Monday 9 December 2019

Burton on the back-foot in Dublin West

IT IS to put it mildly seismic to witness the scenario where Dublin West will for the shortened remainder of this Dail be represented by two Socialist Party TDs.

That, however, may not be the end of the seismic shocks that Dublin West have in store for us.

The election has been somewhat overlooked given the chaotic dramas of the rest of the battlefield but its result may have a far more destabilizing effect upon the Coalition.

In the wake of the by-election despite some disappointment in the final result Fianna Fail are sure of a seat in the next election.

Obviously the Socialist Party with two TD’s are sure of retaining one of those seats in 2016 or 2015 or 2014, depending on when we have our next great general election adventure.

Now that Sinn Fein’s Paul Donnelly has finally cracked the Dublin West nut by coming in a strong third – and more importantly still having won a council seat - Sinn Fein are on course in the capital.

Of course, Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael’s Dark Prince is despite all of his party’s travails also a certainty for a seat.

So far so good you might say for it is rare enough for seats in a Dublin constituency to be so tidily filled.

But wait, have we left some-one out?

Who is that you say?

No, surely not?

Well possibly surely yes, for in the wake of the visitation of the Meath East Labour Angel of Death to Ms Burton’s constituency the Labour Deputy leader may be in far more political trouble than any-one thought possible.

Ms Burton may amongst the general public be seen as the national Queen Mum but when your candidate comes trailing in seventh then you are in trouble on the home patch.

In this case suddenly without the courtesy of any prior notice Joan finds herself squeezed to the left of her by the Socialist Party and Sinn Fein and to the right by the immoveable FG object of Leo Varadkar and a combination of FF and Independent flexible friends of the working man.

Were Ms Burton to lose her seat it would not be unprecedented for Joan has experienced that indignity before.

She would not be unique either for in the cold capital Labour and PD leaders, let alone Deputy Leaders, have lost their seats.

In a scenario such as this the great adventure of what Joan does next may decide whether Ms Burton is even in the next Dail let alone whether she wins the second prize of the Labour leadership.

And, sadly the narrowing options for Joan in this regard means Mr Gilmore may soon be sleeping even more uneasily than his still ambitious Deputy Leader.

Online Editors

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