Politics.ie on billtormey.ie

politics.ie seems to think that I am against Enda Kenny. Not true. I support him because I think he would be a very good chairman type Taoiseach. However, the data published recently indicate that if an election is held before christmas – and there ought to be an election to confer democratic legitimacy on budgetry policy- the cockpit of the general election in the greater Dublin area would reverberate to the echo of Labour gains with Fianna Fail and the Greens suckin’ diesel. My concern is the financial state of the country and the jobs crisis for which I think Fine Gael has the best solutions to each as I said yesterday. Fine Gael is in the high teens percentage in Dublin polls overall. Given the usual distribution of the Fine Gael vote in the metropolitan area recent years, in which constituency is Fine Gael likely to gain a seat? Maybe Paschal Donohoe in Central as a side benefit of the by-election. Maybe Derek Keating or Frances FitzGerald in the Clondalkin/Lucan area. Remember in the 2009 Local Government Election in the city, many FG candidates were elected into the last seat at a time when the party was on higher poll ratings in the city and Gay Mitchell was rampant in Europe. Joe Higgins is a racing certainty for the Socialist Party in Mulhuddart and Boyd Barrett likely in Kingstown for the SWP. That is where I am getting my skepticism from. Honesty is better then self-delusion. I have felt the winds of the 1992 Spring Tide, The Robinson Rumble and de Rossa gale in 1989. I remember Garret dragging Ruairi onwards as an FG outrider on his literature in the early 80s. How many seats would Fine Gael get in Dublin South now? There will be two Labour In South East and most likely in Northwest where I am. Do I like that? What do you think? If Labour is truly at about 30% nationally, the 50s will be the minimum seat numbers. Because of incumbency, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael may survive in other areas. I may attempt to go through the constituencies soon to harden up on the numbers but remember in 1992, Labour won in Clare, Sligo, Laois Offaly, Westmeath etc and had two quotas in Dublin North. Eithne Fitzgerald had a huge vote in Dublin South which promptly disappeared despite being responsible for the Freedom of Information Act. The Dame Eithne thing unfortunately did for her. There is precident for huge late swings in elections. For Fine Gael, it may be an Oscar Wilde moment. It could swing either way!

So with Enda indisputably set to lead on, Fine Gael has to re-invent Enda in the swing voters minds or suffer the consequences. It is as simple as that.

Hard Questions for Fine Gael to remove personal enmity from the family.

Look at all the polls over a year and draw a trend line for each. The line will have a negative slope. I wish that was not the case but it is indisputable. I have spent too many years in medical science to give you the wrong diagnosis on the hard data. As Fergus Finlay put it, “politics is a cruel trade”. For Fine Gael as a party, the question is – what level of national support is the target? Is the present number of seats and level of support a baseline or a median? What are the minimum requirements for accrediting the political success of leadership? What are the requirements to change the negative support line to a positive again? What is the likelihood of recent personnel changes in backroom staff and reallocation of responsibilities to succeed in reversing the trend?

Why is Fine Gael important to Ireland?

I believe that personnel in the current Fine Gael Parliamentary Party have the knowledge and ability to turn this country around. Getting the right mix of economic stimulation for jobs and spending cuts in targeted areas would be helped by the input of Pat Rabbitte and Ruairi Quinn at cabinet. Getting rid of most of the quangos and running the country in a democratically accountable way is an urgent reform.

Time will tell – numbers talk and poll numbers change.

PS. I have no influence on what happens in Fine Gael. I am not being disingenuous.

Remember Brian Lenihan and Cowen have backed this country into a one-way-street. Their mistakes have narrowed the economic choices drastically for any new government. These two should have nothing to do with the continuing government of this state. That is why a national government is a nonsense. Except in wartime, an opposition and an alternative is a necessity.