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That SF vote… February 28, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Matt Cooper in the SBP during the campaign asked an interesting question, what if people don’t care about what he terms ’SF’s violent past’? He tried to contextualise this with FF’s problems in relation to Ahern and dig-outs, and noted that for all that ‘it did not inhibit his return to power in 2007’.

And now we see with the more than partial rehabilitation of FF – and I am very much looking forward to seeing the overall vote share, well not very much looking forward, indeed not at all, but I’m curious – that the past and the present can be two very different places politically.

And he argues:

‘The ’Slab’ Murphy connection has some potential to damage SF in the coming weeks, most especially when he is sentence but the Central Criminal Court on February 26, election day.

Or will it? Is it possible that the portion of the electorate already inclined towards voting for SF simply won’t care, regarding it all as irrelevant to the issues about which they care?’

I’m tending to the view that most of those who will vote for SF will do so regardless, and those who won’t won’t. I think there’s a softer ground out there of people who will be more rather than less likely to vote SF once Adams takes a less prominent role, but that softer ground is of variable and difficult to determine expanse and therefore as it stands it may not be hugely to the party’s benefit to bid him farewell just yet.

But it is clear that even though it is now moving towards a quarter of a century since the cessations there is no will to shift too far beyond a discourse in relation to SF which is one typified by hostility. I was surprised how Adams on the TV3 debate didn’t push back more strongly against M. Martin’s line on knee-cappings and so on, not least by pointing out that it was Martin’s own government and own former leader, which forged ahead with talks that brought about a situation where such events are now in the past, and that he himself and others with FF and others had taken considerable steps precisely in order to ensure that. It would also have been handy to make the point that some sort of post-conflict commission was a necessity precisely to engage with this and give people their voice.

Again, the polls do not suggest that the debate changed things an iota (or if they did it was perhaps to afford SF slightly greater support). The decline in the SF vote during the campaign I’d hazard was more about the softness of the headline vote and a retreat to a core. But a core that has put on considerable percentage points since 2011.


1. gendjinn - February 28, 2016

Willie O’Dea just did himself proud with his “savaging” of SF just now on RTE. SF’s position on water charges rapidly devolved into Adams in the IRA, Slab Murphy…. it was brilliant. I thought I was watching Scrap Saturday! (even though it was a radio show).


2. CL - February 28, 2016

Sinn Fein, led by Adams, has has increased its share of the vote by 50% since the last G.E. Apparently those at Independent Newspapers calling for his ouster because he allegedly impedes Sinn Fein’s advance are in favour of even greater Sinn Fein progress.
Its doubtful if Slab Murphy had any effect on those who voted for,e.g. Pat Buckley in Cork East,-a solid working class candidate.
But Sinn Fein’s hankering for respectability may have influenced those who gave 2,000 first preferences to AAA/PBF’s Leonardi Roche in the same constituency.
In Adams’ constituency of Louth Sinn Fein has received almost 30% of the first preferences, almost 20,000 votes, and will now have two TDs from that constituency.

Liked by 2 people

3. fergal - February 28, 2016

The media obsession for sf and its idea that without adams sf would do even better can easily be thrown back at it. No other party came under such a sustained attack during the campaign from the media. The aaa/pbp were largely ignored. It’sas if the msm can only do ‘politics’ if it’s ff/fg and lab only.


EWI - February 28, 2016

Well, that’s where all the contacts (personnel going both ways) lie, after all.


4. EWI - February 28, 2016

SBP this morning reports ‘pressure’ on FF-FG national government… but from where, apart from the mouths and pens of the corporate media, isn’t made clear

Please, please, let Labour not get seven seats.


Aonrud ⚘ - February 28, 2016

It’s down to O’Ríordáin in DBN to make 7 now, isn’t it? That count’s going to keep us waiting, it seems…


ThalmannBrigadier - February 28, 2016

Sadly Ged Nash is likely in Louth as well.


Jolly Red Giant - February 28, 2016

Its looking more like O’Riordain will lose – but jaysus it will be annoying to see Nash came back from the dead.

The LP have managed to win most of their seats from completely lost positions
now – Nash


5. Jolly Red Giant - February 28, 2016

I have made this point already –

The ‘under performance’ of SF was down directly to their approach to the politics of this period.

SF campaigned for a ‘fair recovery’ – FF began campaigning on ‘fairness’

SF refused to back the boycott of water charges and claiming that only SF in government could abolish water charges – FF said they would abolish charges.

SF said they wouldn’t refund those who paid the water charges – FF said they wouldn’t refund those who paid the water charges.

SF said they wouldn’t abolish the USC austerity tax – FF said they would.

SF spoke in generalities about most issues – and FF galloped up on the inside and yanked the jersey off of their backs as they were going past,


Gewerkschaftler - February 28, 2016

I hope that SF consequently learns a lesson and gets the message to stay well to the left of FF.


6. roddy - February 28, 2016

no other party faced a media onslaught and total bias against it on RTE which no other party ever will experience.Putting that out and out count Paul Williams on the late late a week before polling and allowing him tosay drug dealers and criminals would vote SF was pure scumbagerry,That SF got the vote and seats they got in the face of this was remarkable.A banker lecturing Mary Lou was presented as an ordinary citizen (a complete set up by RTE) Objective oservers described it as the worst they had ever seen.

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EWI - February 28, 2016

The Slab Murphy ‘coincidence’ of being sentenced last week was followed by elements of our intrepid media having to be warned away from a polling station:



7. eamonncork - February 28, 2016

And the problem is that while those who were going to vote for SF anyway probably don’t pass much heed, I think this kind of blackguarding hurts the party transfer wise. Look at Galway West where Trevor O Clochartaigh looked a cert at one stage before being overtaken by a FG candidate who started off well down the field. And Paul Hogan might be overhauled by one of the reanimated duo of Penrose and Bannon yet in Longford-Westmeath.
When you get Morning Ireland on the eve of an election asking a party leader what he’s doing to solve a thirty three year old murder, it’s clear that not only do normal rules not apply but they will never apply. A representative of ISIS would have a better chance of getting fair play.


Gewerkschaftler - February 28, 2016

The bias is indeed amazing when you don’t experience it every day – my brief encounter with RTE this election has left me wanting less.

To the point of none at all.


8. irishelectionliterature - February 28, 2016

Spent the day in CityWest as part of the Zappone team scrutinising ballots (of which more at a later date). It was discernible the amount of votes that were FF/FG/Lab/Renua and respectable Independents and totally lacking in transfers to SF. Those transfers wouldn’t have made a difference in the Dublin South West result (which hopefully should stay the same) but has made a difference elsewhere.
That said I also think some of it may be to do with the candidate themselves, for instance Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire was able to get over the line while some others weren’t.


Jolly Red Giant - February 28, 2016

There is a much more defined class basis to the transfers – big bump in transfers between FF/FG representing a change in that the wealthier sections were voting along class lines and ignoring the traditional FF/FG divide and transferring to keep out anything to the left of these two parties.


Jolly Red Giant - February 28, 2016

Meant to say – in working class areas the transfers came back to the left. In Limerick for example the AAA took the largest proportion of O’Dea’s surplus (followed by SF) and these were coming from the boxes in working class communities.


irishelectionliterature - February 28, 2016

Agree and this nonsense of people not voting for FG and FF in government. The vast majority of papers i saw with FG also had FF on them


9. roddy - February 28, 2016

If it’s possible snobbery is more prevalent in urban areas and middle class “solidarity” much stronger.


10. Mick Hall - February 29, 2016

There may well come a time when Tom Murphy is viewed in a totally different way, after all he wouldn’t be the first person who took on the British state and went from zero to hero. A man who helped scatter the British cabinet under the cabinet table, and helped to organise the destruction of large sections of London’s financial districts, deserves better than the drivel which is wrote about him today.


11. roddy - February 29, 2016

Tom Murphy was given 18 months for failing to complete tax returns for a 9 year period,his tax being calculated at 4000 per year.Penalties were added which vastly increased this to something like 150k.Compare his treatment to those in the golden circle.


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