Friday 20 April 2018

Right2Water campaigners could form political party ahead of General Election

Brendan Ogle
Brendan Ogle

Paul Healy

RIGHT2WATER campaigners have not ruled out establishing a new political party before the next election.

When asked about the formation of a party Brendan Ogle of Right2Water said  the movement needed to “grab the bull by the horns and see where it takes us”.

He was speaking at the launch of a survey of water protestor’s opinions and the social and political impacts of the movement.

The survey, which featured more than 2,500 participants, was commissioned by Maynooth lecturer Dr Rory Hearne.

One of the main findings of the report was that most of those surveyed believed there was a need for a new political party to represent their anti-austerity views.

Mr Ogle said that those in the campaign was “considering everything” and that any new political party or movement would need to sit down and look at the policies discussed in Mr Hearne’s report.

“If we can start a process of looking at policy areas and agree a policy platform, rather than look at names or parties, that seems to be the starting point , and that’s on the way,  and that policy platform will emerge within a number of weeks in a very public way”, Mr Ogle said.

“I think we have to be brave as a movement and we have to push this forward in the next 12 months.

Using the online survey site Survey Monkey, participants in the survey cited ‘Austerity gone too far’ was the main reason for their mobilisation, as opposed to just water charges.

More than 90pc of those surveyed said they would not be paying the water charges , while close to 70pc said they felt the Right2Water campaign had been effective.

More than 80pc of respondents indicated that they would vote for broadly ‘Left’ candidates , 31pc said they would vote for  People Before Profit or Anti Austerity  Alliance , 27pc for left independents, 23pc for Sinn Fein and 5.6pc for Right independents.

The remaining 5.6pc of those surveyed said they would not vote.

Meanwhile , 65pc  said that they had changed their mind on who to vote for in the next election as opposed to their previous votes, and the majority of these said they were  moving away from government parties to opposition Left parties and independents.

Just over a half of respondents identified themselves what the priority issues for a new party should be, focusing on equality and fairness, political reform, standing up to Europe and fairer taxation.

Online Editors

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