Surely if either Fine Gael or Labour play their cards right, either party could actually win the election next time?
Does anyone else reckon this is actually possible?
I get the impression nobody REALLY wants the job
While FF are in a very bad place in the polls, the polls (8%? = 13 seats) are likely to be understating the number of first preferences and certainly the number of seats they will get. Let us say they drop from 71 to 35.
Now, not all the FF votes will go to FG & Labour. There is precedent for them to go to independents (10 seats). SF are likely to make gains (let us say 10 seats, maybe more), especially in constituencies that were previously supported by the economic left and hard republican sides of FF. Despite what people say, the Greens will retain seats (5?) as there vote tends to be concentrated. That accounts for 60 seats, leaving 106. 83-84 needed for a majority. Surely Labour and FG will get more than 23 seats each?
So, while a single party majority government is possible, it is by no means certain. FG & Labour have a history of coalitions, the left wing parties are highly unlikely to have enough seats, FF are an unpalatable partner to everyone and FG are unlikely to pair up with SF. I strongly suspect FG won't want a minority government, as it would be unstable, unless some major block absented themselves, which is unlikely.
A FG-Labour coalition is the most plausible and likely result.
The Greens will not return 5, 4, 3, or 2...
Trevor Sargent is the only one who may slip in, may.
I believe FF on a good day, will return 25-30 max
On a bad day they still won't go below 20.
I agree that the govt will be FG/Lab with an very outside possibility of Lab/FG.
I cannot see Labour going in with SF/ULA etc even if the prize is a Labour Taoiseach.
FG/Lab certainly looks like the probability at the moment but I wouldn't rule anything out.
FG should do well, but I often wonder will they ever have enough support from people to be a serious force.
Labour should pick up a fair bit despite the fact that they don't seem to be coming out with any earth-shattering policies and rather seem to relying on criticising others and the charisma of their leader.
The Greens, (We will not enter a coalition with FF), IMO, are finished and will be lucky to retain 2 seats max.
SF should do well, and certainly by the time the next elections come around they will be a force to be reckoned with. History has a tendency to become just that - history.
I think that FF will do reasonably well despite all the shenannigans of late. Their problem will be that none of the others will want to be associated with them. They will however still collect a fair amount of votes. Parish Pumps politics is still alive and well. People here will say that they won't vote for Fianna Fail but will still vote for their local candidate in many instances. The likes of Miceál Martin is a case in point. He had double the quota last time out and he's not going to lose all of that. There's a 'middle ground' of experienced politicians there that will do ok. A fair few of the older ones will have gone and the younger ones still have to make a name for themselves so they'll most likely struggle.
Independents have a good chance of boosting their numbers here and possibly will hold the balance of power and have to be 'encouraged' to go one way or the other. Are they really Independent then though? They also cost us a few bob, being entitled to an Independent Allowance or 40 odd thousand !!
There's a whole raft of permutaions available this time round IMO and I don't believe that we'll have a clue right up to the day that the Cabinet is announced!!
That's not what I remember http://www.rte.ie/news/2006/0907/green.html
"But although he refused to rule out participation in a future Fianna Fáil-led government, he said most people, not just his party members, are looking for change."
Greens won't be wiped out. But even if they returned 9 (the current TDs and Senators), I don't see them holding a balance of power.
I think Labour's main weakness in 2007 was not campaigning enough as an indepedent party. This time around, with the outcome seeming more clear, on the other hand, I find it annoying that FG and Lab released contradictory responses to the budget. To me, it made their offer of an alternative less serious. I'm VERY curious how the compromises on their manifestoes work out.
The gov will either be FG majority or FG/Labour. No doubts.
You see a few years ago, a certain leader went his own way. Ruled out working with the others and in the end FF got in.
If FG do well enough I have no doubt that they will form a majority.
So they spoke of coalition and deals and that.
I don't really see the candidates themselves talking that way.
Of course it possible that either could form a majority, but it is much less likely that Lab will do it.
I'd be surprised if they got more than 2 seats.