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The last hurrah? Fianna Fáil in the 2000s… September 30, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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I was reading Pat Leahy’s entertaining Showtime: The Inside Story Of Fianna Fail In Power recently. It’s certainly readable albeit positioned politically on the centre right, I’d argue. And also entertaining for some mild digs against Leahy’s present place of work (IIRC he was at the SBP back when it was written). Anyhow, book notes in passing the low polling of the Fianna Fáil/Progressive Democrat coalition between 2002 and 2007. It really was remarkably poor for that part, dipping to 30% or so. And it was borne out in both the Local and European elections held in that period. Yet fast forward ten years (and more on this later in the week) and that is now FF’s operating ceiling, at least thus far since the crisis – and having fallen much lower still prior to that.

Which raises an interesting question, because during that same period FG saw its position strengthen to the high twenties – also the current operational ceiling of that party in polls.

Was this a foreshadowing of the reality the parties would come to inhabit in this decade, could it be that 2007 was the very last election (again thus far) that FF would win close to 40% of the vote? And could it be that that period demonstrated that far from the crisis initiating change, rather it built upon that change – a fracturing FF vote. Because another factor during that period, particularly in 2002 at the election that year, was the growth of right-independents in significant numbers, some from the FF gene-pool.

That being the case that must have implications for FF further down the line, if party loyalties had begun to dissolve to that degree so that now, near enough two decades later the old party blocs seem likely to remain fundamentally weakened.

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1. irishelectionliterature - September 30, 2019

That 2002 to 2007 period started with the 2002 Tribunal report which said that Ray Burke got corrupt payments, this was on top of Liam Lawlor who had served jail time .
The questions about Berties finances, Charlies death and so on. The crash on top of all that.
Once lifelong FF voters didn’t vote FF, a habit was broken.
It shows what a mess FG are making of things that FF are making a comeback in the polls.

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WorldbyStorm - September 30, 2019

Very true.

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