Current Affairs

Labour Party Circling The Drain

Fianna Fáil, back from the dead ( (Photo: Séamas Ó Sionnaigh, Binn Éadair, Cúige Laighean, Éire, Meitheamh 2012)
Fianna Fáil, back from the dead ( (Photo: Séamas Ó Sionnaigh, Binn Éadair, Cúige Laighean, Éire, Meitheamh 2012)

The results from the latest Sunday Independent-Millward Brown poll (7th July, 2013) are in and while I’m sceptical of voter surveys during periods of such uncertainly amongst the electorate some trends are obvious. Despite the adverse publicity of recent times Fianna Fáil’s slow climb to the mid to high 20s continues. While that may decrease somewhat come the actual general election there is no reason to believe that the party will not be in a position to form at least one half of a viable alternative government to the present Fine Oibre coalition. Sinn Féin is solidifying its vote in the mid to late teens and again while some slippage might be expected on election day the party seems to have successfully nurtured a core vote that should remain in and around the 15% mark. Fine Gael on the other hand finds itself heading towards familiar territory in terms of its historic vote. Not bedrock by any means but disappointingly down from its high-water mark of just a few years ago. For Labour the results must be terrifying and combined with private polling it is certainly a driver for the internal discontent of recent months. As always a question arises over why the Green Party, an organisation without a single Teachta Dála, is given a separate mention to the likes of the Socialist Party which has one TD or the ULA which has two or three (ULA, PBP, SWP – who can tell?). Since the last general election the Greens have consistently been listed separately which has no doubt helped keep their name in the public’s gaze and aided their attempts at a relaunch. Which is a bit of odd generosity by the polling companies…

Below are the number-crunching figures from Adrian Kavanagh of Political Reform:


Fianna Fáil 29% (+2%)

Fine Gael 26% (-1%)

Sinn Féin 19% (+2%)

Labour 8% (-3%)

Green Party, Independents and Others 19% (+1%)


Fianna Fáil 55

Fine Gael 48

Sinn Féin 27

Labour 4

Green Party, Independents and Others 24

8 comments on “Labour Party Circling The Drain

  1. an lorcánach

    FF-ing party was never dead – can’t think of the word – not ‘resurrectionist’ – something else – definitely something phantasmagorical! – my own parents in their 70s and 80s would vote FF even if the Pope himself asked them not to it…. though there was hope when they both voted M.D. for uachtarán – so there’s hope there — personally as for the FF party, I wouldn’t give them steam off my tea – they’re a European Unionist party – screw them! – beir bua, peadar

    • Agree with all of that. Very disappointing to see voters bouncing from FG to FF, from Tweedledum to Tweedledee. And vice-versa. FG will always have its 20% vote. That is Ireland’s core right-wing vote and it will always sustain them. Who votes FF now though is beyond me. Essentially there is no difference between FG and FF, so why not just opt for the real Coke taste of FG than opting for FF’s FG-Lite version? And where is the alternative? SF is doing well but not spectacularly so and will probably poll c.15% first-preference in general election. The SP and the remnants of the ULA largely survive on personal not party votes and will be lucky with 2% or 3% combined. And the Independents are an absolute rag-bag. And the Green “Screw Tara” Party back from the dead under Ryan? Jesus.

      If we had a genuine centre-left social-democratic party out there, one with the language policies of a Parti Québecois, pro-European but anti-federalist, committed to creating a local and sustainable economy (and not a glorified tax haven and FDI playground largely lacking any indigenous input) I’d be behind it. As it is it will be a reluctant SF vote and maybe a 2,3 and 4 to some suitable independents.

      God this country depresses.

  2. an lorcánach

    on the button there, sionnach: possibly mentioned before on your site but i voted for the greens specifically on the issue of tara valley motorway in ’07 only for gormless-gormley to say after swaggering in with brennan’s FF/PD “senior hurlers” that he couldn’t do anything as it wasn’t within his power as minister for the environment, or something bogus to that effect — then again the bumbass that i was i believed labour in the last general election and gave them third preference vote — you get what you vote for….. for the day that’s in it (and furthering the narrative that the public sector is bad/private sector is good) the news in last few weeks that postcodes will be introduced in this state is clear sign if needed that in a few years An Post will become a loss-making utility readied for privatisation – the dissolution of irish language addresses on the streetscape will doubtless follow – — peadar

    • I gave the same vote to the Greens and for the same reasons. The party seemed then to offer the best hope to protect Teamhair and they were the only political party in Ireland (SF included) with anything even approaching an actual Irish language policy. Trevor Sargent was someone I admired and respected. How wrong was I on all counts. After Sargent’s fall from grace Gormley and co. proved to be some of the most two-faced, hypocritical, power-hungry shysters Irish politics has ever seen. The utterly fake posturing over Teamhair, the caving in to anglophone bullying over Daingean Uí Chúis (fucking Dingle!), etc. Not to mention overseeing the continued pumping up of a pseudo-economy inherently doomed to failure and all that fell from that.

      I am still INCREDIBLY angry about the Greens (you might have guessed!). I despise them more than any other Irish political party because I expected more of them than any other Irish political party. I know many other “Republican Greens” who feel the same and who were permanently turned off politics by what they saw. It was a bitter lesson well learned.

  3. an lorcánach

    tragic alright, sionnach: i can understand all you said and seems irish politics post-’98 is in flux with electorate feeling at best ambiguous about the “european project” specially after all the largesse was wasted – then again i always imagined (perhaps more in hindsight) the structural funds were just a down-payment for something much bigger – and now we know! — not trying to flippant but i hope a rastafarian neighbour of my mine is right when he says the awakening among the “irish” is slowly happening and 2020 will end our misery – feck it, feck it all!

    • I wonder about an Irish “dúisigh” (or should that be “dúiseacht”?). The Gaeil seem beyond hope. Or the ones we can hope about have left for Australia, New Zealand and Canada. And have no intention of coming back.

  4. an lorcánach

    i’m thoroughly convinced – to quote my better half using the 1914 ‘irish home rule’ analogy on the scambridge website “[in] the irish context of ‘killing republicanism with kindness’ or ‘constructive federalism'” [] — but you had it succinctly – a subject frowned upon in this state: any social scientist worth their salt (without ideological conflation) when comparing 1980s emigration with 2010s emigration need only properly widen the timeframe and look back to what happened in the north east of this island since the mid-1500s and the present consequences (for the day that’s in it) – but we’re not allowed to discuss this! — i had lengthy discussions in london a couple of years ago with second-generation Irish, Sikhs, Arabs – an eye opener! – thanks to the marriage of convenience between international-socialists and globalisation-free marketeers, things can only get worse! — áth mór, peadar

    • The “economic Plantation” argument is one I’ve heard before and from people with a wide range of political views. Its something I’ve come to have more and more sympathy with. When our political classes can sit with equanimity over a new wave of mass emigration and tell us that it is merely a “lifestyle choice” then it is clear to see the value that they place on Irish citizens. We are merely tax-paying labourers, commodities useful if making a financial return and useless if not.

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