Presidential Election Bulletin… July 31, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.
It’s very difficult to assess the situation in the Norris campaign. In part, and reading comments elsewhere, one gets a sense that there’s a remarkable animosity towards his very candidacy. At the same time there’s also the issue of why at least three people have left his campaign at this juncture and over this issue.
How much clear space he can put between himself and it is of crucial importance, or at least how much can be clearly explained in a manner that is satisfactory to his potential electorate.
A lot comes down to who was told what and when.
If this was something that was raised but not seen as an issue it’s one thing. If it wasn’t then that’s another.
There’s also tactical and strategic issues here. This wasn’t something that could possibly be unexpected. At some point someone somewhere would release this information and one wonders whether the response to that eventuality was thought through.
Norris appears to be hoping to continue forward, and it’s ironic, in some respects his chances of making it to the ballot paper looked particularly good this week – albeit FF seemed less likely to give any support. It’s worth noting just how difficult it has been for him to get anywhere within a sniff of the ballot paper. In that respect it’s clear that the largest parties effectively closed ranks to keep him out of contention – the Galway example merely being the most pointed.
Even now it’s possible that all this will be another step on the road. But it’s become an increasingly bumpy road. Then again to have got this far, with the earlier controversy, is in its own way quite an achievement and that Norris should, in the most recent polls be the most popular candidate is quite something.
More broadly the contest is pretty dull. Still no sign of an SF candidate, nor of an Fianna Fáil one. But then, why is it such a surprise? This is, in a way, the phony war stage of the campaign. When it kicks off, once we know who is standing… well… telling in its own way as to the shape of contemporary Irish politics. The qestion will be whether Fine Gael can leverage their political predominance into a successful candidacy, or whether even in its currently weirdly emasculated state Labour can do likewise. In a field without Norris, or with a seriously weakened Norris candidacy both those outcomes become more possible.