Siptu chief Jack O’Connor warns on Fine Gael majority

Single-party Fine Gael rule must be avoided ‘at all costs’, cautions union president

Siptu president Jack O’Connor: Message seen as laying the ground for Labour’s general election campaign. Photograph: The Irish Times

Siptu president Jack O’Connor: Message seen as laying the ground for Labour’s general election campaign. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Siptu president Jack O’Connor has warned a single-party Fine Gael government “must be avoided at all costs”, a message seen as laying the ground for Labour’s general election campaign.

In a message to union members, Mr O’Connor claims a single-party government is a real possibility that can only be prevented by more voters deciding to support the Labour Party in the run up to polling day.

The junior Coalition partner is currently polling about 7 per cent, while Fine Gael has made recent gains to push towards the 30 per cent mark.

“It is clear from the most recent political opinion polls that we are on the way to electing a monopoly, single-party, Fine Gael government – unless a significantly greater number of voters decide to support Labour,” Mr O’Connor wrote in the latest issue of the Siptu magazine.

‘Framing the choice’

Labour sources characterised the article as “framing the choice” facing the electorate. The approach is likely to be replicated by party Ministers and TDs in the coming weeks.

Minister for Communications Alex White recently said Fine Gael should not be let into government on its own because this would lead to a “more right-wing government”.

Mr O’Connor said that, on current figures, Fine Gael will be able “to place their second candidate ahead of the Labour person in most constituencies and sweep into power on transfers, with the support, if required, of a number of right- wing Independents.

“If Fine Gael had managed to pull off the overall majority which they came within a few seats of last time, they would have gone on to implement the full agenda as outlined in their manifesto,” he said.