Tuesday 12 December 2017

James Downey: One year on, the coalition must leave comfort zone

James Downey

James Downey

THIS time last year, we were in the middle of a general election campaign whose result was foreordained. We had to decide only two questions: the extent of Fianna Fail's devastation and whether the election would deliver a Fine Gael single-party government or a Fine Gael-Labour coalition.

I have always maintained that we voted for the result we got. Some dispute that, pointing to evidence in the Fine Gael transfer patterns. But there is no evidence that Fine Gael supporters were unhappy with the outcome -- or, indeed, that Labour voters expected anything else. The slogan "Gilmore for Taoiseach" never had much credibility.

A minor question: Could Sinn Fein make major gains, perhaps enough to overtake Fianna Fail?

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