dail candidates back in and on the ground before the big show down of 2015-16.
Currently FF are hovering about the 20% in the polls. That’s up on their General Election performance, but still below their relatively dismal performance in the last locals in 2009. However there is about 18 months (and another nasty budget) to go, and the trend is moving modestly upwards since October.
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