Labour not getting sufficient credit on economy, says Rabbitte
Significance of Government achievements ‘not, I think, fully internalised by people’
Speaking in relation to The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll this week which found Labour at just 6 per cent, their lowest figure since 1987, Pat Rabbitte said it concerned him, but that the average over 26 polls this year had s been 10 per cent. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Speaking in Galway before the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) autumn conference, Mr Rabbitte said 81 per cent of the Irish people did not vote for Labour in the last election, but “100 per cent almost seem to think we should take exclusive responsibility for the pace of recovery”.
Speaking in relation to The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll this week which found Labour at just 6 per cent, their lowest figure since 1987, Mr Rabbitte said it concerned him, but that the average over 26 polls this year had been 10 per cent.
“The significance of the achievements of the Government are not, I think, fully internalised by people. This country was bankrupted when we came to Government,” he said.
“I find it hard to believe that the people will punish the party that will bring around economic recovery and reward the party that caused the economic collapse.
“I’m always disappointed that some people seem to think because we have a new Government, we have a new economy. We got an economy that was shipwrecked and it has been trying to pull that back from the brink that has preoccupied us at a time when we only have one lender.”
He described speculation over Labour leader Eamon Gilmore’s future as a “canard which will keep us going until the weekend”.
“Eamon Gilmore has been the most effective leader of the Labour party in its history. He brought back more seats than any Labour Party leader. He won a byelection since then, and a presidential election. He’s the best person with the steadying hand on the tiller to help in a coalition arrangement to lead this country back to recovery.”
He said it was encouraging that 33,800 extra people were at work in the first three-quarters of the year in comparison with the same time period last year, but that the level of unemployed remained “unconscionably high”.