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A Poor Day For The Left May 31, 2019

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.
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Elections aren’t everything but they do signal the public mood, through elected reps the Far Left get resources ,funding and an ability for many to be full time activists.

The Far Left came nowhere in the European Elections, a huge waste of resources considering in Dublin none of the far Left candidates (that stood in the Euros) even won a Council Seat. Adrienne Wallace won one for PBP in Carlow but Cyril Brennan didn’t poll too well in Donegal. Whilst Rita Harrolds posters stood out, the fact is Repeal wasn’t something that was coming up on the doors unless it was from the Pro Life side. Repeal is over and done with.

In Dublin and elsewhere certainly the Boundary changes caused issues for the Left. Aside from actual boundary changes which split territory the new LEAs were all less seats too. Where in 2014 there were many 8 and 9 seaters we had a number of 7 seaters, 6 seaters and 5 seaters. With the overall vote down and turnout in key areas down this also hampered Sol-PBP holding on to their seats.

In Dublin a number of the Left leaning Independents like John Lyons, Cieran Perry and Pat Dunne held their seats with Dean Mulligan, Sean McLoughlin and Anthony Flynn among those to gain seats.

Outside of Dublin the results weren’t great. The Left no longer represented on Limerick City and County Council. No seats in Waterford (Indeed just one Far Left candidate from PBP) ,Ted Tynan of The WP held on in Cork along with Fiona Ryan of Solidarity, Pat English of WUAG retained his seat in Clonmel, Declan Bree and Gino O’Boyle in Sligo, Collette Connolly holding on in Galway, Adrienne Wallace gaining a seat in Carlow but thats about it.

Whilst the Greens got a lot of votes , those to the left of Labour had another choice this time in The Social Democrats. I’m pretty sure that this choice was taken in many areas where voters may have previously voted for Sol-PBP.

The decline in the Sinn Féin vote added to the problems for the Left in that it was SF transfers that help elect many Left candidates in 2014 and 2016.

In 2014 there was huge anger at Water Charges and Austerity , not just that but also huge anger at The Labour Party which got voters out to vote for the Far Left. They wanted to punish Labour. This time whilst there are some really pressing issues such as Housing and Climate Change they weren’t ones that were owned or led by the Far Left. Indeed in many areas it was local issues that came to the fore, Bus Connects was one whilst in my neighbouring LEA of Firhouse Bohernabreena the poll topper was the candidate who has been seen to have been most active on the issue of a redesigned roundabout.

Talking to some candidates, they found it hard to get the numbers out canvassing. Indeed, despite not being a party member, I was asked by a number of candidates to help out on their campaigns.  There were 15 candidates running in my area, I think I had 6 that canvassed or had their team canvass my house. From talking to others involved in various parties they said that there was an apathy about the election from the start and it would have taken some really high profile rows or something unusual to get the public fully engaged. 

As for the lack of canvassing (which along with posters etc gets the election mood going) , My morning commute involves getting off the bus in Rathmines and walking down the canal to Grand Canal Street. In 2014 and 2016 (and indeed both the Marriage Equality and Repeal Referenda) each bridge was hallowed turf. The bridges at Rathmines, Leeson Street and Baggot Street particularly popular with canvassers. This time there was very little. Of the European candidates I got material from Alex White, Barry Andrews, Alice Mary Higgins and Ciaran Cuffe on this route during the month of the campaign. Of the Locals just Hazel Chu, James Geoghegan, Patrick Kinsella and Ruairi McGinley.

I attended a number of Shamrock Rovers matches both home and away during the campaign. Not once was I canvassed outside a match. In previous Local elections there has always been canvassers outside Tallaght Stadium. There were even canvassers back in the bad old days when we were playing our home games in Dalymount, The RDS, Tolka or Richmond Park.

From the results in both the Europeans and The Locals it’s not hard to see General Election seat losses for The far left. Nobody is safe.

As for the Answer?

Better cooperation between parties would be a start, no running against sitting TD’s , agreements over candidates and so on.  A broad Left platform with requirements so basic that everyone could sign up to?

Comments»

1. Tomboktu - May 31, 2019

in Dublin none of the far Left candidates even won a Council Seat.

Madeleine Johansson retained her seat for PBP and Kieran Mahon and Sandra Fay of Solidarity were elected to South Dublin County Council.

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irishelectionliterature - May 31, 2019

I meant the ones that contested the European Elections which I assumed was a way of boosting their profiles for the Locals

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2. Tomboktu - May 31, 2019

Useful clarification.

Liked by 1 person

3. WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2019

“The decline in the Sinn Féin vote added to the problems for the Left in that it was SF transfers that help elect many Left candidates in 2014 and 2016.’

Now that’s an thought-provoking point.

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WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2019

As is this:

“From the results in both the Europeans and The Locals it’s not hard to see General Election seat losses for The far left. Nobody is safe.”

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benmadigan - May 31, 2019
Jim Monaghan - May 31, 2019

“Yet their voters refused to come out for SF or went to other left-wing candidates.”. SF and the far Left lost./ Oh I suppsoe this article means the Sds and Greens. Faux radicals.

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4. 1729Torus - May 31, 2019

The Left also needs get the political economy right. When the economy is growing so rapidly as it is right now, you have to concentrate on the supply side and stop bubbles blowing up.

Failure to do so would hurt the bottom half of the population badly because of a double whammy of inflation eroding incomes followed by a severe crash and austerity. This all played out already from 2002 to 2012.

This means that leftwing parties can’t go around promising to solve problems by spending money. Brendan Howlin was suggesting the state borrow to pay for broadband, which was reckless.

This isn’t 2011 where more state borrowing was the correct response to a fundamental lack of demand in the Irish economy. Borrowing in this climate would pump money into the economy and produce inflation.

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5. An Sionnach Fionn - May 31, 2019

“Better cooperation between parties would be a start, no running against sitting TD’s , agreements over candidates and so on. A broad Left platform with requirements so basic that everyone could sign up to?”

You might be able to get SF and SWP/PBPA onto one platform but good luck getting SF and SP/Solidarity or Labour onto one.

I’m all for left-wing cooperation and have made that call myself but the reality is that the gulf between the likes of SF and SP while it may be narrow is also perilously deep in certain places.

With FG and FF dominating the right/centre-right, and with Labour closer to the centre-right than not, a plethora of parties on the left will always struggle. Plus the innate economic conservatism of Irish voters.

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Jolly Red Giant - May 31, 2019

Sinn Fein are not left-wing – and MLMD has signaled a further shift to the right since the election.

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An Sionnach Fionn - May 31, 2019

SF is clearly left of centre. How far left of centre is a matter of debate or viewpoint.

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WorldbyStorm - May 31, 2019

+1

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Pangurban - May 31, 2019

Nice to see jolly red giant breaking cover: what do you think explains the ‘ slight dip’ in the solidarity vote?

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Jolly Red Giant - May 31, 2019

Posted a long comment here a couple of days ago that for some reason seems to have disappeared

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WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2019

Still there – it’s under European Count Thread Day Four

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Pangurbán - June 1, 2019

I can’t find it despite comment below

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Aonrud ⚘ - June 1, 2019
GW - June 1, 2019

I get that as well. Not sure whether it’s my anti-tracking browser, or something on the server.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 1, 2019

Like others – I see it when I follow the link – but not when I click into the thread.

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6. GW - June 1, 2019

Can anyone point me at a breakdown of the figures, without interpretation, by age, gender, transfers etc.?

Thanks in advance.

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Liberius - June 1, 2019

Here’s a link to the Red C exit poll it has much of that information (with obvious caveats about its inaccuracies):

Click to access 378419-RTE-Exit-Poll-European-Elections-Local-Elections-and-Divorce-Referendum-le-Gaeilge-FINAL.pdf

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7. Pangurbán - June 1, 2019

How much was the poor day for the left influenced by the pro brexit stance of PBP, Solidarity and WP?

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WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2019

Probably very little. – they all shied away from being too overt about it and PBP have in fairness crafted a contradictory but not entirely incoherent response to developments (ie NI should have a say in staying in the EU). But that sort of thinking can inflect or indicate other problems of political analysis and people catch onto that.

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Jolly Red Giant - June 1, 2019

Brexit was not an issue in the local election – and Solidarity does not have a ‘pro-Brexit’ stance.

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Pangurbán - June 1, 2019

What is the position of solidarity on the departure of the uK from the EU?

Does that policy differ in any way from that of SPEW or that of the CWI?

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8. The wee nutter - June 1, 2019

I believe Brexit did have an impact – in that it dominated political coverage in the months leading up to the vote, and allowed FG, FF et al do their thing at playing politicians. That meant less time on the real issues of housing, living standards etc which should be centre – Brexit is a farce from beginning to end which allows all the worst crap to be paraded, including SF obsession with ‘Irish Unity’, this also effected the SF vote – living standards was the biggest issue for the working class and it did not seem central to politics in recent months – the establishment has reasserted itself with avengence.

If part of the Brexit debate was about the reality of why much of the post-industrial working class in Britain voted against the EU, then it would be of some use rather it is about ‘the border’ – the ultimate cul de sac of progressive politics in Ireland.

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WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2019

Except the issue of Brexit is a lot more important in regard to this island than the issue of how some in the working class voted in regard to it in Britain – which really is a problem they have to deal with in the immediate and is closed to any traction by local or European election voters in this state (and also kind of their business too since some of us don’t believe the vote was, however flawed, illegitimate), and the issue of the border in Brexit has little or nothing to do with traditional discussions/arguments/divisions about it. It is about how that functions in relation to two jurisdictions, ROI within the EU and NI within the UK and outside the EU and particularly in the context of the GFA/BA.

As to those not being ‘real’ issues, as against ‘housing etc’. Well there are workers on this island and indeed in this state and in NI who have lost jobs because of Brexit, and more who face similar in the context of a hard border or a no deal border. That’s pretty real too. It doesn’t matter if Brexit is a farce, which it is in the way it has been pursued by London, that’s irrelevant, it is the fact of what it is and what it implies that is of crucial importance and potentially massive damage. It’s not an illusion that importance or that potential damage, it’s not a diversionary construct of the right, it’s an actuality.

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Wee nutter - June 1, 2019

It is not a devisory tactic but it is a diversion – it doesn’t matter what we vote in Ireland to the trajectory of the UK leaving the EU, or if it does we can’t telll how, the overwhelming focus on this issue damaged the Left as it removed political discourse on issues the concretely effect them now, the job losses you mention are meager and do not compare in importance to other issues for workers – it is such a farce we now have a situation where you ethier meant to be lining up with Farage or the EU, it’s not class politics.

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WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2019

No it’s not a diversion and frankly it is a shambles some parties were supporting it in Ireland – a pity they didn’t think about the fact ‘we can’t tell how it works out’. As to focus removed discourse, that’s not my memory of the campaigns. The only mention in the national debates on RTE of Brexit was in the north midlands – there was little or no mention in Dublin or South – a further shambles imho that it didn’t have more analysis. Talking to people from a range of parties it didn’t come up on doors much and the idea the media would focus on supposed real issues is unlikely given there’s been a lot of focus on housing etc in the media already, unprecedented levels which is good but the idea these aren’t covered doesn’t hold water (again they were mentioned in debates etc).

As to job losses being ‘meager’ that’s both cold comfort to those it affects but it troubles me you seem to not appreciate how a no deal or hard Brexit will affect matters for workers (hence the concern in Midlands North etc).

As for class politics we can go on all day long about events not fitting easily into ‘class politics’. Well that’s not news is it? I wish we had a clear left right divide, a large mass left party, I wish we had a united ireland whether federal, reverse gfa, whatever. Or even just the status quo ante of the GFA pre 2016. World don’t care what I wish or you either which is why we work and engage with what we got.

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Pangurbán - June 1, 2019

Wee nutter you describe yourself well: job losses meagre.., a very elite view

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - June 1, 2019

+1 I’ve been made redundant a couple of times. It’s effing devastating on a personal level, and I know that’s true of most/many who lose jobs.

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9. daftar bandarq online - April 8, 2020

daftar bandarq online

A Poor Day For The Left | The Cedar Lounge Revolution

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