FG And Labour Make Losses, FF And SF Make Gains, The Rest TBD

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Despite the lingering pop-culture image of the radical “Irish rebel”, which was given a momentary fillip by the successful marriage equality referendum of 2015, when it comes to the country’s post-independence politics the broad swathe of the Irish people have invariably favoured a form of cautious conservatism, by which I mean a preference for the familiar and the traditional. In part that is simply down to the origins of the modern nation of Ireland and the manner in which the two post-civil war rivals-turned-parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, were integrated into the very institutions of the state itself. In reality the choice has always been a government of FF or of FG, perhaps with the Labour Party (or other minor players) as a prop to either one. However the general election of 2016 seems to have dealt a welcome blow to the two- or three-party monopoly, one that has arguably been inevitable since the 1980s. Despite some establishment journalists issuing warnings about the “fractured” nature of our politics we should see instead a political system made pluralist, one where a wide range of opinions and the expected divisions of Right and Left will be more accurately reflected in An Dáil. In other words, democracy.

RTÉ via Slugger O’Toole
RTÉ via Slugger O’Toole
Irish Times Ipsos MRBI via Slugger O’Toole
Irish Times Ipsos MRBI via Slugger O’Toole

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