A Labour Leadership contest May 10, 2016Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
With Joan Burton expected to step down today…What a choice they have!
It appears to be Sean Sherlock or Alan Kelly. With the Parliamentary Party shorn of any real Left Wing choices (like Labour in the UK had with Corbyn) it really is a tough job for whoever gets it.
Where do you start? They will be almost irrelevant in the Dail and surely next time around we won’t see Joan Burton (67), Jan O’Sullivan (65) and possibly Brendan Howlin (60) , Brendan Ryan (63) and even Willie Penrose (59). They should get a number of new Councillors elected in 2019 but if there is a General Election before that then they could end up with even less than the current 7 that they hold. There will be retirements and Penrose could struggle, indeed Sherlock is probably the safest of the lot.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin , Ged Nash, Kevin Humphreys would be in with a chance but hard to see too many other places that you could currently say Labour are in with a decent shout of a seat.
There is a possibility too that a change in leadership in Sinn Fein and Fine Gael will dampen any prospects of a Labour recovery.
As an aside I was watching the Assembly Election coverage and most of the Northern Sinn Fein names were unfamiliar to me. Adams and McGuinness were household names all over the Island and beyond. It’s going to be very difficult for them to chose a new leader that resonates in both parts of the Island. Mary Lou is probably the only one that would be able to carry it off. A Sinn Fein led by Mary Lou would be a slightly different beast than one led by Adams. I’m sure the media could dig up different lines of attack but I think she has the potential to further damage Labour.