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Dublin South West July 31, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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A fascinating constituency (aren’t they all!). The current TDs are Paul Murphy (AAA), Sean Crowe (SF), Pat Rabbitte and Eamon Maloney (Lab). Both Labour TD’s are retiring and we also have an extra seat here with the addition of part of Templeogue and Rathfarnham from Dublin South. None of the current Dublin South TDs have moved constituency. So we will have just two sitting TD’s contesting.
The line up so far is Colm Brophy and Anne-Marie Dermody for Fine Gael, John Lahart of Fianna Fail, Pamela Kearns and Mick Duff for Labour, Sarah Holland and Sean Crowe of Sinn Fein, Francis Noel Duffy of The Greens, Ronan McMahon of Renua, Katherine Zappone Ind, Deirdre O’Donovan Ind (Ross Alliance), Declan Burke IND and I’d imagine Nicky Coules of PBP will probably run too. There may be some others yet to surface.
I’d expect Sean Crowe and Paul Murphy to get in with one of the Fine Gael candidates. The final two seats could go anyway.
John Lahart of Fianna Fail is popular in Rathfarnham and has a profile after the by-election. His problem may be that Holland, Dermody, Duffy, O’Donovan, Brophy and to an extent McMahon and Kearns are all within a few miles of each other.Still if he stays ahead of Labour and the second FG candidate he could be in with a good chance.
Katherine Zappone is unproven electorally but has a sizeable team and is out canvassing already. Her team would have learnt a lot from the Marriage Equality Campaign. She may well get a good portion of the former Labour vote in the middle class areas , whilst her work in An Cosain will reflect well on her in certain parts of Tallaght. Like most Independents she will also be transfer friendly. Will be a possible destination for former many Labour voters.
Both Rabbitte and Maloney retiring as well as the selection of two candidates would lead me to believe that in a constituency where Labour got 36% in 2011 …. they will struggle here to be in with a chance. They also won’t be getting too many transfers. Amazingly I think both seats are gone.
Deirdre O’Donovan polled well in the Locals and it will be interesting to see if being part of The Independents Alliance will help her much. Again if she gets a decent first preference the lack of party logo beside her name could keep her in the mix.
Ronan McMahon of Renua unlikely to make it unless something happens the Renua brand between now and the Election. He would probably have done better staying ‘Independent’.
Francis Noel Duffy of The Greens won’t win a seat , nor will Declan Burke. Nicky Coules will poll OK but again won’t be in the mix.
A lot will also depend on how the Fine Gael vote is split. Both polled similarly in the Local Elections and Cait Keane didn’t exactly set the world alight in the By-Election. I have an inkling that Dermody will poll better of the two. Brophy will also be sharing the Templeogue area with Ronan McMahon.
Then we have Sarah Holland of Sinn Fein who is the current Mayor of South County Dublin. She will poll well and it will be interesting to see how SInn Fein will split the constituency for vote management. If there is a surge in the SF vote she is in with a chance.
The way I see it panning out is probably 1 FG, 1 SF, 1 AAA, 1 Ind and 1 FF

The Ultimate Water Charges Quiz…….. July 30, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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Apologies but I can’t figure out how to embed this so here’s the link ….

Water Charges Quiz


This Week At Irish Election Literature July 24, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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“Support The Armstrong Workers Occupation” Posters And Calendars From Dublin Mid 1970’S

“The Republican Resistance Calendar 1990″

A Leaflet from Peter O’Loughlin who ran for Identity Ireland in the 2015 Carlow Kilkenny Bye Election

How do you break down polling for “Independents and Others”? July 19, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

One of the most frustrating thing about the polls has been the lack of detail about “Independents and Others”. We have everyone from The Catholic Democrats, Michael Lowry and Shane Ross lumped in with PBP, Renua and The AAA. There are FF,FG,Lab,SF,WUAG, Renua, PBP,UL,Social Democrats, AAA(SP),Independents Alliance all with TDs in the Dail yet we get only polling figures for 4 of these parties. We wonder , how are The Left parties doing?, Are The AAA, PBP etc making any impact?
I don’t believe it is a conspiracy by the polling companies that figures aren’t there or broken down as from what I can see they do ask.
The first poll in 2011 (A Red C Paddy Power Poll) had the following result
FF 14% ,FG 35% ,Lab 21% , GP 4% ,SF 14% , Ind/Others 12%
So at 12% it isn’t really an issue for the polling companies to break it down, it’s mostly going to be Independents and the small Left parties. As the Independent/Others group has grown in support they haven’t been able to quantify it properly. At 32% they are going to have to. The other problem of course is that the polls are all National polls. For years it was just about FF, FG and Labour…. then The WP, the PDs, DL, Greens and Sinn Fein have all had their own spots in the polls.
Nationally I think the AAA and PBP could probably have around 2 to 3% each. For instance in the recent Carlow Kilkenny By-Election Conor MacLiam of the AAA polled 3.28% and Adrienne Wallace of PBP polled 3.56% of the vote. Of Course Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger have also won By-Elections in the last 18 months. We are also on course to have a record number of candidates from each group in the General Election (were they to each get over 2% of the National vote they would get extra funding from the state, so I’d imagine both will run as many as they can with that aim of 2% in mind). In the 2011 General Election PBP and The Socialist Party Nationally polled just over 1% each, in the Local Elections PBP polled 1.7% and The AAA 1.2%. In the European Elections The SP polled 1.8% Nationally and PBP polled 1.5%
To accurately break down the Independent/Others group, polling would probably have to have a larger sample and be regionalised. By the nature of the smaller parties they are stronger in some places than others. The Left for instance is far stronger in Dublin than it is elsewhere. This of course would tinker with past polls, polls that track a certain pool of voters ,other methodologies and weighting factors that the polling companies have. With almost a third of the voters intending to vote for someone from this Independent/Others group, they are going to have to do something.
At a base level it could be Dublin, Rest of Leinster, Munster and Connaught Ulster. Even that wouldn’t be accurate as there would be places like Cork and Waterford where the Left is strong, there are constituencies such as Kerry and Clare where all the Independent/Others vote would be primarily Independent. It’s probably going to cost them more to do the polls but the potential subplots are there. Are the AAA or PBP more popular than Labour in Dublin? (Paul Murphy outpolled Labour in The Europeans) Are Renua or The Social Democrats doing better in Dublin than they are in Munster? Are the WP gaining support in Dublin?
There is really no ideal solution but higher samples and regionalising the polls may help.
Anyone any thoughts?

Latest Sunday Times-Behaviour & Attitudes Poll July 18, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Not sure what days it was taken (before or after the Social Democrats Launch) but bad news for FF, SF and Labour.
Fine Gael 24% (NC),
Fianna Fail 18% (down 3%),
Sinn Fein 17% (down 2%),
Labour Party 8% (down 1%).
Independents and Others 32% (up 4%)

Adrian Kavanagh reckons on this poll we would have Fianna Fail 30, Fine Gael 48, Sinn Fein 23, Labour Party 7, Independents and Others 50.

So an FF, FG government?

The possible impact of the Social Democrats July 17, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

The Social Democrats were launched during the week, will they do well and what possible electoral ramifications are there should they do well?
I think they could be the final part of Labour getting totally and utterly hammered at the polls. There were probably quite a number of people come the campaign that were prepared with a heavy heart to vote Labour. They didn’t fancy Sinn Fein, The Left were too Left for them and they hadn’t forgiven FF. Also FF were beginning to rise in the polls as people finally lost patience with the Government and started to forgive FF or at least think they couldn’t do as bad a job as Fine Gael and Labour, that FF had more political sense and wouldn’t have made some of the various recent cutbacks we’ve seen. The new party will appeal to them.
Should they get decent candidates in Dublin Bay South and Dublin Rathdown, Its formation has more than likely scuppered any hope of a TD for The Greens.
For all those centre and centre left voters who felt abandoned by Labour and Fianna Fail but couldn’t vote Left or Sinn Fein, now they have a realistic option other than voting for an Independent.
They may also get those voters who were going to hold their nose and vote for Sinn Fein.
One other thing going for The Social Democrats is that they only have one TD in Dublin. It’s in Dublin where they are likely to make gains and also where there are already a lot of ex Labour people that were elected as Councillors last year.
Despite the poll ratings for Independents, it’s highly unusual for someone to be elected as an Independent without being a Councillor or a high profile person like Mick Wallace. Of our Current Independent TDs all bar Donnelly, Fitzmaurice and Wallace were either Independent or Party TDs or Councillors prior to being elected. Hence the Independents Alliance in that whilst you may be an Independent you are also associated with Shane Ross or John Halligan, that you have a wider sphere than just the constituency.
I was down the West recently for a week and one of the things that struck me was the vastness of many of the constituencies. For instance in Galway West it would be very difficult for an Independent Councillor based in say Oranmore to get a profile in Connemara and vice versa. An Independent Councillor elected in Listowel would find it hard to get any kind of profile in Killarney and so on. Hence the Councillors joining Renua or The Ross Alliance.
The Social Democrats now provide another vehicle for Independent Councillors to increase their profile.
So far their launch, social media and website have been very professional, I’d hazard they will get over 10% in the first opinion poll ….. and make many a councillor regret joining Ross or Renua!

This Week At Irish Election Literature July 17, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.
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Fianna Fail 1981 General Election song. I’m told that it was probably sung by Cathal Dunne, nephew of Jack Lynch. Cathal represented Ireland in the 1979 Eurovision. Apologies for the quality in the second half of the song especially.

alas no audio for this.. From 1937 lyrics to “The Good Ship Fine Gael”An Election Ballad sung to the tune of “The Glen of Aherlow

From a series of pamphlets The “Republican Lecture Series” , “Election Interventions -Historical and Contemporary” published by Sinn Fein Education Department in the mid 80’s

The Spring 2015 newsletter from Independent Community Solidarity Councillor Brendan Young

and finally A leaflet with details of the Labour Party 1916 Centenary Commemoration Programme .

Politics and policy, the economic consensus of the 2000s … and what of the Progressive Democrats? July 15, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics.

Pat Leahy in the SBP has a piece on how policies across the 2000s and before and their impact on the present. But he also argues that the personalities of the politicians implementing them is of considerable significance. For example…

…there’s another part of the explanation for Ireland’s bust that we are ignoring. It is a consideration of not just the measures, but also the men.
Their personalities, inclinations and characters are also a vital part of the story in explaining to ourselves how we got to where we are, in revealing the true history of our recent past.
These three men, McCreevy, Cowen and Ahern, through their choices and actions (and sometimes inaction) shaped more than any others, the politics of the Ireland of today.
They had a profound affect on the lives of Irish people. But what governed those choices?

And he suggests:

Character is constant. Policy is always tradeable – in a negotiation, and especially in a crisis. Fianna Fáil cast away two decades of commitment to low personal taxation at the dawn of the crisis with scarcely a thought. It was the characters and personalities of these three men that most explains the ways they changed modern Ireland.

And he continues:

The dogged determination of Eamon Gilmore (however you judge what his government actually did) and the even temperament of Enda Kenny were what kept the current coalition together in the firestorm of its early years.
McCreevy’s Calvinist work ethic and determination to foster it in society through his economic and fiscal policies were more a product of his spartan upbringing (his mother was widowed when he was four years old) than they were connected to any political philosophy or party policy. His brash budgets reflected his risk-taking nature.

In fairness he isn’t saying that policy or ideology are unimportant.

But, an earlier point he makes seems to me to suggest that personality, above and beyond perhaps an ability to connect with the electorate (not something that McCreevy was ever tested upon), are perhaps less important than he is suggesting.

He notes that:

It is an inconvenient fact that the policies advocated by the alternative governments then available to Irish voters – especially in the final, catastrophic period of the boom either side of the 2007 general election – were very similar to those followed by the Fianna Fáil-led administrations.
That does not excuse these men from responsibility for sure; but it does suggest that we are only seeing part of the picture when we examine their policies. There is a political context to their actions that is often lost.

And it’s a much broader context than is sometimes admitted. It was, after all, the OECD and the EU who supported, indeed cheered, the Irish economic approach, such as it was. Low regulation, low personal taxation, high indirect taxation. Is it seriously to be believed that had Michael Noonan led an FG/LP coalition in the 2000s matters would have been radically different? This site has often pointed to the LP’s bizarre election policy in 2007 of cutting personal taxation yet further. And this, I think, undermines the argument that there was something specific to Fianna Fáil’s stewardship of the economy that led to the crisis. How could there be given that all the ‘main’ parties wanted in on it.

One other thought. Note how the Progressive Democrats have neatly managed to remove themselves or be removed from this picture of the not that distant political past – despite their being in government and in coalition during the 2000s. Their political influence, where is that analysed? Where are its noxious outcomes assessed? What of their policies? Again policies that can effectively be summed up under that heading above the ‘Irish economic approach’.

Polling in Dublin South West July 11, 2015

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

A mock Ballot paper I was polled with today in Dublin South West. The lady who called worked for an agency so she didn’t know who the poll was for. It wasn’t the Greens anyhow as their candidate wasn’t listed.
Age, gender, attitudes to the EU, How the EU handled Greece, who I voted for in 2011 and if things were getting better were other questions asked.

The Democratic Left / Labour merger and after… July 7, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, The Left.

Not quite sure why but the other day the memory of the Democratic Left/Labour merger of the late 1990s came to me. Perhaps it was on foot of Gilmore announcing his retirement and the possibility of Rabbitte following him. Whatever the reason I managed to find my way there, not as a supporter but simply curious as to show.

What I remember most vividly are two things. One was the numbers attending. Lower than I’d have expected given that DL came from a WP background which could put quite a lot of members and supporters in the field, and that Labour was a component. But above and beyond that was the long faces of people I had known in DL, and talking to a few who were there subsequently I wasn’t alone in that observation.

I suspect for all the rhetoric from the platform of new beginnings (not agendas – natch!) it must have struck home that this was a full stop for many, that entering the embrace of the LP was never part of the plan. Well, not for most, but perhaps a core were happy with it. Even given what I would regard as significant flaws in DL I was never entirely convinced that a merger made any great sense. The nature of the two organisations and their histories were so different.

But… then again, ideologically what was in it? Functionally they were close enough.

And yet the returns too, were so minimal. And I’m not the only one to wonder what the effect was in terms of more radical working class vote and where it went subsequently. The merger opened a space that others were able to enter and monopolise. And not just on the left, albeit there had been changes taking place one way or another. Sinn Féin, the Green Party, and so on, were able to expand their support.

That none of this was foreseen, or at least not talked about, is curious. But then perhaps by then DL had been beaten back from being a fairly thin organisation to start with to being essentially localised around the TDs. What always struck me was that there was never any serious effort to consider why that might be and what might be done to alter that. But then again, given that localisation perhaps the way in which what might have been a most inconvenient set of questions were not addressed is unsurprising.


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