World By Storm has come to the following conclusion...
…it is very very unlikely that while the FF party has a heartbeat, so to speak, that it will enter into a unity government with FG. Indeed the very most that might occur would be a sort of reverse ‘Tallaght strategy’. And as demonstrated by FF in recent times they’re not above getting the digs into FG and the government even now in our supposed time of crisis.
Still, the Phoenix makes the point that for FF SF remains the ‘most logical coalition party’ even above and beyond a coalition with a rump LP and a ‘rag-bag of Independents’. Whether that day comes to pass remains to be seen.
It seems to me that what escapes most observers in the Republic about both Sinn Fein and Fianna Fail is that neither party thinks in single electoral terms, even if journalists and voters are both compelled to.
The thing is this Irish government’s policy (largely set for them by FF and the Troika) might just work in time for the next General Election, sufficient to save the worst damage currently on the cards for Labour in Dublin and enough to keep the pair of them well ahead of any gains FF/SF might make.
Since 2011, nothing is as predictable as it was in Irish politics. FF have made gains, but that’s just its core vote. What buoyed it up to past levels was its broad popularity amongst non politically engaged types. It won’t want to go into government until it makes headway in that territory.
And as for SF going into government, lay to one side the fact that they have the largest and most practiced oppositionalist muscle of any party on the island, I cannot see them going for anything that ties them too closely to a party they ultimately want to replace.
The rule in Irish electoral politics is that the more parties are alike the less likely they are ever likely to want to work together.
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