Left parties should not ‘squander’ support in coalition - Boyd Barrett

People Before Profit-Solidarity call for left wing parties to avoid ‘disastrous mistakes’ of past coalitions

Left wing parties should not "squander" momentum for political change by supporting Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil in coalition, People Before Profit - Solidarity (PBP-Sol) has said in one of its final pitches to voters before polling day.

Richard Boyd Barrett, who is seeking to retain his seat in Dún Laoghaire, said the "disastrous mistakes" of the Labour Party and the Greens in entering government with Fine Gael of Fianna Fáil "must not be made again."

Speaking at the radical left wing grouping’s final press conference of the election campaign outside Leinster House, Boyd Barrett said the party was “appealing for an absolutely huge turnout” from voters.

“We’re also appealing for other parties of the left to have the same courage and ambition as is clearly being expressed by people on the doorsteps for a breaking of the cycle of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael rule, and to stay left,” he said.


Boyd Barrett called on Sinn Féin and other smaller centre left parties not to “squander this historic opportunity” by supporting either of the traditional centre right parties in forming a government after the election.

“We will keep pressure on other parties to keep moving left, to stay left … The best guarantee to keep the other left parties honest is to vote People Before Profit - Solidarity, and keep that momentum for change going,” he said.

Paul Murphy of Rise party, who is standing in Dublin South West under the PBP-Sol banner, said the grouping was in a position to hold its six seats.

“If you do the maths Sinn Féin have 42 candidates in this election, in order to have a Dáil majority you need to have 80 TDs plus.

“If there is to be an alternative government formed, one that excludes Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, well then a whole number of candidates from Solidarity - People Before Profit and other principled lefts need to be elected,” Murphy said.

The left wing grouping were the only ones who would use their Dáil seats to “block the return of any government involving Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael,” he said.

Bríd Smith, who is running to retain a seat she narrowly won in Dublin South Central, said this election campaign had been dominated by "big picture" discussions, rather than local issues such as roads or schools.

“It’s like a Repeal moment only it’s much more exciting in a way, because everywhere you go people are talking politics and young people are very much engaged in the political agenda,” she said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times