Stability Vs Chaos


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Alison O’Connor, columnist with The Irish Examiner on Prime Time last night

Last night RTÉ’s Prime Time looked at the forthcoming general election.

During the programme, Irish Examiner columnist Alison O’Connor said:

“Well, if variety is your kind of thing, this election is going to be for you. I think we’re going to see a real all-sorts Dáil, following this election. But that could feed into, possibly, an unstable situation.”

The last few years has seen a phenomenal rise in the hard left. The way that they’ve tapped into people’s upset at the Government’s austerity policies, the way they’ve managed to bring people, tens of thousands of people out onto the street to protest. But I think, equally surprising really has been how they’ve failed to capitalise on that. There isn’t a sense that there’s going to be massive gains in the general election.”

Meanwhile, also last night…


Watch last night’s Prime Time in full here

Previously: The Squiggle Of Doom

Beware Of Pundits Crying Chaos

On A Right Wing And A Prayer

23 thoughts on “Stability Vs Chaos

  1. MoyestWithExcitement

    “There isn’t a sense that there’s going to be massive gains in the general election.”

    “isn’t a sense”? Jesus.

  2. ringusboreum

    There is a misconception out there regarding the protesters against water meters and austerity in general that they are of the left or lard left. Some assuredly are but I would say a majority are not. It is just the far left politicians who are seen at these protests in the public eye. These numbers will not translate as votes in the coming election.

    1. Lorcan Nagle

      That’s a distinct possibility, though when they mentioned the plan to create a left-wing framework for independent candidates to rally around at one of the last protests, nobody near me seemed opposed to the idea, and there was very loud applause overall.

      I doubt anyone is banking on the entire protest vote, but I wouldn’t be urprised if a lot of the people who wouild have dismissed the left-wing parties are considering them more seriously now.

      1. DubLoony

        There isn’t a coherent strategy among them.
        The habit of changing names, renaming campaigns and in-fighting causes confusion. The united left alliance collapsed, Socialist party are AAA, right2change appears to be SF taking on the right2 water mantle – but I’m not sure.

        1. Lorcan Nagle

          I’m not sure why differing left-wing parties or groups should have a coherent strategy – They stand for different things, after all.

          That said, there is wisdom in banding together to use commanality as strength – which is a traditional problem of the left in general, and lampooned brilliantly with the People’s Front of Judea, Judean People’s Front, the Judean Popular Front and so on in Life of Brian.

          RE: right2change, I’m not sure if there’s been an SF takeover, but it was concieved originally as that common ground idea for independent lft-leaning candidates to work together under.

          1. DT

            They don’t appear to have a commonality of purpose other than a blunt anti-austerity message. That’s fine as a protest vote but General Elections are about electing governments. They’ll still increase their representation but not by much.

            Allied to the fact that SF won’t go in with Labour/FF, FF won’t go in with FG/SF, it means there’s only one clear coalition option on the table currently: FG/Lab. Now, the reality is that FF and SF will go into some coalition if that’s “what the people decide” but it’s not clear to voters what that might look like.

            The Stability v Chaos dichotomy is perhaps harsh on FF/SF/AAA/Etc. but if I was FG/Lab I’d be playing it up big time. For all the anger of recent years, most voters will vote in their own self interest and as the economy appears to be moving in the right direction, many will be unwilling to vote for an option that they perceive may harm that in some way.

          2. Lorcan Nagle

            Well the commonality of message thing is where Right2change comes in for the independents at least. It’s a series of policies that are primarily anti-austerity, but also pro-equality, fairness, social justice and so on. The idea is that anyone who uses their banner signs up to these principals and policies as part of their manifesto.

  3. Nicolas Roche

    The Dan O’Brien graph misrepresents things badly by including the 2014 local elections. Locals are always used to give the govt a kicking so would always be expected to have a higher first pref for parties outside FF/FG/Lab. I’d bet that if you plotted LE and GE results separately on the above graph, political fragmentation would consistently be higher for LE than GE from 1948 onwards.

    Aside from that, likely to be a hugely interesting election.

    1. ollie

      FG & FF % of votes for 2011 election was around 54%.In previous election it was around 68%.

      This represents a shift to the left when you consider that FG/FF combined votes previously would have been as high as 80%

      There won’t be a marked change in the next election but over thee next say 2 or 3 elections the FF/FG stranglehold on power will be broken.

      1. Just sayin

        Bit misleading.

        FF/FG/LAB in 2007 had a combined vote of 79%.
        In 2011, this was 73%. A significant amount of that decline was the 3% growth in the SF vote.
        Poll after poll show an improvement in this SF vote and a big independent vote which says more about parochialism than the rise of the hard left.

  4. ollie

    “Stability Vs chaos”. Blah blah blah, we’ve had chaos for the last 30 years in this Country thanks to FG/FF.

  5. Zuppy International

    Whenever I come across the phrase “hard-left” within political discourse I usually see a regime puppet trying to impress party bosses by demonising the common sense of ordinary decent people.

    1. Just sayin

      Really? I see flashbacks of the first two years of President Mitterand’s term when he nearly bankrupted France trying to implement dogmatic policies and then spent the next five years undoing the damage.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Aye. “Columnists” should have their allegiances plastered on the screen when they’re interviewed for things like this. One would be forgiven for thinking she’s an objective analyst and thus influenced by what she says.

  6. sqoid

    It’s a bit unfair to give the Hard Left all the credit for mobilising all the protestors.
    The government have done more than their fair share to ensure good numbers at protests

  7. Truth in the News

    Stability or chaos, look at the HSE, Irish Water, Guards and now the flooding
    where they could not organise a spill off in the Shannon to lower it, to accomodate
    a winter flood, all they are is sound bites and spin, the people know it and they
    know too that the electoerate know it also. the actual chaos is them losing their

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