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Labour in Government 1982 to 1987 and that latest poll April 19, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics.

Was looking at some old election and polling books trying to see if there were patterns in drops in Labour support after they had had spells in Government. Although no time compares to the present, the period in Government from 1982 to 1987 was pretty harsh.
In November 1982 Labour had won 16 seats with 9.4% of the vote. In 1987 it won 12 seats with 6.4% of the vote. Famously in 1987 their leader Dick Spring held on to his seat by a mere 4 votes. There were plenty of other Labour candidates too that scraped over the line.
Whilst the 6.4% looks dreadful in todays terms, it could have been a lot worse. An MRBI poll in The Irish Times a year earlier had put the party on 4% nationally. In the 1985 Local Elections they had been obliterated in Dublin ending up with just two Councillors on Dublin Corporation (They won 11 seats in 1979) and losing a host of seats Nationwide on  County Councils (It did gain seats in some areas).In the 1984 European Elections it had lost all four of its seats too.
The long and the short of it is that being in government at a ‘tough time’ cost Labour support.
A year in the latest poll shows Labour are down to 13% and thats with a huge number of people who haven’t paid the Household Charge, a property tax, water charges and lots more cuts to be introduced too.
That latest poll in the Irish Times
Fine Gael, 33 per cent (down three points);
Sinn Féin, 21 per cent (up six points);
Labour, 13 per cent (down six points);
Fianna Fáil, 14 per cent (down one point);
Green Party, 2 per cent (up one point);
Independents/ Others, 17 per cent (up three points).

Briefly looking ahead they face a really big test in the 2014 Local Elections. In 2009 they got 15% of the vote winning 132 seats. Its already likely that they’ll perform well below that and its hard to see them topping that 15% in the next few years.
Not alone that but they have the bones of 30 former councillors that are now Oireachtas members, so that’s 30 council seats with 30 co-opted councillors.
Then at the next General Election, they will be fighting with a lot of first time TDs. O their current TDs (excluding the 3 without the Party Whip) 19 are first time TDs. Your first election after winning a seat is statistically when you are most likely to lose your seat.

Back to that poll and Sinn Fein must be delighted.
The 2009 Local Elections were poor for Sinn Fein and made worse by the subsequent desertion of a number of their councillors. Its all changed now and the Local Elections will provide Sinn Fein with a great chance of winning a seat on every council in the Country, making them an even bigger threat at the next General Election. I’ll expand in detail on their chances and prospective targets at a later date.

Fine Gael drop 3%, no surprise given the fiasco over the Water charges. In fact I thought they may have dropped even more.
Fianna Fail at 14%, down again. If they can’t make hay from the Household Charge and Water Charges fiasco when can they?

Why do they continue to mention the Greens and yet we still get the ULA lumped in with Independents/ Others. The Left may be that 3% gain but we honestly don’t know.

So not much of a post Conference bounce for Labour.

Its Frankfurt’s way or pepper spray April 14, 2012

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

Saw this and couldn’t resist….


Via the brilliant Oireachtas Retort


Labour … Making a stand on Wine prices? December 2, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Irish Politics, The IMF Republic.
Tags: , ,

I love this Labour Ad from the General Election and of course with the budget approaching it’s being dug up regularly.

From the various kites flown and decisions announced, the top 3 items here of The increase in motor tax, increase in VAT and water charges are being brought in.
There may well be a cut in child benefit as that has been mentioned and possibly even an increase in DIRT tax…

Hopefully Labour will make a stand and stop the increase in wine prices.

More Labour Pre Election Ads here and here

God be with the days when it was a rise in the price of a pint that would alarm voters ……

Tommy Broughan to jump ship …. December 1, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in The Left.
Tags: ,

After Willie Penrose resigned his Junior Ministry and the Labour whip there was much speculation as to who would be next to jump ship. Step forward Tommy Broughan. Broughan is due to lose the Labour Whip today by voting against continuing the Bank Guarantee for another year.
Prior to Penroses defection there were 38 Labour TDs. 16 of these had fought this years General Election as outgoing TDs.
Of the 16 , Ciaran Lynch, Joanna Tuffy, Tommy Broughan, Emmet Stagg, Jack Wall and Joe Costello were the only ones not to get a Ministerial office of any shape or form.
Who will be the next to jump ship?

and here’s something odd from Leo Varadkar in 2009

From the General Election Campaign I give you …… July 20, 2011

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Ireland, Irish Politics.
Tags: , , ,
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Will their Special Needs Assistants be cut?

Trade Unions hurt Labour: Quinn October 16, 2008

Posted by Garibaldy in Irish Politics, Labour Party, The Left, Trade Unions, Workers' Party.
Tags: , , ,

A most interesting  report in the Irish Times gives vent to Ruairí Quinn’s real feelings about the broader labour movement. Writing in a new book, State of the Unions, edited by Tim Hastings (which I can’t find a link for) he argues that the Trade Unions harm the Labour Party because the unions expect it to act as their voice in the Oireachtas, while failing to provide sufficient votes and electoral support in return. In addition, he argues that the public blames the Labour Party whenever unions engage in unpopular activity.

What is the significance of this? Possibly none whatsoever. But this is not the first time such sentiments have been voiced by elements of the Labour Party leadership, and it suggests that a Blairite push to negate the influence of the unions as far as possible may not be far off. The timing of the publication is particularly unfortunate given that the Labour movement now more than ever needs a united front. Even though this piece was obviously written some time ago, the credit crunch has been around for a year or more, and it has been obvious that the southern economy was heading for difficulties. It says a lot about the nature of social democracy in the south that at such a time an influential figure like Quinn should chose to say this. There is clearly a declining sense of a labour movement, and it is being replaced with one that there is a political party that is linked to the trade unions financially, and that sometimes agrees with them, but that has distinct and separate interests. It seems silly to raise this debate now.

I don’t want to go on about this, I just wanted to bring it to people’s attention for them to discuss, particularly in terms of what it tells us about the biggest forces in the left in Ireland, and the current difficulties of the left.

On a side point that will be of interest to many here, Quinn reveals that the desire to curb the influence of The Workers’ Party in political and trade union circles was a significant factor in the creation of SIPTU. There has been some discussion of politics and the trade unions past and present in the comments here.

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