Monday 5 December 2016

Much at stake for parties as they prepare to face apathetic voters

Published 17/03/2014 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, and President Barack Obama, hold up a bowl of shamrocks during a St. Patricks Day reception. But Fine Gael could face a backlash in the coming European elections. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
Taoiseach Enda Kenny, left, and President Barack Obama, hold up a bowl of shamrocks during a St. Patricks Day reception. But Fine Gael could face a backlash in the coming European elections. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

BRACE yourselves – we are about to go into election mode. Variously, as this St Patrick's week drags on, our wandering ministers will return, the political ceasefire will end and electioneering will start to build.

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Nine weeks from this coming Friday, people will be invited to the polls to elect their 11 Euro MEPs and 949 city and county councillors. There are big things at stake for all of the parties.

Fine Gael is hoping for damage limitation. Labour will be looking for signs that allow them to say they are not on the verge of wipeout. Fianna Fail will be trying to argue that they really are on the way back. Sinn Fein will be seeking evidence that all that they promise finally becomes something tangible.

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