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Does Fianna Fáil have a political future?

  • 10-08-2022 6:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 58 ✭✭NOG92

    Despite being the party that has been in government the most number of times since the foundation of the state, Fianna Fáil finds itself in a rather precarious position.

    While FF experienced a modest recovery following its 2011 meltdown, the party has struggled to regain its once dominant position in Irish politics.

    In the last general election of 2020, the party of Dev managed to only take 38 of the 160 seats in Dáil Éireann, down seven from its 2016 showing.

    Now, with disquiet among backbenchers concerning the direction of the party and internal division over who should lead FF into the next election, the question has to be asked: does Fianna Fáil have a political future?



  • Registered Users Posts: 29,400 ✭✭✭✭freshpopcorn

    If Sinn Fein get into Government next time around and keep all their promises I'd say FF would be in a lot of trouble. Similar with other political parties.

  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭petronius

    What does FF stand for?

    It is no longer the party of "people with no property" or of rural Ireland and working class (north) Dublin. Socially conservative and economically left of center it used to be, now it is a cold place for social conservatives and its time in government with the PDs made it as right-wing economically as FG.

    It may as well merge with Labour and the Social Democrats - or FG.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,873 ✭✭✭0ph0rce0

    Of course they do. Every idiot in the country will have them in again sure next time round.

    That's how we roll.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭petronius

    SF keep all their promises - spend money we don't have - drive FDI away -

    betraying rural Ireland with their fence-sitting on green policies - having to make a decision?

    As they have been in government in the North (implementing british rule) can you name 1 policy they implemented that they would implement in the 26 counties?

  • Registered Users Posts: 58 ✭✭NOG92

    I actually have to more or less agree with you. I cannot think of a single rep in FF who inspires, nor indeed one in whom you would have confidence to steer the ship of government. Jack Chambers seems to be seen by some within FF as their future saviour, but I am not convinced.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,436 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    The young people never voted the way their elders did, they voted the SAME as their elders did and that is why FF/FG will remain. SF might get into government at some stage, but won’t go full term, maybe two years if that and it will be cursed within fighting as various factions treat it as mandate to do all kinds of crap.

  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭petronius

    SF in government, factions a split, gosh we wouldn't want to go there!

    SF a mix of rural farming and nationalists, and urban far-left liberals will eventually clash

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,733 ✭✭✭✭Galwayguy35

    Lisa Chambers was seen as someone who would appeal to the next generation of voters but that dodgy finger of hers took some of the shine off her.

    Hard to know if she will get elected next time around either.

    As for the party I can see them doing a deal with the Shinners to form a coalition.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,791 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3

    FFFG vote has been in steady decline for some time now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38,650 ✭✭✭✭Annasopra

    I think FF will end up splitting in two with half merging into SF and half merging into FG.

    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

    Terry Pratchet

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,585 ✭✭✭skimpydoo

    Lisa never got elected last time and was gifted a senate seat.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭Brucie Bonus

    All FF have is tribalism.

    They only ever had an appeal for the majority of the electorate, (who are floating voters) by not being FG.

    So it will be interesting to see how the campaigning goes in the run up to the next election.

    In 2011 FG got in on not being FF. Then the public, unhappy with FG, couldn't bring themselves to get behind FF after the whole crash and IMF etc.. So this left a weak FG relying on FF. So all they could do in the run up to the last election was take little jabs at each other fully aware SF were on the rise and a threat to the traditional see-saw swap Lanigan's ball.

    So with continued record breaking housing and health crises and more people feeling it, it will be interesting to see them bring up the IRA and the conflict/Troubles when challenged on housing etc..

    There is a chance of another FF/FG coalition, but I think that will do serious damage to both FF/FG in the long run.

    If SF go in with FF, they'd want to be cleaner than clean because SF will be held to a standard, (as is every FF partner) were FF usually get the blind eye/boys will be boys.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,994 ✭✭✭✭lawred2

  • They'll continue the same way they did after the banking crash. People forget, or shift their blame to other political parties for more recent fckups.

    When there's so few choices... FF will continue to muddle through.

  • Registered Users Posts: 648 ✭✭✭Irelandsnumberone

    If they pull the plug on this Govt before the changeover, they may survive even gain support

    Will the? Probably not unfortunately for them

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,183 ✭✭✭Floppybits

    This is the problem they have at the moment, as another poster said above, they have no talent coming through so if they did get rid of the dead wood and there is a lot of it who would they replace it with. Sure most people wouldn't even know who the deputy leader of FF is? I think it says it all when the likes of Jack and Lisa Chambers are being touted as leaders of the party. Unless they can turn things around in the next couple of years they are going to be destroyed in the next election. I can see them ending up like Labour or the PD's before that hanging around the 5% mark and propping up either FG or SF.

    I think after the next election we are going to be looking at 2 big parties SF and FG and then 3 or 4 like FF, Labour, Greens and SD all hanging around the 5 - 10% mark with either SF or FG needing a couple of them to form a government. We could be in for a couple of quick elections.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 58 ✭✭NOG92

    I have contemplated this as well and there's no doubt a certain number of FF TDs and senators believe that they'd be popular among their own supporters and some swing voters if they did pull the curtain down on this gov early. The only problem with this is that I don't see anyone within FF who has the courage to blink first and do it...

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,959 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Well, the guy who I thought would lead any split (but not be its leader after) left the party entirely. McSharry.

  • Registered Users Posts: 58 ✭✭NOG92

    The lack of any real party identity is without doubt their biggest problem. For decades they were the big tent, catch all party but the days of them being all things to all men (& women) are long gone. Prior to the late naughties, one may have been able to successfully challenge the old mantra of there being no difference between them and FG aside from their treaty stance. But both parties are today viewed as very much centre-right of the spectrum in the traditional European conservative sense. FF may like to proclaim they're left of centre but their policies and track record in government prove otherwise. Besides, many view SF as now occupying that space, despite their opponents decrying them as far left radicals. I sometimes think that the only hope FF has of remaining a force in Irish public life is if they firmly planted their flag in the centre, á la "New Labour" under Blair.

    What's other people's thoughts on this? 🤔

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,183 ✭✭✭Floppybits

    This is the problem they have now is that they are indistinguishable from FG, if they want to survive they have to find a place where they can be seen as being different to FG but now also the SF. Not much room in-between those 2 for FF.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,453 ✭✭✭✭maccored

    coinsidering the shinners have never been in power (you cant count the north as being in power as - unionists. If unionism was the same here you'd understand that one)- what are you basing your 'merely a facsimile of FF or yore' on? SF and FF are nothing alike - though that sticks in the craw in many of those who draw lazy comparisons between the two

    FF (and FG) are spent forces and have been for a long, long time

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭Brucie Bonus

    Is there a chance O'Cuiv could make a run? A back to the roots god fearing throw back to the dark times?

    FF are great at reinventing themselves while actually not changing a thing, but I think it's wearing very thin for them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,370 ✭✭✭Luxembourgo

    That's true in a way, we have no idea what SF will be like in charge given they are glorified county councillors up North and seem unable to push for the same changes they will implement in the south.

    We have no idea what SF will be like, opposition to government is a massive change. It will be interesting to see how they react to that change. And how quickly they can articulate what the change they will deliver will be when they are in with another party/parties.

    FF are done, as someone said above, seen to want that sweet 3 percent of the SDs they are never ever going to get.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,038 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,245 ✭✭✭lightspeed

    You ll make it sound like we are not going to see a FF/SF government after next general election which is the most likely outcome.

    When this happens, tell me what will be different?

    1) Will we build high rise buildings like they do in every other developed country in the world to deal with supply? NO

    2) Will we make it easier for banks to repossess homes. See cases like below are reasons why we pay highest interest rates in Europe but banks like KBC and Ulster Bank still can't make enough profit to stay. They have left and existing banks will now increase their interest rates. What will SF or FF/SF do to make it easier to repossess property?

    3) It can take years for landlords to evict tenants without payment whilst paying a mortgage in most cases. Will SF or FF/SF pass legislation to change this? Its politically unpopular but landlords are leaving in droves so where will rental accommodation come from?

    The facts are the answers to all of the above major issues is NO so there will not be even a wiff of change. We will still be Anti-Supply Anti-Bank and Anti-landlord. FG will then most likely do well then after FF/SF have brought about zero change and the country still suffering from high inflation.