Election of three Sinn Fein MEPs shows how unimportant European Parliament is to us
THERE is nothing like an election drubbing to clear the air and release all manner of toxins into the atmosphere. Outside of elections, analysis of how parties or leaders are faring is all speculation, opinion and frequently self-serving spin. Putting the question to the public for their opinion can be unpredictable and dangerous as the Government parties have discovered this week.
Local and European elections are usually viewed by political commentators as not really the "full shilling". Voters can "have a go" and take a risk-free swipe at the powers that be, safe in the knowledge that the Government will still be in place after the tantrum.
But last week's vote was a deliberate statement of collective protest to the Government about the limits of austerity. It is instructive, however, that the unexpected strong support for Fianna Fail in the local elections suggests the electorate has not totally gone off the rails.