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> Irish General Election, Saturday 8th February 2020
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Steve201
post Jan 16 2020, 10:28 PM
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So the Irish general election to elect the 32nd Dail is on the 8/2/20.

Current Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar will be seeking reelection for a second term.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Irish_general_election


This post has been edited by Steve201: Jan 17 2020, 12:29 AM
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Harve
post Feb 1 2020, 04:41 PM
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Polls are showing that Fine Gael and Fianna *Fail have slipped below a combined 50% for the first time...ever?

*The irony at now having a French keyboard - a language with plenty of diacritics - is that it's now extremely cumbersome to write those like 'á' that only exist in other languages. R.I.P my UK Extended Keyboard.
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Brett-Butler
post Feb 1 2020, 05:11 PM
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I haven't followed the Irish General Election campaign as closely as the UK one, but here's some assorted thoughts/predictions of what I think will happen.

One of the interesting thing about the Irish GE is that like the NI Assembly, its members are elected based upon the STV form of PR within constituencies, meaning that a wider range of parties have a chance of getting a seat in the Dáil. Indeed, when it was dissolved just before the election, there were 9 different parties represented across the political spectrum, as well as nearly 10% of its members being independent of any political party.

It also means that whatever happens in this election, we're likely to see a coalition government running the Republic come 9th February. Fine Gael are almost definitely going to fall behind Fianna Fáil as the largest party, which means that FF will likely be the leading party of the next government, although who they will align with is anybody's guess. I do feel that Sinn Fein's support in the run-up to the election has been somewhat overstated - in every election in both sides of the border since 2017, their support has reduced somewhat, so I would not be surprised if they only improved slightly, or didn't improve at all, compared to the 2016 election.

From a European perspective, ROI is almost unique amongst its European brethren in that it is one of the only countries on the continent that has not had a major populist and/or far-right party enter their parliament within the last half a decade (even Spain, who had a fascist dictator within living memory, has gone that way in the last few years). In 2020, despite a few parties that could be described that way fighting the election, I cannot see that changing this year.
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Steve201
post Feb 1 2020, 06:43 PM
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The Freedom Party is it? They're an interesting bunch!

SF looking at around 21% would mean an increased presence in the dail but as you say il believe it when I see it. It helps them imo when FG/FF refuse to consider a coalition with them!
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Cal
post Feb 3 2020, 05:06 PM
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The National Party are the ones running a bunch of candidates this year (one being in my constituency) and they're gross. They're basically Youth Defence rebranded because they knew they'd lose the Abortion referendum by a landslide so now they're going after immigrants. They won't win a single seat which is great but they're an ominous bunch with links to the neo-Nazi movement in Germany. This was all well-known when they were Youth Defence so I guess you can't polish a turd. smile.gif

I've never voted Fine Gael, Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein and I won't be doing so any time soon. If I had to choose it would be Fine Gael because even though we have some major problems facing us they're a hundred times better than Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein combined. Their handling of Brexit was flawless and I think most people would agree on that.

Fine Gael will lose a handful of seats on Saturday, Fianna Fail will gain some (most people have not forgotten what they did - we're all still paying for that bloody Bank Guarantee) and Sinn Fein will be the big winners. It's the younger generation who don't have to negative view of Sinn Fein that will get them a huge increase in seats. They're economically illiterate as well so if they do form a Government I look forward to them rolling back on every promise they've made.

The Greens will do well after being obliterated from Government in 2011. They did remarkably well in the EU and local elections in May and they've grown stronger since. Labour will remain obsolete and will probably win 5 or 6 seats, if even. The Social Democrats will win as much as they can (I'd say 3 or 4) but they're not established enough to do any better. They need to run big names in more constituencies to have any impact.

I'm voting Green and SocDems on Saturday and not sure who else I want my transfers to go to. I suspect this election will be a bloodbath when it comes to transfers which always makes it exciting. I'm sure Galway West will be the last to declare yet again as they tend to have about 20 candidates on the ballot so there's usually between 13 to 15 rounds of counting laugh.gif
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Steve201
post Feb 3 2020, 10:54 PM
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Apparently SF aren't standing in as many seats as the could have and are looking to build to get a second election later in the year. Hope PBP retain their seats too. What's the actual difference between FG & FF like?
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 4 2020, 10:23 AM
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Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI
(Jan 30-Feb 1, MoE 2.8%)

Sinn Féin 25 (+4)
Fianna Fáil 23 (-2)
Fine Gael 20 (-3)
Greens 8
Labour 4 (-1)
Social Democrats 2
Solidarity-PBP 2
Inds & ors 10
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Iz~
post Feb 4 2020, 11:15 AM
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Is there any scope for Sinn Féin to build a coalition with a party like the Social Democrats or the Greens? Left-wing nationalists are an element I sometimes find hard to predict.

Because with numbers like that poll, if not, it seems like even if SF get the most votes, the workable result is that it could just be the same as the current confidence and supply arrangement except FF takes over to become the senior partner from FG.

though having looked at the current seat numbers, it'll be quite the upset if the government doesn't include either of FF or FG.
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 4 2020, 11:45 AM
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I'm not sure to be honest with you, I know very little about Irish politics let alone the voting procedures, but it sounds like they aren't fielding enough candidates to put up a proper fight.



Their leader Mary Lou McDonald did say this though:



OOOOOOOFFFFFFT.
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Cal
post Feb 4 2020, 01:44 PM
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To be fair they have never had this amount of support before. People are tired of the FG-FF seesaw we've had since the last 50 years and people want an alternative. SF was doing well in the opinion polls in 2016 (around 20% I think) but they ended up only getting 13%. They were also hammered in the EU and local elections in May so they probably weren't expecting this. I don't think any of us were. I think people my age and older still can't separate them from the IRA links so I'm finding it hard to get my head around the jump in support. That said, their social policies are on point and their economic policies are pure fantasy but it all makes a very nice package and it's obviously resonating with a lot of people.

The debate tonight will decide where this election will go. FG and FF will have to be very careful about how they approach their disdain for SF.
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Steve201
post Feb 4 2020, 10:51 PM
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There's the problem for FF though, a lot of their grassroots would be happy working with SF.

SF hope to get a decent result to push for another election later this year where they put out a full 80-85 candidates.

You talk about the IRA but FF were originally part of SF and formed from the IRA, double standards maybe?
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Cal
post Feb 5 2020, 09:56 AM
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Not really as there's a major difference between the IRA (or any resistance movement) from the start of the 1900s to the ones operating up to the late 90s. I don't think anybody would it hold it against either FF or SF in participating in the original fight to end British occupation. In addition to that, the IRA when it first started had lines that they would not cross (no civilian casualties etc.). It starts to get a little murky when SF deny any knowledge of any of its members being in the modern IRA when there's clear proof some of their most senior members were heavily involved in the Troubles (and some were actually convicted by the Special Criminal Court). Their candidate for Dublin North-West is a former IRA member and explosives expert and was sentenced to 10 years in the 80s. It's cases like this that make people very reluctant to vote for SF.

I get why people are angry and why they want change, I just don't think SF are the ones who deserve the opportunity to deliver it.
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Steve201
post Feb 5 2020, 10:56 PM
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But why was the original fight against the British The so called 'right or good fight' but in NI it was different? Many members of Fianna Fáil were originally IRA members indeed Sean Lemass the Taoiseach as recently as 1959-66 was involved in the original Bloody Sunday in 1920.

Many members of SF now do also admit to being members during the conflict.
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Cal
post Feb 6 2020, 09:35 PM
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Because the original fight was against the British political establishment for independence. The (Provisional) IRA lost the battle in the North when they started targeting civilians. Most people (myself included) would support the civil rights movement for Catholics in the North, but there was a line between a movement and a terror campaign and the (P)IRA crossed it.

Some SF members had no choice but to admit it because they served time and it's literally public record. I'm also not really buying the "people under X age don't remember the conflict" argument people are spinning. If you're old enough to switch your vote to Sinn Fein then you're old enough to remember the Omagh bombing. Of course most people running in the election for SF had nothing to do with any of the conflict but the party policy is controlled by an unelected (and anonymous) group so party members and representatives literally have no say in the direction or image of their party or the policies it supports. In practice it is probably one of the least democratic parties in the country.
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LexC
post Feb 6 2020, 09:46 PM
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It's certainly going to be fascinating to watch how this plays out in an STV election (still dreaming of the UK ditching FPTP but I'll be dreaming for a long time). Because if people are really rallying behind Sinn Fein enough to get them a surplus of the quota it'll be interesting to see where the transfers go if people are sick of FF/FG - probably the Greens will get most of them but Labour/Social Democrats/PBP should get a boost. And even on those seat projections the main two parties wouldn't have 80 seats between them so some sort of third paty or independents would have to be involved somehow.
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Steve201
post Feb 6 2020, 10:50 PM
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QUOTE(LexC @ Feb 6 2020, 09:46 PM) *
It's certainly going to be fascinating to watch how this plays out in an STV election (still dreaming of the UK ditching FPTP but I'll be dreaming for a long time). Because if people are really rallying behind Sinn Fein enough to get them a surplus of the quota it'll be interesting to see where the transfers go if people are sick of FF/FG - probably the Greens will get most of them but Labour/Social Democrats/PBP should get a boost. And even on those seat projections the main two parties wouldn't have 80 seats between them so some sort of third paty or independents would have to be involved somehow.


I think Labour will only get 1/2 more TDs and PBP will be similar, Greens will get 5/6 more and a lot of independents.

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Steve201
post Feb 6 2020, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE(Cal @ Feb 6 2020, 09:35 PM) *
Because the original fight was against the British political establishment for independence. The (Provisional) IRA lost the battle in the North when they started targeting civilians. Most people (myself included) would support the civil rights movement for Catholics in the North, but there was a line between a movement and a terror campaign and the (P)IRA crossed it.

Some SF members had no choice but to admit it because they served time and it's literally public record. I'm also not really buying the "people under X age don't remember the conflict" argument people are spinning. If you're old enough to switch your vote to Sinn Fein then you're old enough to remember the Omagh bombing. Of course most people running in the election for SF had nothing to do with any of the conflict but the party policy is controlled by an unelected (and anonymous) group so party members and representatives literally have no say in the direction or image of their party or the policies it supports. In practice it is probably one of the least democratic parties in the country.


But there were civilians killed during the original 1916-23 conflict as well as there is in all conflicts unfortunately. I would also argue there was a terror campaign by all sides during various moments of the conflict not just the IRA, not that that makes it ok.

I don't fully know how they form party policy but most democratic parties in the western world decide these things in similar ways it's just 'seen' to be democratic but actually isn't.

I know people will still remember legacy events such as the Omagh bomb(albeit SF had nothin to do with that) but will it have an impact given the fact that during the last election Gerry Adams was leader and the media kept the story about Jean McConville high on the agenda. I mean look this week when SF are now 25% and topping the poll and all of a sudden the Paul Quinn story comes around, no coincidence. Exactly the same as JC and Antisemetism in Britain. It's the establishment rounding on a party they don't want in government.

At any rate how many transfers will they get anyway?



This post has been edited by Steve201: Feb 6 2020, 11:03 PM
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vidcapper
post Feb 7 2020, 06:11 AM
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QUOTE(LexC @ Feb 6 2020, 09:46 PM) *
It's certainly going to be fascinating to watch how this plays out in an STV election (still dreaming of the UK ditching FPTP but I'll be dreaming for a long time).


If the UK parliament was elected by STV, how would that affect the Northern Irish seats, I wonder? unsure.gif
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Steve201
post Feb 7 2020, 08:10 AM
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The assembly is elected by STV I think but yeh the MPs might be affected a little especially in newly elected areas for SFers where there would be less transfers no doubt.
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post Feb 7 2020, 09:59 AM
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QUOTE(Cal @ Feb 3 2020, 05:06 PM) *
The National Party are the ones running a bunch of candidates this year (one being in my constituency) and they're gross. They're basically Youth Defence rebranded because they knew they'd lose the Abortion referendum by a landslide so now they're going after immigrants. They won't win a single seat which is great but they're an ominous bunch with links to the neo-Nazi movement in Germany. This was all well-known when they were Youth Defence so I guess you can't polish a turd. smile.gif


Didn't know there was a far right party in Ireland, I assume they support an Irexit too
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