Saturday 17 February 2018

Like it or not, FF is now our most popular party

It's time for Martin and Co to move on from being vaguely apologetic and really stand for something

FF leader Micheal Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
FF leader Micheal Martin and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Fianna Fail's Lisa Chambers celebrates winning a seat at the count in Castlebar
Fianna Fail candidate for Blackrock Mary Hanafin celebrates her win with her mother Mona Hanafin at the count in the City West Hotel, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Many people who commented on or made conclusions about the elections last week had clearly come to their conclusions before the elections ever happened. And once a consensus had been reached there was only one story. Labour had a meltdown, Gilmore had to go, Sinn Fein did amazingly well, watch out everyone else.

And this was true to a point. But what was ignored in that consensus were other stories and other details that possibly didn't fit the consensus narrative. Labour did have a meltdown, but Fine Gael had a bit of one as well, dropping about a third of its vote since the last election. Sinn Fein did do well but not as well as everyone expected. And the big story, that really, really didn't fit anyone's accepted narrative, was that Fianna Fail had a good election.

I know. I know. Most of you don't want to think that or accept it. But I'm afraid it's true. Fianna Fail was the most popular party in the local elections, and indeed, if they managed their vote a bit better in the Europeans, they could have done OK-ish there as well. According to Friday's Irish Times, if these had been general elections Fianna Fail would have emerged with more seats than any other party.

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