Five days to go. Five days to determine who will lead us for the next five years. Five main parties scrapping to get the best they can. Five posts from the weekend and today to give some insight into how we might be looking this time next week.
Pride of place goes to the Economist which in the midst of revolution across the middle east finds room to carry an editorial on the election and a briefing note which concludes with a quote from Anne Enright that “Ireland is a series of stories it tells itself. None of them are true.” Read it and weep those who placed Ireland’s international ‘reputation’ ahead of the real needs of real people.
It seems harsh to kick Fianna Fáil when they are so patently down and out but Micheál Martin’s conversation with a pensioner and his failure to answer her direct question can be seen as a cipher for the decline, perhaps terminal of what was until three years ago the natural party of government.
Billie Sparks from the Labour Party writes her first ever blog on Election2011.ie and exhorts everyone to vote on Friday and to do so with pride. This struck me as I am proud to be voting Labour in my constituency and there is a sense that Labour voters across the country will do likewise. I have not seen a similar sense of being proud to vote for Fine Gael, their base seems to be more pragmatic, or am I just mixing in the wrong circles?
Irish Polling Report continues his excellent analysis of the pools and highlights the MRBI poll published today as being the one closest to the one that got it more right than any other in 2007. He is forecasting 74 FG, 38 LAB, 20 Others, 18 FF and 16 SF. With FG coming ten short of an overall majority that would leave the independent split between those of the left, those of the right and those of the pothole variety as being the most crucial in determining the likely nature of coalition. Then again FG and FF would be able to provide stability, if not much hope, in a coalition of the two parties who are most closely aligned on policy.
Finally for today let us look to history (video) In February 1973 a Fianna Fail government was coming to the end of 16 years of power. The national coalition of FG and LAB, led by Liam Cosgrave and Brendan Corish were the winners on that occasion. What difference has 38 years made? We’ll know soon enough.