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Wise after the event… a November election? February 28, 2016

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Cliff Taylor in the Irish Times wrote a week or so ago that:

Last August I spoke to someone in the political system who put the case – from the point of view of the Government parties – for calling a November general election. The budget would be just over. The Government would have a reasonable chance of controlling the agenda. And it ruled out the prospect of surprises – those events that inevitably come out of the blue – or a change in the economic backdrop.

Easy to say now, was the thought that struck me. And in truth it is easy to say. As it happens the mood music did not improve for the government, but I wonder did it disimprove much either. There had been problems and issues, no question – floods, an increasing focus on housing, etc, but not one’s that particularly sunk the Coalition. Rather perhaps it was the sense of more of the same, that the same problems persist, that has hurt them.So how would earlier have helped much there? That said the length of the campaign – the effective campaign – once November was reached and passed was another matter. And here Taylor echoes Stephen Collins writing in the same paper:

But there is something else, too, and it is one of the reasons why the campaign seems so flat. The parties have all had their plans prepared since the autumn. But the world has changed. We are hearing November election speeches being delivered in February. Nobody has been addressing the changed world economic backdrop, or the nerves that sent markets crashing. It’s not in the script. So they all just plough on, unveiling a series of election promises which may or may not be affordable, trying to mix stability with a steady trickle of goodies.

On another matter Taylor wrote, criticising the government parties for tax cut promises (and FF too, and oddly criticising SF for tax increases – presumably because we’re now just okey-dokey tax rate wise!):

The second problem with the emphasis on tax cutting is that the deficiencies in our public investment levels have been clearer and clearer in recent months. The best example is in social housing. But we also saw the impact of the floods, and ongoing questions about investment in healthcare, from primary care to hospital beds and education. Here the election debate seems to consist more of rows about who did what in the past than of coherent planning for the future.

Actually, for the poor benighted voter there was a strong element in that of suggesting that the later date for the campaign was better because it has allowed those very issues to come into sharper focus. But if he seemed conflicted perhaps it was because there was no clear right way from his perspective. Tax cuts bad. Tax increases bad. The best he seemed able to hold out for was… that…

…the uncertain economic times push support back to the option of “more of the same” in the last, crucial, few weeks?

Er… not so much from where we stand this weekend!

Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week February 28, 2016

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.
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Clearly a lot of the Sindo stuff was written before the results came in, and so the real comedy/stupidity is likely to come next week. Having said that, there is this.

There’s no doubt Adams must have a certain intelligence, the kind that makes you a good strategist for a terrorist organisation and a peace process. But watching over the last few weeks, the only real conclusion you come to is that he is, in certain ways, a bit of a bimbo. So it was certainly an enormous mistake for Sinn Fein to pay along with the presidential-style campaign.

Whatever Gerry Adams is, this is ludicrous.

And Jody Corcoran has drawn the obvious conclusion from the results.

The origins of the divide between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are more profound than those which emerged after the civil war.

Historians have argued it goes back further than that, to the different traditions linked to the arrival in Ireland of Anglo-Norman and new English to clash with the ‘native’ Gaelic people.

Fianna Fail is the embodiment of that native spirit; it is entwined in the DNA of our people. In a way, Fianna Fail is Ireland and Ireland is Fianna Fail.

Mental.

There’s nothing as old as yesterday’s election billboard… February 28, 2016

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Election 2016 – Day Two of the Count – Open Thread February 28, 2016

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And so it continues. And it looks like it’s going to be a very very long day. So far not bad for the left, and some potential gains in the next twenty four hours still on the cards – but it still is disheartening to see how FF have come back. Can’t see a threat to M. Martin’s leadership any time soon. One E. Kenny though…

One thing that is very clear is that an enormous amount of money was wasted on pre-election and campaign polling by everyone. Sure, everything was hedged in caveats – and yet those caveats weren’t sufficient. So much action in Irish politics, in this state at least, takes place in the individual constituencies. Lucinda Creighton gone. A GP, perhaps two, TDs in the Dáil. And the limitations of national polling – the SDs so far only returning the TDs they had (bet they’re sorry they didn’t establish themselves earlier – pre local elections would have been perfect). AAA-PBP doing well, maybe an extra two seats in contention. All the Independents4Change people reelected. Maureen O’Sullivan making it back. Labour shattered but not gone. SF consolidating in a way that on any other day would be remarkable but somehow in the context of all else doesn’t quite seem it.

Last time we saw a structural shift – this time – perhaps not so much, other than the partial rehabilitation of FF. But that’s a pretty big shift.

And more to come.

There’s no such thing as a CLR candidate… February 28, 2016

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…needless to say. Well, there might be a few actually – from various parties! But one who is still hanging in there this evening is in Cork South-Central. A few years ago at a very quiet CLR evening Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire was one of those who was there. He’s not doing half bad. A sound guy. Fair dues to him and the best for tomorrow.

Renua? February 27, 2016

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No seats? One seat? Anyone care to hazard a guess. And – oddly enough – linked to that, what of the GP? Another seat? I’ll say nothing about parties closer to home for fear of jinxing matters!

Ignore the guff about FG and FF not working together… February 27, 2016

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…at least do if you believe this analysis. The IT suggests that:

Some Ministers acknowledge that everything must be done to provide the country with stable government – which means an arrangement with Fianna Fáil – even if that means sacrificing Kenny as leader.

Still, if the following is accurate it shows a complete detachment from political reality on the part of both FG and the LP:

They expected to wake up this morning, and with the wind of 60 Fine Gael TDs, 10 to 13 Labour deputies and a clutch of Independents at their back, announce they were proceeding to form a government.

This may sound odd, but I can’t help but feel that proof of that is the election of a Green Party TD in Dublin Rathdown. Long a bastion of Fine Gael (and Fine Gael’s more populist shadow – one S. Ross) to see even there the distaste (I could put it more strongly) with this government and its parties manifest in that relatively polite and constrained dissent is educative.

Prepare for the reverse reverse Tallaght Strategy if FF win more seats than FG February 27, 2016

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Something some are now saying seems very likely. Jesus. The Empire strikes back.

Isn’t there something oddly old fashioned about this… or perhaps we’re back to the future. February 27, 2016

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From the IT live blog.

Mr Martin smiled broadly as he was hugged and embraced by women while men stuck out to their hands to shake his hand and congratulate him on his campaign which looks like seeing Fianna Fail substantially increase its number of TDs from the 21 it had at the dissolution of the last Dail.

Speaking of old fashioned, wasn’t the exchange between Rabbitte and Shortall something else. I had to go check, but she did indeed only sit out one FG/LP budget (no marks for Rabbitte saying otherwise). And the bitterness from some of the LP camp is a sight to behold.

And lo, word spreads about FG/FF…

Another projection February 27, 2016

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This from Irish Polling Report. Again we’ll see.

Apologies, I put up an earlier projection. Here is the correct one…

FG 49
FF 40-41
SF 27-28
LP 8-9
AAA 6
SD 3-4
GP 2
Re 0-1
OTH 20-21

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