Not looking good for Varadkar. Looking very good for Fianna Fail and very, very good for Sinn Fein.
Blackly amusing, as you noted on another thread one hundred odd years ago Sinn Fein was also storming ahead in the polls, albeit for different reasons. Although Varadkar’s faux pas with the whole RIC thing brought back ancestral memories of that and showed him as out of touch with Irish people in many ways. I will be praying that he is unseated after that in particular, his austerity policies have also become grindingly cruel as well.
Indeed! I thought this was particularly well said:
They are sounding all the right drums in this election, imho. Healthcare, homelessness, anti-austerity, pro-EU/anti-Brexit, a border poll for the North etc. and it seems very much to be cutting through this time.
Whatever happens with Varadkar (and I agree with you that his domestic policies have understandably alienated many), I do think Sinn Féin are in for a historically good showing on election day.
Vote for Gemma O’Doherty.
As Ireland prepares for its upcoming general election it looks like, for once, something interesting could actually happen. With the country’s two leading parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, traditionally offering variations of right and centre-right, it can be difficult to expect any radical change in national politics. But recent polls suggest a leftward surge in support for Sinn Féin, particularly among young and progressive voters – something that would have seemed unimaginable a decade ago.
Ireland in recent years has successfully projected an image of prosperity and social liberalism. The taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, is a gay, mixed-race man who light-heartedly compares colourful socks with Justin Trudeau and has been spotted backstage at LCD Soundsystem and Kylie Minogue gigs. His party ushered in two high-profile referendums that saw gay marriage and access to abortion legalised. Varadkar has also been widely praised for putting in a strong performance with regard to Brexit.
But recent polls see Fine Gael falling behind on 23%, with Fianna Fáil in a steady lead at 26% and Sinn Féin a close third, enjoying an eight-point surge to 19%, with support particularly strong among under-35s.
So why would voters turn against a party with a seemingly stellar record, potentially to favour a party whose historic links to the IRA make it an unpalatable proposition to many older voters?
For some, the election on 8 February is an opportunity for a genuine shift away from the largely rightwing politics that has dominated Irish life for 90 years – with policies that have lately paid lip service to identity politics while implementing austerity measures and maintaining corporate tax rates that have produced stark inequality. When competing headlines leap from a homeless man receiving “life-changing injuries” after his tent was removed by a Dublin city council vehicle to news of Ireland having the fifth-largest number of billionaires per capita in the world, it is no wonder that many people are palpably angry.
Sinn Féin’s popularity has been growing in part due to the failure of other left-leaning parties to present a credible alternative to Ireland’s de facto two-party system. Labour, centre-left and once the country’s third-largest party, was decimated in the 2015 general election, after its time in coalition government implementing painful austerity cuts.
If Irish citizens resident in the country wish to they may, which part of Ireland are you living in then Victoria? If Irish people wish to vote for a woman who believes in the ‘Great Replacement’ theory and takes photos of kids and publishes them without approval of their parents that’s up to them. I’m also wondering why you wish Irish people to vote for an anti-Semite. Perhaps you could let us know why that is so?
Fianna Fail, given its history, might collaborate with Sinn Fein. FG, most unlikely.
@JharekCarnelian Wow, have a look at this beauty👀:
Sweaty bum time in Fine Gael HQ tonight. The polling is just getting better and better for Sinn Fein the nearer to election day we come.
Varadkar is not half screwing this up.
The rise of Sinn Fein is becoming the topic of this Irish election.
They maybe should have fielded more than 42 candidates - the lowest of the major parties - but it appears they never expected to be polling so strongly in the lead-up.
Fantastic, I just hope the actual voting represents the polling.
The powers that be seem very jumpy in Ireland. RTE has attempted to shut Sinn Fein out of leadership debates on television which I find disgraceful.
Yup, the hegemony of the two right-wing parties (traditionally the “two and a half” party system, the half being Irish Labour) is under threat and the public broadcaster appears to be biased in favour of the status quo, which I agree is rather shocking.
They don’t seem to know how to handle this. Practically since the end of the civil war in the 1920s, Fianna Fail and (intermittently) Fine Gael have defined Irish politics, with the political spectrum uniquely split along political-cultural lines derived from the victor and loser in the war, respectively. As such, Ireland never developed left-right politics like basically every other Western democracy.
Sinn Fein’s rise in this election is upturning all that.
I hope they do break out as the polls suggest.
My father is Fianna Fail but he inclines towards the very left of that so if he was living in Ireland still he’d likely vote for Sinn Fein. He’d certainly have little time for FF or FG as they stand now and their reliance on the ‘legacy’ effect has been their undoing. For younger people the links with the Civil War era are less clear.
Mind you the language in this article is droll at points, any attempt to minimize or ignore the very real possibility of Sinn Fein upsetting the political apple cart. Talk of ‘poling intentions not always translating into votes’ and so forth again and again. The Irish govt. and state media seem unable to handle the fact that time is slowly eroding the two party system there and seem unable to grapple with changed political realities at times.
I’ve often thought that the politics of the Irish Republic are as clear to outsiders as is the concept of the Filioque when anybody is asked to explain it (eyes-glazing-over time, in other words).
The Filioque isn’t always clear to insiders too.
Reading people explain it on CAF certainly confirms that impression!
The same would be true of many states. The Civil War is increasingly becoming a historical event though in Ireland and although it does have resonance as many know which side grandparents and great-grandparents fought on it also is a messy and complicated business. Yesterday saw a ceremony in my father’s home area honouring a man who fought in the British army and won a VC there, then fought in the IRA and then was part of the new Free State Army.
What book would you recommend about the Irish Civil War? It is an intriguing era of history but unfortunately I am completely unfamiliar with anything Irish and so don’t know where to start. Something titled along the lines of “Irish History for Absolute Dummies” would be great.