Fianna Fail by-election performances

Fianna Fail experienced a significant loss in support in the recent Donegal South West by-election relative to their support level in that constituency, with their support down by 12,792 votes and percentage share of the vote down by 29.2%. But the recent history of the party has shown a tendency for the party to poll poorly in by elections only for party support levels to recover in a subsequent general election.   Continue reading

Answering questions, or questioning answers – where does the debate go from here?

 by: Matt Wall.

This post is in response to Elaine’s ‘10 proposals for political reform’.

It seems that there is now an incontestable case for far-reaching political reform in the light of all that has happened in Ireland since late 2008; and this case has been crystallised particularly vividly over the last week. However, while most people can agree that we need political reform, there appears to be little or no consensus around precisely what reforms should be put in place.

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Posted by Elaine Byrne


Detailed information on rationale for proposals contained in links within each proposal taken from my Irish Times columns. The reason for reform.

  1. Publish full political financial accounts online, greater powers for Standards Commission and ratify GRECO recommendations.
  2. Reform committee system, repeal Abbeylara decision and give committees renewed investigative powers.
  3. Rebalance relationship between executive and legislature as was intended in Article 28 of Constitution
  4. Meaningful open government with stronger FOI legislation, new whistleblower and lobbying legislation and public appointments board.
  5. Reform local government with revenue raising powers and reform planning powers
  6. Diverse representation in public life through a reformed Senand which would encompass island of Ireland and diaspora in public life
  7. Introduce gender quotas, lower voting age to 16, reform decision making process
  8. Change the electoral system
  9. Definition of Republic in constitution and statement of values
  10. Citizens assembly to be implemented

The election is called – or is it?

Posted by Eoin O’Malley, 22 November 2010

The decision of the Greens to call for the election to take place, confirms what most already expected, that an election will take place in early 2011. That Lowry and Healy-Rae are jumping also ensures the government is effectively over.  But when will the election actually take place? The Green statement is unclear.  It was being reported by RTÉ and the Irish Times might take place in late January, but they have since amended this. I assume the Greens mean that the date for the election will be fixed in January to take place at some as yet unspecified later date.

So the date of the election remains unclear. Continue reading

Sunday Business Post/Red C Poll 21 November 2010: Fianna Fail down to 29 seats?

Adrian Kavanagh, 21st November 2010

The latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll figures estimate party support as follows: Fianna Fail 17%, Fine Gael 33%, Labour Party 27%, Sinn Fein 11%, Green Party 3%, Independents/Others 8%, marking a 1% gain for Fine Gael and a 1% loss for Fianna Fail relative to the October 24th poll while Labour support levels remain static. The main gain is made by Sinn Fein, whose support levels increase by 2%. On the basis of these poll figures, my analysis would estimate party seat numbers in the next Dail as follows: Fianna Fail 29, Fine Gael 66, Labour Party 49, Sinn Fein 12, Green Party 0, Independents/Others 10.

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