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A generation of Independents may be on the way out… November 7, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The thought struck me recently that some of the independents may be on their last lap. Now this isn’t due to their wanting it to be, but consider that a raft of them have been in the Dáil two, in some instances three or more terms. And age wise a number of them are reaching their mid to late sixties.

Those who have achieved government office are in a peculiar situation. It has always seemed to me that once a politician arrives at that point often they seem to lose interest subsequently in the cut and thrust of parliamentary politics. And while it is far from inconceivable that – for example – the Independent Alliance, were it returned in any numbers, would join an FF-led coalition, there’s also the prospect that voters may inflict some damage on its ranks.

So roughly put, it is not difficult to see at least four or five in this category, and perhaps many more. And at the election after that there’s more again. This winnowing of the ranks has intriguing ramifications.

What is particularly interesting is the question as to who replaces those TDs? Is it FF or SF or other independents? Who is best positioned to do so? And there’s the question as to which of these independents has been encouraging successors? If there’s one thing that experience suggests it is that independents are far from great in doing that particular exercise.

And much depends on whether the independent ‘brand’ has been damaged or enhanced by one tranche of them entering government. It has been noted here before that no more can it be said that independents ‘do nothing’. Some clearly have had an appetite to do something – though to what purpose it is still far too soon to tell. Or are independents so diverse that they can, as it were, function as a sort of short hand for the electorate, radical, conservative, active in government or opposition, left wing, right wing, ‘centrist’? All the above? And therefore seeing them as a homogenous unit is completely incorrect, more they are a shifting mass that has many different and contradictory aspects that are defined more by their immediate location and orientation than by a broader dynamic?

That could be quite a strength in the future.

And the oddity of the polls is that the hit taken by Independents in general has been much lesser than might have been expected. This dovetails with a thought that was put to me by someone that this government is utterly characterless, that it raises no strong passions either for or against. The person I was talking to wondered if this was a function of a lack of interest, or rather a disillusion, with politics. That after a decade of turbulence people were fed up, particularly as in Leinster the economy is improving. That said there’s a lot more to this state than Leinster.

Do others here have that perception?


1. irishelectionliterature - November 7, 2016

Michael Harty – Unlikely to stand again? …possible FF gain
Michael Collins – Will find it hard to hold seat … possible FG gain
Thomas Pringle – SF will be going hell for leather to win back the seat they lost
Tommy Broughan – 69 now, might retire , AAAPBP , Labour, SD and FF will target seat
Finian McGrath – may struggle… ditto AAAPBP , Labour, SD and FF will target seat
Maureen O’Sullivan – 65 , will she run again? FF , Lab and SD targeting seat.
Clare Daly – Should be safe
Shane Ross – Is 67 but can’t see him retiring. Should hold seat.
Joan Collins – FF, SF and Labour will target herself and Brid Smith.
Katherine Zappone – A goner. AAAPBP, FG and SF targeting this one.
Sean Canney – Hard to know but FG and FF will be going for this seat
Noel Grealish – Should be safe.
Catherine Connolly – Will be under pressure , especially if SF run a city based candidate.
Healy-Rae brothers – Surely Danny is a goner but….
Boxer Moran – Pressure from SF, FG and FF on his seat.
Michael Fitzmaurice – Hard to know but FG will be very anxious to win back seat
Denis Naughten – Safe. Interesting to see if he rejoins FG when Enda Kenny goes.
Michael Lowry – Safe
Mattie McGrath – Did very well last time out but FG , SF and FF will be chasing seats here.
Seamus Healy – Again did very well last time out but FG , SF and FF will be chasing seats here.
John Halligan – I think his stance on the Hospital issue will help him hold on
Mick Wallace – Vote dropped considerably from 2011. SF and FF will be pressing hard here

*I included Independents for Change and WUAG here.

Liked by 1 person

Tawdy - November 7, 2016

You may have to re-adjust the John Halligan bit given his many u-turns, especially on the water fiasco!


WorldbyStorm - November 7, 2016

Great analysis IEL. A full post on same, or even that rejigged slightly would be very interesting to people. It certainly rings true!

Liked by 1 person

2. 6to5against - November 7, 2016

Could Zappone not survive as a sort of proxy-FGer?


irishelectionliterature - November 7, 2016

I doubt it. She got 6.6% of the first preference vote and got in on the final count with an unusually high number of transfers. She won’t be as transfer friendly next time out. Probably won’t get the same first preference vote either. I’m not too sure the canvassing team she had will all be back with her either.

Liked by 1 person

CMK - November 7, 2016

Also, there are a lot of very ambitious FG-ers in DSW who won’t want a proxy-FGer there but a real one. Yeah, she’s a goner and probably won’t qualify for a ministerial pension.


irishelectionliterature - November 7, 2016

Yes and there are two particular factions in FG in Dub SW that are at each others throats … the kind of rivalry that tends to benefit FG.


3. sonofstan - November 7, 2016

For some reason, since seeing the tag line this morning, I’ve been muttering ‘it takes a generation of independents to hold us back!’
I vote for Mattie McGrath as Flavor Flav.


eamonncork - November 7, 2016

And Seamus Healy as Clonmelle Mel.


sonofstan - November 7, 2016

Of course the only TD to have an actual rap record dedicated to him is from that same constituency. Mysteriously The Alan Kelly Rap has vanished….
‘He’s not old-fashioned like lino in kitchens/ And women say he looks like Brian O’Driscoll.


4. RosencrantzisDead - November 7, 2016

Perhaps its description of Kelly as ‘sound as a pound’ and a leader who would ‘stand up for Munster’ was false or deemed ‘reckless as to its truth or falsehood’.

I am just speculating though.

Liked by 1 person

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