Politics

Thursday 24 July 2014

Childers: Labour must know it's heading for poll disaster

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 29/04/2014|02:30

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Nessa Childers

LABOUR politicians "must have known" that the party was heading towards a drubbing in the local and European elections, a former party MEP has said.

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Nessa Childers, who dramatically quit the party last July in protest against its policies, said she wouldn't have been "able to live with myself" if she had remained within the Labour fold.

Ms Childers is poised to take a seat in Dublin in next month's European elections after recording a surprise 19pc support in last weekend's Millward/Brown 'Sunday Independent' opinion poll.

The serving MEP, who was elected in the now defunct Ireland East constituency, is sitting in second place, marginally behind Sinn Fein candidate Lynn Boylan.

However, Ms Childers is picking up significant transfers and could potentially top the poll.

Speaking to the Irish Independent while canvassing in Dublin, Ms Childers said there was a greater level of public anger than during previous campaigns.

"People that I actually meet outside canvassing in the streets, they're much more angry, they feel let down and some of them are plain frightened to be honest.

"There is a rhetoric that isn't listening, there is a propaganda that isn't listening to all the people left behind," Ms Childers said.

"And if you talk to people on the street, you'll see that they are being left behind and they are getting very angry. They're seeing mismanagement and cronyism inside political parties and they're fed up of political parties and they can see what's going on in them, all the same things again," she added.

Ms Childers refused to be drawn on the remarks by her European Parliament colleague Phil Prendergast who yesterday called on Labour to replace Eamon Gilmore as leader.

Disastrous

However, she said that there must have been expectation among Labour figures that the party was heading towards a disastrous poll rating of 6pc.

"I left the Labour Party because I didn't approve of their policies. To say a terrible cliche, they are where they are, and some of them must have known it would happen," Ms Childers said.

"I paid a price for going by my principles. I wanted to be able to live with myself, and I couldn't defend the policies anymore."

Irish Independent

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