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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: September 26, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    Polls and More Polls

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Taoiseach in very good humour this weekend apparently. Must be the latest, not-that-bad poll showing. C.J. Haughey purported to disdain polls but that was a front. All politicians take them seriously. One wonders how much of Labour’s strength reflects a genuine shift to the left and how much is due to “pocketbook politics” on the part of punters who don’t want any pain. Too late for another FG heave? Looks like they will have to stick with Enda at this stage.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      I wonder will Richard Bruton be telephoning David Miliband to offer some helpful advice on the age-old brother rivalry.

      Cowen is happy as he knows he will lead FF into the election come what may and that he will lead it to defeat. He also knows there will be no heave against him, or any other leader for that matter, as Brian Lenihan will have learnt the lesson of all those who went before him, who found out the moment they assumed the top job, the narrative about them changed completely.

      The moment Brian Lenihan steps over that line he knows his health won’t protect him from scrutiny about his role in FF governments and his role in the bank guarantee which has led to such a mess. If he hadn’t offered that guarantee and moved all the bank debt over to sovewrign debt, Ireland wouldn’t be at the mercy of the bond markets and finance vultures who are circling the economy now.

      I read the article on the guarantee in the IT yesterday, it simply beggars belief that this decison was taken over the phone – so what, if they had to be called out of their beds to Merrion Street. Such a decision should have been taken at a full cabinet meeting with a full and proper record of it, with that record made public – the entire financial future of the country was put on the line and we are not able to see why?

      Not to mention the fact, all he has done as Minister for Finance is borrow billions so he can avoid any actual hard decisions or reforms to reduce the cost of running the country and raising more income to pay for running it.

      Richard B can’t not understand the same would happen to him the moment he did become FG leader and the narrative about him would change completely too. Any politician referred to as a ‘dream’ ought to know when the game is up.

      Labour’s bounce is because in this phoney war phase people have the luxury of saying they’ll vote for the party which hasn’t offered a single solution to the problems we face. When it comes to actually placing a 1,2,3 against the party in an actual election, things will be different. It will still be a Fine Gael/Labour government with FG as the stronger party in terms of votes received and seats.

      The main good news from the poll is that, regardless of the FG/L sideshow, it would seem that FF will be out of office for two terms and without the power of patronage for 10 years a radically different party should emerge.

      Maybe the real end to civil war politics is when Fianna Fáil merges with Sinn Fein not a FF/FG merger because wasn’t it FF and SF who were anti treaty and anti democratic while the pro treaty CnG and others went onto what is now FG so FG has all its people together whereas the anti treaty side are still a house divided.

      Enda is fine as he is – it is highly unlikely those who tried to get rid of him don’t understand he is not the problem, they all are and I would imagine FG needs the services of a good politics shrink to explain this to them, 80 years of second best, never once winning an election and now they are on the verge of actually winning one – as in more seats and more votes than anyone else – this is as much a shock to the system as losing will be to FF and they need to adjust their thinking.

      FG needs to start setting out its narrative and to offer hostages to fortune on easy decisions such as cutting the number of TDs even more, but reforming the Dáil and brining in some form of list and quota system, sticking with plans to get rid of the Seanad, massive reform of political pay and pensions – it is mindboggling that Peter Sutherland has the cheek to call for cuts. A whole suite of changes can be made within 1 year with a referendum day to give the Dáil back the power to do what it should be doing.

      Do FG have the desire or guts though? I doubt it, no matter who is leader.

    • Michael says:

      My take on these polls is that it is still all to play for. No party has yet sealed the deal with the electorate. Either FG or Labour can take the lead position, neither have yet made a breakthrough. And FF have a floor to their vote. They have the chance to recover their position to get a respectable second place in the Dail or they could end up a poor third.

    • jo bangles says:

      Ralph Miliband uber Marxist must be asking himself where it all went wrong…picnics at Karl Marx grave…Socialist snap…comprehensive school education…ANC…Internationale…Still Ken’s back… r/Ed’s Labour Party leader…they haven’t gone away you know…Still looks like his first day in Big School tho’…all he needs is an oversized satchel…
      Hopefully this means the last of Mandy…

    • mInXie says:

      In other words, what a waste of time it was – that recent hullabaloo/storm in a teacup over the airwaves. A little off the mark too, was the purported successful poll vaulting that was being predicted for FG/Labour this weekend. It seems to me certain voices in the media are in a bit of a frenzy but the electorate is playing it cool.

    • Vladlena -- (Minsk minxie) says:

      Privet!! That is to say Hi in Russian! My name is Vladlena and I am from Minsk a town in Russia, which is at the intersection of the Moscow-Warsaw and Libau-Kharkov railways. I am living in your beautiful country for nearly three years now and my great interests are the movies and politics. I read the Screenwriter blog and this Politics blog every evening but alas I have been too shy to comment but am now finding little bit of courage following the example of nice American girl Jennifer Ohashi who comments on all the blogs as far as I can see and I too am looking for beautiful Irish man but I do not want to start again the Cold War!! The American girl was here first but as we say in Russia – Bez truda ne vytaschish y rybku iz pruda (without effort you can’t even pull a fish out of a pond!). I am thinking that Mr dave who also comments on all the blogs is very good candidate for Jennifer Ohashi! I can almost see the sparks fly between the pair of them on the Screenwriter blog! What a match!! One thing I don’t understand though is why the American girl doesn’t use the spell-check feature – but anyhow that is their affair! Back to myself and I want to say how much I love these blogs – such freedom of speech you have in this country! As we say in Russia – Kuram na smekh (enough to make the cats laugh!)
      Do svidaniya!

      Oh but I forgot to say – you think your leader can drink!! You did not know Boris Yeltsin!! What a leader!! As we say in Russia – Call me what you like, only give me some vodka!

    • Vladlena says:

      @3 jo bungles — I was thinking comrade Ralph Miliband was dead — no?

    • jo bangles says:

      Nurse…the screens…!
      I hope that’s ‘erudite’ enough for you robespierre…’reds’ not only out from under the bed but under the table by the sounds of it…! Not that I’d want to stray from the point…!

    • dealga says:

      30% – 40% of the electorate wouldn’t get up off their ass and vote if they had a choice between Mary Poppins and Hitler.

      Of those who do vote, Labour will get about 25% simply because they are not going to tell the electorate what it doesn’t want to hear.

      Sinn Fein are entertainingly clueless. Unfortunately roughly 10% of the electorate are equally clueless, which isn’t quite so entertaining.

      There are at least 25% of the electorate who would still vote Fianna Fail even if they started killing the first born in every family in the country.

      Fine Gael will manage about 30% – all the people who have lost the will to live will vote for them.

      That leaves about 10% who’ll basically vote for their local hospital.

    • Sue d O'Nym says:

      Seems robespierre has defected to that academy of excellence erudition and pristine political thought… OTR…!

    • shave the yeti says:

      Surely the “Labour” element is redundant in modern politics. That sort of thinking associated with Labour’s political philosophy doesn’t hold water with an educated and very savvy elite. Nobody’s listening to the bearded ones.

    • robespierre says:

      Sue d o’nym – contrary to your allegation – I have never been one to guillotine debate no matter where it takes place. I even read the postings from the distant planet you populate from time to time.

    • shave the yeti says:

      er……….meant to say an educated and very savvy “electorate”

    • Sue d O'Nym says:

      11 robespierre…As I remember your complaint was that the blogs should be a forum of erudite discussion…
      I naturally assumed that you would not wish to sully what you clearly think is your superior knowledge to any less raified atmosphere particularly the swearified atmosphere of the OTR…
      I on the other hand prefer something a little wittier…not something Sith Ifrikans are renowned for I believe…
      There are not many psephologists in my social diary…

    • Sue d O'Nym says:

      ‘First they ignore you
      Then they ridicule you
      Then they fight you
      Then you win…’

    • Sue d O'Nym says:

      You’re so ‘Right’…MinXie/minnie/babz/barbera/Vlad the Impaler/shave the yeti
      No one is listening to the ‘beardy ones’ judging by current crisis in Catholicism/Religion…

    • minXie says:

      @ 8 – little bit cynical dealga but the figures add up!!
      So robespierre has defected to OTR blog!! – From my brief perusal de temps en temps of the comments there, I am thinking it is possible that is where the lost 30/40 percent dealga mentions (at the beginning of his (ahem) analysis) are hanging out and so robespierre has found a new platform for his skillful rabble rousing orations!!
      I predict a reign of terror..!! Ma foi..!! Already he has returned to talk about the guillotine @11..!!

    • Sue d O'Nym says:

      Actually robespierre you’re a bit of a ‘Boer’…

    • minXie says:

      Moderator, sir — feel free to delete all my exclamation marks — I’ll have to stop that

    • Vladlena says:

      @15 – P/seu/d/Onym/ous bosch..!

      Privet..! We Russian femmes fatales…er immigrants… have saying in this country you know:
      “CENTRA’S got it all for us”

      do svidaniya!

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