Fianna Fail ….Post Mahon April 3, 2012Posted by irishelectionliterature in Fianna Fáil.
Tags: fianna fail
At a recent family function, I was greeted with a gleeful “Well at least Bertie wasn’t corrupt!” from a Fianna Fail supporting relative in relation to the Mahon tribunal findings. The rest of the guests turned on him, mocked him and then quizzed him some more on his attitudes to the tribunal.
He thought Michael Martin was correct in moving to expel the various people with findings against them. “He has to be seen to take decisive action”.
Then we got the “They were all at it” line of defence followed by a critique of Enda Kenny and him still being seen with Denis O’Brien despite the Moriarty tribunal findings.
So that was it, this was nothing unique to Fianna Fail and Bertie was in effect innocent!
Funnily enough on the day before Noel Whelan had written a piece in the Irish Times “FF may shut up shop and seek to re-emerge later” which centred around The Mahon Tribunal findings and the future of Fianna Fail.
He wrote of a speech he gave at the McGill Summer School ..
The party, I suggested, might just wither, sitting out the presidential election, losing council seats in the next local election, and a few more seats in each of the next three or four general elections.
Second, I proffered that Fianna Fáil might just be subsumed into Fine Gael: a scenario that is more likely if Labour is on the Opposition benches, say after the next election.
Fianna Fáil might alternatively merge with Sinn Féin, a process that could begin as some kind of loose “popular front” type arrangement on transfers.
Finally I floated the possibility of a News of the World solution to Fianna Fáil’s plight: close up shop and seek, after a period, to re-emerge as part of some new entity.
Any of these scenarios seemed improbable last July but no more improbable than a Fianna Fáil collapse might have seemed four years ago.
All scenarios, and in particular the News of the World option, seem more probable after the Mahon findings.
There have been plenty of other Fianna Fail doom merchants about since also.
Then what comes out the other day only the first Poll taken post Mahon. A Red C Poll for Paddy Power and have Fianna Fail fallen off the face of the earth? Has it dented support?
Fianna Fail were on 15%.
A rogue poll was one suggestion…..
Then ask yourself why would Fianna Fail support fall much after Mahon?
Was there anything that we didn’t know? (by that I mean that certain people were crooked)
And I’m sure my relative wasn’t alone in Fianna Fail feeling vindicated by Bertie not being corrupt…. and sure wasn’t Michael Martin showing great leadership getting Bertie and co to resign.
Of course Swanning around with Denis O’Brien didn’t put Fine Gael or Labour in a particularly good light either.
Not a word about the way Willie O’Dea etc tried to undermine the tribunal.
Of Course the question now is can they break out of that 15% and actually grow to a Party of Power once again, because without a whiff of power they wont prosper. It’s a question I’d love the pollsters to ask, “Would you consider ever voting Fianna Fail?”. In other words how big is the ABFF vote.
“..at the next local elections, Fianna Fail would, where possible, field at least one candidate in every single local authority area under the age of 30.”
As we know one of the biggest problems for Fianna Fail is Dublin. I had a look too at the the 2009 Local elections (Where FF got over 24% of the vote , 17% in Dublin) and how first time Fianna Fail candidates got on.
In 2009 between the various Dublin Councils there were 5 first time candidates elected for Fianna Fail out of 31. (They ran 60 candidates).
Of the five, one was Aoife Brennan, daughter of the late Seamus Brennan TD.
Two were sitting councillors Eoghan O’Brien (co opted to replace his brother Daragh O’Brien) and Daragh Butler with the
other two being David McGuinness and Eamon Walsh. Not a particularly high success rate.
Trying that tactic from a far lower base is very risky and they did make a mess of their 2009 Local Elections campaign in Dublin.