Over the last few weeks we haven’t experienced and big surprises. None of the candidates has lipped on any banana skins. They are all still plodding along and are trying their best to get as many votes as possible, but if we can trust the opinion polls, there have been shifts in opinion based on general performance of the parties.
Fine Gael has strengthened their position, Labour has lost, which to me is an indication that people didn’t like Labour’s attack on Fine Gael. Fianna Fail is down, but not out. Because nobody in Ireland can vote for a party, but instead you only vote for one local person – who by coincidence belongs to a party – an opinion poll that asks what party you want to govern the country is bound to be flawed.
Interesting is as well, how Micheal Martin talks and behaves as if he has never been involved in a government. Martin had a number of senior ministerial positions and certainly could have used his influence in the past to make a difference. He never did. But now he is trying to tell the electorate that they should vote for the candidates of his party. Interesting! I expect that they will get more TDs than the opinion polls indicate, but without a doubt they will be far away from the government for the next 5 years.
Sinn Fein? Well, Gerry Adams is doing better than I had expected and I am shocked about the high figures they got in the opinion poll. The SF position somewhere between socialist freedom fighters, terrorists and left-of-centre party wouldn’t leave me any room to vote for them, but an amazingly large group of voters has no issue with that at all.
Greens? Who?? Yes, they will be slaughtered for keeping the Fianna Fail government in power for so long and it is deserved. In my opinion they are totally un-votable for.
Independents are the remaining bundle of fun. For me it is one of the best indicators of the failed democratic structure in Ireland that individuals can be voted. Never it should be possible for a single person to get into a parliament. As long as it is possible that person is totally dependent on his/her voters in the constituency and that makes this politician corrupt (not in a financial sense, but in a sense that he has to do what his/her voters want, to get voted again). Yes, there is ONE Independent that I could support: Shane Ross, sounds sound and seems to make sense AND is not a parish-pump politician. But he should have set-up a party before the election instead of being an independent candidate.