Tuesday 25 July 2017

Fianna Fáil's balancing act: kill FG's post-Enda bounce without triggering an election... just yet

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (centre) may have to persuade his troops to wait for the optimum moment to attack their Fine Gael foes. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (centre) may have to persuade his troops to wait for the optimum moment to attack their Fine Gael foes. Photo: Colin O’Riordan
Mandy Johnston

Mandy Johnston

'Victorious warriors win first and then go to war" - Sun Tzu. Twenty years ago, back in February 1997 before the boom began, Fianna Fáil was putting the final touches to its 'People before Politics' general election campaign. A power-hungry party frontbench applied a relentless assault to remove John Bruton as Taoiseach to get into government.

Armed with detailed politically popular policies, Fianna Fáil was chomping at the bit to oust the incumbent 'Rainbow Coalition' made up of Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Democratic Left. The onslaught was uncompromising.

Eventually Mr Bruton caved to their pressure and called a general election before he should have - the rest, as they say, is history.

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