Tuesday 20 February 2018

Burton can recover the ground lost by Labour

Illustration by Jim Cogan
Illustration by Jim Cogan
Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

TODAY'S Sunday Independent/ MillwardBrown poll shows a slight preference for a Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein coalition. Before foolish members of the Fianna Fail front bench float away on a fantasy of fumes from the ministerial Mercedes, they should reflect on three reasons why Micheal Martin is right to rule out coalition with Sinn Fein.

First, the poll merely means that public anger has not yet abated. But the country has not swung permanently to Sinn Fein or Independents. I predict both groups will suffer severe setbacks at the next General Election unless the Independents form a cohesive political alliance.

Second, if Fianna Fail moves too close to Sinn Fein it will confirm Middle Ireland's suspicion that it is still a redneck republican party. Even if it succeeded in doing a squalid deal, it would not last two years – and only Sinn Fein would walk away alive from the coalition crash.

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