Some things I've learned....

(1) An Engineer can do with 10 cent what a fool can do with a Euro.

(2) "Puff" - unimportant; insignificant; unworthy of study by engineering students; waste of time

(3) It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're stupid than to open it and prove them right!

(4) Blockwork people and concrete people can never work on the same site... Apparently they don't like each other....

(5) It's official; I'm fantastic!

Monday 11 June 2007

The People Decided

Okay so it's been a while since the General Election, but I figured I'd best write something now since the in-Dail nominations for Taoiseach and Ceann Chomhairle will be taking place this Thursday.

Let's have a quick look at how the parties performed:

Fianna Fail: 78 seats
Fine Gael: 51 seats
Labour: 20 seats
PD's: 2 seats
Greens: 6 seats
Sinn Fein: 4 seats
Independents: 5 seats

Despite an incredible campaign by Enda Kenny, it seems highly likely that Bertie Ahern will be elected Taoiseach for the 3rd consecutive time this Thursday which I think, though I may be mistaken, will make him the longest serving Prime Minister in Europe to date.

The question that still remains however is who will be forming the next government. Realistically speaking, the Fine Gael/Labour lead government is out of the question, as it requires everyone except Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein. So the true question is, who will go to government with Fianna Fail.....

At present, the Greens and FF are in talks on formation of a government. Should these talks succeed, then we will likely have Trevor Sargent serving as Tanaiste and Minister for the Environment. If these talks fail, which is equally as likely as them succeeding, then the next likely goverment will be FF, the PD's and 4/5 Independents, as FF seem unwilling to do a deal with Tony Gregory. The other possibility, though highly unlikely, is a deal with Labour on the basis of stability. However this seems most unlikely as FF will not be keen to dish out 5 cabinet seats to Labour.

Looking at the results, I'll just briefly mention what went right or wrong for each of the parties.

Fianna Fail - opinion polls at the beginning of the campaign suggested they would only make as little as 50 seats. Whether or not the leaders debate gave Bertie Ahern the edge over his rival Enda Kenny is still unclear, but in several polls across different newspapers and surveys, it was evident early on that Bertie Ahern was the preferred man to lead the country ahead of Enda Kenny, the issue of which party would be in government didn't really materialise.

Fine Gael - both a win and a loss. Enda Kenny has done the impossible and restored Fine Gael to the position it was in pre-2002. However, he has failed to convince the public that he is the man that should be leading the country. The main thing Fine Gael can take from this is that come the next election they will be in a much stronger position to enter power.

Labour - arguably unchanged. Many commentators have mentioned that it was perhaps Labour's allegiance to FG that prevented them from making significant gains, that perhaps they should have stood alone as a party. Certainly one part of the strategy that backfired was FG gaining seats from Labour. Thus the overall quota of the combined parties was not as large as it could have been. Ultimately the decision between FF and FG+Lab came down to "Stick with the Devil you know, than the Devil you don't".

PD's - bad election. Coupled with the sudden resignation of Michael McDowell, speculation is flying that this is the end of the party, and members like Mary Harney may step back into FF's shoes. This result is likely due to McDowell's leadership. I don't think he was as "popular" as Mary Harney and his stance regarding Bertie's finances perhaps didn't do him much favours.

Greens - unchanged, though initially they held the balance of power. While they may be winning the student vote in places, they have obviously failed to win the older vote. Their policies on climate change are important and no doubt would form a strong government with FF should talks succeed.

Sinn Fein - not as well as was predicted. SF expected to make gains across the country, in particular the capital, but since have been reduced to just one seat held by Aengus O'Snodaigh in Dublin South Central. Thankfully, people are not bought in by their change of heart in the North, as for me SF will always have the image they have now, and should never ever be considered for government.

I'll write up another thing after Thursday to see how things turn out.

Until then, remember it's payback time at the United Abominations!

~The Damo

1 comment:

Catherine said...

What a disapointing election. What I found the most annoying was the amount of people you heard saying they wanted a change from the outgoing government, and yet the numbers spoke for themselves: FF had a huge turnout (although not as much as they needed, hah!).

I kinda hope there's a hung Dáil on Thursday and another election. Labour need to distance themselves from the others and stand as a real choice for voters.

But hey, at least you and I agree on SF... :)