Presidential Election and Dublin West didn’t turn out too bad for Fianna Fail at all. October 30, 2011Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fianna Fáil, Irish Politics.
Tags: fianna fail, Irish Politics
On the last bus I found myself sitting amidst some aging Soldiers of Destiny, they were in good form and not just from the drink…..
When what seems an age ago Micheál Martin announced that Fianna Fail would not be fielding a candidate in the Presidential election there were shall we say misgivings among certain elements of Fianna Fail about the decision. It was a bit chaotic, Offering Gay Byrne a nomination yet stopping aspiring internal candidates such as Brain Crowley and Eamon O’Cuiv and thats before we got to the prospective candidacy of Labhrás Ó Murchú in the final few days before
nominations closed. It didn’t bode well for Martins leadership or indeed Fianna Fail.
So Fianna Fail were avoiding the cost of a Presidential election and concentrating their efforts solely on Dublin West candidate
Around the same time I had a conversation with someone who had canvassed for Conor Lenihan in February’s election. Naturally the Radio documentary “Dogfight Conor and Charlie” came up in conversation, he said if anything that the documentary had understated some of the hostility towards Conor Lenihan and Fianna Fail. A few stories of close shaves and rows the candidate got into were told. Over the course of the campaign such was the abuse that many had stopped canvassing as it just wasn’t worth the hassle. Looking back at the campaign I remarked that Fianna Fail didn’t call to my door even the once and I live in what was at one stage probably Fianna Fail heartland. I live in one of the only two LEAs in Dublin when in 2009 Fianna Fail candidates were elected on the first count.
So morale in Fianna Fail was low and Martins decision to opt out of the Presidential campaign for some made it lower.
Fast forward to the aftermath of Dublin West and The Presidential election.
The Presidential Election positives for Fianna Fail…
-Martin McGuinness, as feared by many in FF (and other places too) , didn’t hover up the Fianna Fail vote, as the campaign progressed Sean Gallagher did that.
-Fine Gaels performance caused much mirth in Fianna Fail circles. Had they gone with Dev Og or another candidate it could have been them.
– Despite the loss and his ‘Independence’, Sean Gallaghers vote was massive with 28.50% of the vote, many of it from Fianna Fail voters.
-It was the links with Fianna Fail that in part led to Gallaghers late collapse. Like many viewers I uttered the word “Bertie” when on the frontline brown envelopes and cheques were mentioned. It also brought back memories of the shady fundraising done by Fianna Fail (and other parties)
-The Gallagher vote was much lower in Dublin and other urban areas than elsewhere. Given that they have no TDs in Dublin Gallaghers low vote there shows that Fianna Fail is still more toxic in Dublin than elsewhere…..
… However the result of David McGuinness in Dublin West will be a huge boost to them. Yes he didn’t win the seat and they are now seatless in Dublin but to increase the party vote from the General Election was a massive achievement (he got a bigger percentage vote and a bigger number of votes than Fianna Fail did in February). He also didn’t do too badly on transfers either.
…. As the last two Soldiers of Destiny left the bus, after their jubilant journey. Their parting shot to each other ….. “Wait til they cut the 4 Billion in December”
Having had little or nothing to be enthused about in a long time, The morale of the Fianna Fail Grassroots is up. Fianna Fail are far from dead yet.