Martin says there is a widening gap between Fine Gael and Labour. Well duh, deputy. Also he can’t pronounce “chasm”.
Dun Laoghaire is the “group of death” of this particular election. Two Ministers, a major opposition leader, a popular Senator and perhaps the most well-known Micro-Party candidate in the country. And just four seats.
Latest poll in the area (As I’ve said before, I place greater value on local polls then national ones) says Mary Hanafin, Eamonn Gilmore and and Fine Gael’s Sean Barrett will retain their seats with Senator Ivana Bacik and the PBP/ULA poster boy Richard Boyd Barrett fighting it out for the last seat. It is a fascinating scenario if true, two lefties going for that last seat (with Green and Fianna Fail TD Ciaran Cuffe and Barry Andrews losing out).
It would certainly be quite a blow for the ULA if perhaps their highest flyer, publicity wise, failed to get a seat in the Dail. Time will tell, but I wonder if the ULA is better at talking the talk. At the end of the day, these timbers suggest Dun Laoghaire voters will back established parties and faces.
Labour has announced more specific details for constitutional reform, but it is all stuff they have said before, one of the very first posts on this site being on Gilmore’s “Renewing the Republic” idea. I didn’t like it then and my opinion hasn’t changed.
Gerry Adams says that if Labour are so unhappy about Fine Gael’s tax plans, why are they willing to go into coalition with them? That’s a good point actually. Gilmore’s outrage at FG in the last week would certainly carry more wight if the two parties hadn’t been acting like they were the next government for the two years.
Labour is continuing what Kenny calls “sniping” but I’m not really sensing much of an effect. FG is responding in just the right way, a mix of ignoring it for the most part, and deflecting it the rest of the time. I’m seeing less “Gilmore for Taoiseach” stuff in the last few days, and it seems Labour are becoming resigned to being, at best, the minor partner in a coalition with Fine Gael. At this point, it might be a case of grasping for every seat they can, breaching the 40 seat mark, so they can have the best negotiation position possible (provided FG don’t have the numbers for single party government).
John Gormley wants people to elect a stable government and not give their votes to Independent candidates. Considering that there is a very real possibility of the Greens getting only one seat, he shouldn’t be so fast to dismiss the power of Independents. The Green leader was actually on 6.1 tonight, defending his parties record in government. Still not sure how much that is going to do for him and the Greens.
And a lot of talk today about economic forecast and the like, some positive, some negative. One thing is clear, and that is that no economic plan by any party is gong to stay the course without some adjustment.
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