Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics

Guest Blog: Declan Harmon on Fianna Fail Vs. Sinn Fein.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 11, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

I know of at least three Fianna Fáil candidates who are warning voters on the doorsteps of the danger of Sinn Féin being the largest opposition party after the election. It would be easy to dismiss this as desperate spin from desperate candidates, but the facts suggest otherwise.

There are five factors which were crucial to Fianna Fáil’s success in the 1997, 2002 and 2007 elections:

1)   A popular leader

2)   A reputation for economic competence

3)   Tight candidate selection strategy

4)   Good vote management

5)   An ability to attract transfers

Other than the leadership, which has been resolved in the last three weeks, the other ingredients in the winning recipe are not present for Fianna Fáil on this occasion. Read more…


Election 2011 Notes

Posted by Jason O on Feb 11, 2011 in Election 2011, Irish Politics

In what is possibly the most tediously boring election campaign in living memory, we call where we see the parties at the moment:

Fianna Fail: Michael Martin has had a good election so far, continuing with his distancing of the party’s past in the TV3 debate. Their political reform proposals are by far the most radical of the three main parties, although they will be worried at the stubborn refusal of the party’s number to get closer to 20%. Canvassers report that, whilst the going is rough, they are getting a hearing on the doors after an inital five minute bollocking.

Fine Gael: We have yet to see whether Enda’s failure to attend the TV3 debate damaged Fine Gael. Our suspicion is not, with Enda still on track to be the clear winner of the election.

Labour: Eamonn Gilmore gave a solid if flat performance in the debate, and did little to reach our beyond the Labour 20% if he is serious about challenging for Taoiseach. One member of the front bench continues to be a shocking liability to the party. We won’t name them, but if you know who we are talking about without us naming that person, then it kinda proves our point. To paraphrase Carly Simon:You probably think this blog is about you, don’t you?

Sinn Fein: The Shinners continue to beaver away in their target seats, with all evidence suggesting they are on target for a strong performance.

The Greens: They’re doing what a tiny party has to do (said the ex-PD) and beavering away in their constituencies with a nauseous feeling in their stomaches, caused not as much by fear of voter anger, but even worse for a party: The same thing that killed the PDs: Irrelevence.

The United Left: Funniest line of the election so far goes to Joe at his party manifesto launch: “The manifesto is an aid to discussion on the doorsteps with working people” I think I’d pay good money to watch that on the telly, as Joe takes each voter through the document on a line by line basis. I really hope Joe gets in, he’s wasted in Strasbourg.


An Occasional Guide to Irish Politics: The Political Biological Clock.

Posted by Jason O on Feb 11, 2011 in Irish Politics, Not quite serious.

Time's flying. It’s normally a single event which causes the realisation: The moment you realise that the guy two years behind you in college is now a junior minister, or that plump girl you used to pity is now the political editor of a major national newspaper. And it’s not just your peers: Behind you, you see younger, slimmer, prettier and more media savvy types coming up behind you, making you realise that your beer belly or plump tree trunk ankles have now rendered you no longer a threat to their career path. You’re in their way.

What happened? You were going to be a senator at 25 or presenting your own Today FM sunday show at 27. What happened was the curse of our generation, who haven’t quite grasped that our physical age is a good ten years older than our mental ages, and that time is running out to do the great things, learn the guitar, write that novel. Get a fright when you realise that a guy you used to see playing the guitar naked whilst full of soup is now a father?

Tick, tock, tick, tock…

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