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Is this a surprise? January 30, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The IT is a bit breathless with the following news this morning:

Sinn Féin would be the strongest party in a united Ireland, according to new research which assesses the attitude of voters in Northern Ireland to the parties in the Republic and vice versa.

Already the most popular party in both jurisdictions, Sinn Féin’s cross-Border presence would be a significant advantage in a united Ireland, whereas the other parties – in both North and South – would struggle to appeal to the new voters that became available to them after unification.

Indeed this feels like a bit of stretch:

The research finds that Sinn Féin is best placed to navigate the politics of a united Ireland, were that to happen in the future. It is the only party that resonates with voters on both sides of the Border and is well-placed to win additional support.

Is that a bit intangible? Perhaps it might win additional support but the question would be why if it is unable to win that support already. 

In any event, surely this is hardly unsurprising given that in polling SF is so buoyant North and South. But the complexities of the situation still impinge. SF is popular in Northern Ireland within one part of a divided political environment. SF is the party with the largest polling support albeit still well below 40% in the Republic. That’s not hegemonic support, although in fairness the article doesn’t claim that it is. But well before we arrived at a united Ireland there’d be many turns in the road. The situation in 2023 is one thing. In 2031? Or 2040? Where will we stand then.

Perhaps a more immediate question is one that surely troubles quite a few, what is the situation with respect to the political climate on the island if and when Sinn Féin becomes the governing party in the Republic? How will that impact on perceptions of unity in this states and in the North? 


1. benmadigan - January 30, 2023

“How will a SF govt in Dublin impact on perceptions of unity in this state and in the North?
Irish people would expect Referendums North and South within the 1st term of office and negotiations finished within the 2nd. Full transitioning i.e. a gradual British disentanglement from NI might take a little longer


2. irishelectionliterature - January 31, 2023

The article seems to omit one massive thing… that is the raison d’etre for Sinn Féin is Irish Unity.
I suspect that once that happens the party would begin to fracture very quickly.

Liked by 3 people

WorldbyStorm - January 31, 2023

Interesting – you don’t think it could transition like the ANC?

Liked by 1 person

irishelectionliterature - January 31, 2023

On a simple level, I’d assume those SF voters North of the border are more interested in Unity than a lot of the SF voters in The Republic, who are more interested in Housing, Social Justice, Health and so on.
There’s also the fact that as Unity draws nearer it will be very much a part of other parties political platform.


WorldbyStorm - January 31, 2023

Surely yeah that makes sense

Liked by 1 person

Wes Ferry - January 31, 2023

It’s far from certain that SF would “begin to fracture very quickly” after reunification. It has been more of a movement than other parties and would see itself in the style of the less corrupted versions of the ANC. Whether that holds in this post-conflict era is another matter.

A lot would depend on how – if – it consolidates its position as a progressive party with actually achieving change that is felt by voters in housing, health, education, etc, if it gets into government.

If it becomes a Labour Party Mark 2 then it would likely fracture.


Dr Nightdub - January 31, 2023

There was a another bit of that Irish Time “North & South” poll the other day that showed housing and healthcare being way more important than Irish unity to voters on both sides of the border – including among northern catholics. Doesn’t split it down by party support though.

Liked by 1 person

3. Miguel62 - January 31, 2023

Just been looking at David Cullinane on RTE news. Image sharpened up considerably. Nice suit, white shirt, cuff links and snazzy tie. Every inch the cabinet minister in waiting!
Is this all part of the masterplan for government? Is Eoin O Broin next for a makeover?

Liked by 1 person

Alibaba - January 31, 2023

I was thinking something similar about David Cullinane and noted how well he spoke, though O Broin seems to go consciously for an unconventional look. I guess that he beats his own drum in many ways.

Liked by 1 person

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