Sunday Independent poll: Cowen is the one and only?

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd  January 2011

Today’s Sunday Independent poll produced some interesting figures and were reflective no doubt of Fianna Fail and Brian Cowen’s recent travails : Fianna Fail 8%, Fine Gael 27%, Labour 29%, Sinn Fein 8%, Green Party 3%, Others 11% (doesn’t include Don’t Knows). As this poll was just based on 200 responses, it is not as reliable as polls carried out by Ispos-MRBI and Red C and as such does not warrant the equivalent analysis offered to those polls. Hence the next RedC and Ispos-MRBI polls will provide more reliable estimates of current party support. Nevertheless, based on the analysis and model used for my previous such analyses (and excluding the seat automatically won by Seamus Kirk due to his post as Ceann Comhairle) the following number of seats would be won by the different parties:  Fianna Fail 1, Fine Gael 65, Labour 67, Sinn Fein 12, Green Party 0, Others 20. Continue reading

Constitutional conventions and Cowen’s cock ups

Eoin O’Malley (22 January, 2011)

Brian Cowen’s decision to stand down comes mainly because he showed a lack of political judgement in pursuing a cabinet reshuffle to renew his party just weeks before an election. Cowen claimed he should have been allowed to reshuffle his cabinet as he wanted. He said it was the convention that party leaders in coalitions could put in place whomever he or she wished. However this is not completely the case – Continue reading

Will Fianna Fáil change leader?

Eoin O’Malley (UPDATED 17 January, 2011)

The fact that Cowen has pushed for a vote of confidence in his leadership would seem to indicate that he is secure that he has the numbers to win it. He has the advantage of having spent the previous three days canvassing support openly, whereas Micheál Martin was unable or unwilling to show his hand and campaign openly. Cowen also set the timing for any challenge, limiting the time Martin will be able to campaign. Continue reading

Will opinion polls really sink Cowen?

Some of the political correspondents writing over the last week are reading a great deal into every government minister’s’ utterance. Micheál Martin made an extremely banal comment when asked on Newstalk about the Cowen incident;

“I think we all have to reflect in terms of how the conference was organised, in terms of communications issues and so on like that. Clearly we have lessons to learn and we will work on that particular agenda in terms of future events and future communications strategies.” Continue reading

What does taking ‘full responsibility’ mean?

by Eoin O’Malley (13 June, 2010)

Coming up to and in the wake of the reports on the economic crisis in Ireland there was a gradual shift away from the Lehman Brothers defence and admissions that mistakes were made by Brian Cowen and the governments between about 2002 and 2008. This culminated last week with Cowen’s announcement that he takes ‘full responsibility’ for the decisions he made as minister and presumably in accepting that those decisions (or indecision) were important causes of the crisis, he takes an amount of responsibility for the crisis.

What does this mean? Continue reading

Today’s opinion poll: perhaps as much good news as bad for the government?

Details of today’s Irish Times/Ipsos Mori poll can be seen here.

could be worse

Quite a shift since the last Red C poll, discussed in a previous posting. Even allowing for the usual issues of margins of error and different polling methodologies, this is a dramatic result for Labour and not the best of news for Fine Gael who have slipped into second place and whose leader’s poll ratings plummeted almost as dramatically as the Taoiseach’s. Already the mutterings are beginnings.

Ironically, while the poll news is just as bad (actually worse) for Fianna Fail, the impact on Fine Gael is providing some welcome distraction for the embattled Taoiseach, and perhaps also a hint of a chance to cut and run for a snap election sometime soon?

Rearranging the deckchairs…reshuffles in Ireland

If commentators are right, it’s likely that Brian Cowen will use Willie O’Dea’s resignation/ dismissal to reshuffle the cabinet. The thinking is that a reshuffle at this time will give the government a new impetus for the latter half of this Dáil. We’re supposed to conclude that with people in new posts and some new people, the government can change its focus and renew its energies. In short it’s an attempt to make people think the Taoiseach and the government is changing course. But reshuffles can’t really change that much in Ireland because there simply isn’t the possibility of bringing radically different types of people into government. Continue reading