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Fine Gael Demographic

  • 19-10-2021 10:51am
    Posts: 61 ✭✭

    Last time out I voted for Fine Gael however since then I have been having a think about things.

    I am in my 30s, university educated and have a professional qualification. I work full time. My girlfriend is the same so on paper all good.

    We live in Dublin and are looking to get married and have a couple of kids.

    With the current cost of rent and the future costs of purchasing a house and childcare in Dublin we really can't see how to make it work.

    This situation has developed under the Fine Gael government with some of the blame landing on Fianna Fail.

    Fine Gael have been voted into government on a fairly consistent basis since 2000 and their target market is basically me. I no longer can explain why I'm voting for Fine Gael.

    They are promising change again but nothing is happening. All I see are luxury apartments being built in Dublin.

    We can see from the last election that it was basically the 65+ age group hat voted for Fine Gael -

    Most of these people likely couldn't tell you why they voted a certain way other than habit. They always voted for FG or FF and their parents did the same, ect. "This is a FG house".

    It seems that Sinn Fein don't need to appeal to a different demographic than those who voted for them last time out, they just need to get a few more of this demographic to actually show up and vote. One clever person who runs a good marketing campaign is the only thing standing between us and a Sinn Fein led government.

    Post edited by Quin_Dub on



  • Registered Users Posts: 10,634 ✭✭✭✭28064212

    "Consistent basis since 2000"? Fine Gael didn't spend a single day in government between June 27th, 1997 and March 8th, 2011. Fianna Fail had the massive benefits of the Celtic Tiger and single-handedly created a hugely dysfunctional housing market. Does no-one remember the Galway tents? 110% mortgages? FF were literally the party of the building developers. FG came in to government on the back of the GFC at a time of huge austerity, and were left with FF's mess.

    Should FG be doing better? Absolutely. Are they the architects of the situation? Absolutely not.

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  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    You're planning to vote with FG next time? It seems they haven't really made a dent in housing since they came into power upto to Covid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,754 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus

    I vote in my own self interest largely, so FG gets my vote at this point in my life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,356 ✭✭✭KaneToad

    You nicely dodged the point that the poster made where you were wrong in claiming that FG have been in govt since 2000. 😂

    As was rightly pointed out, FG came into power when we were bankrupt. A FG supporter would argue that they got us back to being an economic power rather than basket case. A non FG supporter would argue that it would have happened regardless...

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Nothing to dodge, I was wrong. Moving on. They have been in power for 10 years, lets discuss.

    I understand the 65+ voting in their own self interest. Voting for either FF or FG next time will result in an extension of the current so there will be a movement to get people to switch all the way to SF rather than switched between FF and FG.

    I'm worried what they would do if they got into power but personally am out of time with promises that are not materialising.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,356 ✭✭✭KaneToad


    I don't vote FG. But I can see some positives from their tenure. Particularly through the work of the Dept Finance and Pascal Donohue. We can't easily forget how utterly devastated the economy was when FG took office.

    They are fiscally conservative which is probably what we needed at the time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist

    Yes this false claim seemed to me to be straight out of the SF playbook. Am I the only one here who suspects that he's also fibbing about voting FG the last time out?

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,497 ✭✭✭✭Loafing Oaf

    Well if housing is the be all and end all for you that simplifies things doesn't it? Just look at the parties' housing policies ahead of the next election and vote for them in order of how well you like those policies.

    If you think massive state intervention is the way to solve the housing situation, well you were never going to get that from FG. I don't follow the issue very closely but Eoin O'Broin seems to be the man if you favour that approach.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,754 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus

    FG are fiscally conservative by Irish standards, but our welfare state is leaps and bounds better than even Labour would introduce in the UK. We need some sensible budgets for a few more years to continue the recovery from the FF induced disaster. I feel I pay plenty in tax, PRSI etc. , 50% or more at the marginal rate which kicks in fairly low in this country. I am happy paying that, but any more burden on those paying tax at that rate is not sustainable or fair imho.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    100% was required, even mandated. Now we are in a different situation where they can borrow at close to 0%. The government is the largest landowner in the state. There is no excuse for the slow response to the housing crisis.

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  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    SF might have policies that they won't deliver on. I know now for certain that FG won't deliver on their housing policies. I would prefer to vote for a fiscally conservative party but with the inaction am being forced into voting for SF.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,754 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus

    Everyone wants a house, we have the lowest % of apartment dwellers in Europe, we needed to build more apartments and people need to adjust life expectations to fit their means, even if it means never owning a house.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    I would take an apartment if there was ones suitable for a family at a reasonable price. The lack of accommodation drives up rent and makes it more difficult for someone to get the deposit for any type of property.

    There is an entire generation of young people who have trades and qualifications and work longer and are more productive that the previous generation and can't get anywhere near the same standard of living. Things have taken a wrong turn.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist

    No one is 'forced' into voting SF, any other party, or even voting. Your use of ridiculous hyperbole doesn't serve whatever argument you're trying to make.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,754 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus

    The deposit requirements are due to the dire state of the banks, my mortgage is at well over 4% due to the same when the ECB base rate is less than zero. We are all at the mercy of shite state of our banks Balance Sheets for the foreseeable future. What can SF do? Corp tax is a sacred cow and needs to remain so, the middle class already bear too much tax, there is no room for a massive social housing drive, nor is that the solution.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    There could be a new organisation set up that could borrow at close to 0% and issue mortgages at half of what you pay. The banks have been capitalized enough and the percentage of mortgages that are trackers are quite low and those remaining are close to the end.

    Builders could be offered a fixed price to build a specified house on state owned land with payments made at specified points so that a firm couldn't come looking for more. The state could retain ownership of the land, the buyer has a lower mortgage at a more competitive rate and the building firms have a longer term stable contract.

    It is some idea at least, which is far better than just coming up with another scheme that gives first time buyers help to buy which just allows the bidding to be driven higher for starter homes and lumping others with higher mortgages which might place them under very tough financial pressure for many years.

    The lack of action is extremely frustrating while we are being bled in Dublin by ridiculous rents. There are also very few houses in Dublin that meet the criteria of help to buy and are affordable for a young couple looking to buy their first house which is often around the same time as the first kid comes along.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,754 ✭✭✭✭Inquitus

    Even with all the above, anything more than a 90-95% mortgage is risky, so you will still need to find your deposit even if the government were to provide the land, and Gov owned land is not within easy distance of Dublin, so aye you get a 2% mortgage, a house in a less desirable location, but your will still need to save a hefty deposit.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    These houses/apartments should cost less than current prices so 10% deposit would be less and it would lower demand on the current housing stock so rents would decrease and make it easier to save this deposit. There has to be a movement to unblock the system and it has been years that FG haven't taken any decisive action to make a meaningful start on this.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,599 ✭✭✭Cyclingtourist

    When you post 'there could be a new organisation' borrowing at around 0% you can only be referring to the Irish state setting up some kind of mortgage lender and undercutting present bank rates. Firstly this would push up demand and increase home prices even more and probably lead to more defaulting down the line.

    Have you any other simplistic solutions?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,345 ✭✭✭landofthetree

    The results of a study recently published by the University of Helsinki suggest that the growing trend of “micro-apartments” (studio apartments that are smaller than average) in Finland’s cities is cause for concern. 

    summary of the research, which was published by the Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (URBARIA), revealed that upto 80 per cent of new studio apartments are extremely small and tubular, with a fifth of micro-apartments for sale measuring 30–37 square meters.  

    Dog box apartments are why homelessness has been solved in Finland.

    Imagine the left if we started building these in Dublin?

    They are no solutions only trade offs to our problems as the great Thomas Sowell says.

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  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    How about this organisation would only give mortgages to new builds or to first time buyers.

    The houses build on the land would have to be peoples PPR.

    Take investors out of the equation completely. Drive down yields and you will see them leave the current housing stock and help with prices for people looking to buy a home there also.

    Why are you looking to poke holes in someone looking for ideas on how to solve a major housing crisis?

    FG are creating an environment for funds to profit on buy/build to let and pricing people out of the market. This approach is a disaster for people in their late 20s & 30s in Dublin.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,311 CMod ✭✭✭✭Nody

    So in essence you want the state to set up a bank, run the risk to offer lower interest rate loans and you think this would somehow make the situation better instead of people simply bidding higher instead? This is before we talk about the issues of state competition with the banks etc. and EU regulation. Sorry; that's a no go.

    Secondly; state building standardized houses; once again what stops a builder from doing that today? Where exactly do you see this magical land for them to build on? And who's to retain the houses? Are you selling them on government land then the government take the risk to sell them on for what price exactly? Do you expect the state to subsidize the houses and land as well or sell for actual value? Because that's the situation today.

    What's funny about housing is that everyone wants a cheap easy solution to a very complex problem. When prices are rising people complain about the prices; if the houses fall below the value of the loans people moan about the fact they can't hand in the keys to the banks to let them take the loss to let them move on. What's needed is more apartments; less houses and people understand that no you don't need a 200sqm house to raise a family.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Many people would love to be able to buy a 90sqm apartment for their family with a mortgage that would be about 75% of their current rent including all the related expenses.

    If they were built there would be no shortage of people looking to buy.

    If repossessions were more straightforward in Ireland, like pretty much every other country in the world the risk is very low if the interest rates were around 1.5% which is a common rate in France for example.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭quokula

    Maybe not but they've solved a hell of a lot of the other problems that the country was facing when they first came to power, to the point where people like yourself and your partner are able to have good jobs and a high standard of living as you said in the first post. Without the work of recent governments that may very well not have been the case, you could have found that the reason you couldn't afford a house was that you were unemployed and there were no jobs, rather than the current issue which is that there are lots of other well educated people with good salaries willing to get into bidding wars and push the going rates up.

    The housing situation in Ireland is no worse than it is in every developed nation at the moment. It's not something that has a simple easy fix when you've got the competing interest of existing home owners not wanting to be pushed into negative equity, nimbyism pushing back against developments all the time, people wanting to live in low density housing yet also wanting to be close to city centers which is physically impossible, and of course covid kicked in and put a stop to building for a prolonged period too.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    "people like yourself and your partner are able to have good jobs and a high standard of living as you said in the first post"

    We have worked hard to get to where we are and the salaries are ok but the standard of living in not high because the cost of living in Dublin is excessive due to poor political decisions. We need to be here for our jobs and don't really fancy spending 2 hours on a train and a Bus each winter morning to get into the office by 8:30am and it is not a goer at all when a kid comes along.

    Our life is better than a lot of people but not great. Some familys who have 3 kids and are on the dole and have a social house are not much worse off and their alarm doesn't go off at 6:30am. HAP payments can be about €1,300 a month I believe so €15,600 a year towards housing and no childcare costs required.

    "competing interest of existing home owners not wanting to be pushed into negative equity, nimbyism pushing back against developments all the time"

    so people voting for FG who going by the last poll are those 65+ and/or wealthy. If they and FG are not currently aligned with the interests of people in their 20s and 30s then we will see a Sinn Fein government and increased taxes and probably less thought put into spending.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭quokula

    Only in Ireland do people advocate for "the left" because they think people in poverty get too many benefits, it's the sort of doublespeak you expect from Sinn Fein of course.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,232 ✭✭✭Brussels Sprout

    The circle that FG (and FF) are unable to square is that they want to solve the housing crisis just so long as the price of houses doesn't actually fall. That's why they keep pushing demand-side solutions to a supply side problem. The dirty little secret, that most politicians know, is that there are a whole cohort of homeowner voters out there who don't care about the housing crisis - but they absolutely do care about the equity in their homes (and opposing any housing developments anywhere near them). FG know this and see this group as the foundation of their voter base. They just can't say the quiet part out loud.

    In my opinion if you do not own your own home then you're a fool to vote for FG. The only reason to vote for them is if you primarily vote with your own interest at heart and you own your own home.

  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,620 ✭✭✭quokula

    "Our life is better than a lot of people but not great. Some familys who have 3 kids and are on the dole and have a social house are not much worse off and their alarm doesn't go off at 6:30am. HAP payments can be about €1,300 a month I believe so €15,600 a year towards housing and no childcare costs required."

    That's not complaining about too many benefits?

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  • Posts: 61 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    The alternative is not really FF though. That leaves SF. That is what I mean when I say I am being forced into voting for SF as FG are not aligning with my interests and I'm a professional with a good job and should be their base but they have dropped the ball. I was very surprised at the support SF got the last time but now I understand it. I imagine quite a lot of votes they got was a vote against FG rather than a vote for SF.

This discussion has been closed.