Sunday 15 December 2019

Floating Voter: The (t)urban/rural divide as flat caps and cartoon socks turn up in political style stakes

Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin. Photo: PA
Fianna Fail Leader Micheal Martin. Photo: PA
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan
Enda Kenny
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Let's face it, none of our candidates will be troubling the catwalks of Paris, Milan or New York any time soon.

But there's been a few fashion choices along the campaign trail that have stuck in the mind and are pictured above.

Apologies to 'Floating Voter' favourite Michael Healy-Rae, but the winner of best flat cap of Election 2016 goes to Green Party leader Eamon Ryan. A jaunty tartan number, it was his habit of wearing it backwards that sealed the deal for the new Dublin Bay South TD.

The most striking piece of headwear for a woman candidate was sported by Fine Gael's Mary Mitchell O'Connor the day the Taoiseach visited south Dublin. Was it a glitzy turban or a fancy hairband? We may never know. Elsewhere, Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien wins the prize for most pop-culture references on footwear for his Family Guy 'Stewie' socks. It was an epic fashion fail for Gerry Adams for the old pair of trainers he was wearing on a canvass in Tallaght.

And finally, the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil both cast their votes wearing the colours of the other party.

In Mayo, Taoiseach Enda Kenny denied the pair had co-ordinated their tie choice on the day and said his green tie was "for Ireland".

Micheál Martin, voting in Cork, said: "Ah will you give me a break?" when asked about his choice of blue. A sign that Civil War politics is at an end? Perhaps not.

Gaffe of the campaign

There's simply no contest when it comes to the biggest gaffe of the campaign.It has to be 'Whinge-gate' by an absolute country mile. It remains to be seen how much Taoiseach Enda Kenny will come to rue the remark that Castlebar was home to some "All-Ireland champion" whingers. He failed to clarify the comments for two days, at one point saying: "Some of them wouldn't know sunshine if they saw it." He eventually said he was referring to Fianna Fáil politicians and apologised to any members of the public who had been offended. Ouch.

Get Marty back for future poll

Great Scott! The prize for best election video has to go to Martin Heydon's 'Back to the Future' effort. He had competition from Mattie McGrath's bonkers clip, where he dances in a pair of boxing gloves with his opponent's names on them. But between the use of his pal's DeLorean and Daisy the pregnant cow, Heydon's cheesefest made issues like the Athy bypass and pylons entertaining. 'Floating Voter' is looking forward to a Western-style sequel if the country is forced back to the polls.

Election poster wards

Every election sparks poster wars, whether it's the race for the best lampost or more nefarious acts of sabotage. We've had some proper doozies in this campaign between the bandit that cut the faces out of candidates' billboards in Longford to the mysterious disappearance of hundreds of posters belonging to Limerick's Patrick O'Donovan. But it was the battle between the weather and poll hopefuls' mugs that was most fiercely fought. "You're risking life and limb with flying election posters," Willie O'Dea noted during Storm Imogen.

Kelly lights up Twitter as his vigorous celebration goes viral

Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly was the gift that kept on giving for the Twitterati as they gleefully mocked his very, very vigorous election victory celebration.

His party had a bad election but no one was more visibly pleased to retain their seat than 'AK-47'. He punched the air and his face turned a deep shade of Labour red as he was hoisted on his supporters' shoulders.

While he was clearly happy in the extreme, one Twitter user, Veronica Walsh, noticed a striking similarity between Mr Kelly's face and the character 'Anger' from the 'Inside Out' Pixar movie.

Other suggestions on social media included a red-faced Incredible Hulk and He-man from the 1980s cartoon. Among the other tweets 'Floating Voter' enjoyed was Labour candidate Kevin Humphreys' updates about his electioneering pooch Oscar's escapades and Alan Shatter's poetic interludes rhyming "fiscal space" with "voters' embrace". RTÉ's Sharon Tobin provided what was perhaps the best metaphor for Labour's faltering campaign when she posted a video of a bank of microphones collapsing in front of Joan Burton.


Irish Independent

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