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No permanent rise or fall… July 23, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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This is a thought worth considering. Fiach Kelly and Harry McGee in the IT writing about Sinn Féin’s recent troubles note that there are three features of Irish politics worthy of some consideration:

The first is that there is a growing wedge of voters with little loyalty to a party, individual or even a philosophy, who change their votes with each election.
The second is that local elections have tended to be the most reliable weathervane for possible outcomes of general elections.
The third is that there is no such thing as permanent or inevitable rises or falls, as Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour and the Greens have all experienced.

That last point seems to me to be very important. We’ve seen only one party in recent years see significant gains across the decades and breach the 20+ TDs barrier – that being Sinn Féin. All others, SOL-PBP, the WP, the PDs and so on never came close to those numbers. And in a way talking about Sinn Féin’s situation as being in trouble given that it remains above 20 TDs in number with 22 (despite losing two in the last couple of years) is perhaps to do it something of a disservice.

And yet McGee and Kelly suggest a bleak possible future for the party:

Yet it is the local elections that will give the party its coldest sweats. A 5 per cent fall in support nationally – dropping from 159 council seats to 81 – is bad enough. But when a detailed analysis is done of the constituencies where the party holds Dáil seats, the evidence suggests the falls are into double digits in most of them, and the party will lose most of the new seats it gained in 2016, in addition to losing one or two of the 2011 gains.

And:

Based on these results, Sinn Féin will be lucky to hold on to 15 Dáil seats. On a bad day it could be hovering very close to single figures.

Counting up the forecasts in the article on a bad day they could be down to 9 or so. But, I’d tend to the view that despite the locals they’re probably more likely to get 15 or so. And I wonder is it possible to get the ship turned around? Still, here’s a thought… one SF member notes:

“We are the third biggest party,” said one TD. “If there was to be some big kind of change it would be very obvious.”

And even after the next election, even down to 15 seats, possibly even down to 9, they would likely still be the third largest party. Now what they do with that is the question.

Comments»

1. Roger Cole - July 23, 2019

Nobody knows what is going to happen. A war with Iran, actively supported by the FG/FF alliance as it helps the US kill even more hundreds of thousands of men women and children, by allowing the planes doing the killing land in Ireland, but this time with massive economic consequences for the Irish people, could mean the parties that oppose that war doing very well in an election, with the war parties of FG and FF losing their majority.

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