If today’s opinion poll proves anything it is both the historical annihilation in store for Fianna Fáil at the polls and the volatility in support for the other parties as people actively seek out an alternative to this disastrous government.
Deputy Gilmore thought he could maintain both the illusion of Labour representing an alternative while committing his party to fundamentally the same cuts agenda as Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The significant drop recorded in support for Labour clearly demonstrates a trend of people now seeing through that party as well an unfinished quest by many thousands of workers and unemployed to find a genuine alternative to the pro-cuts consensus of which that party is part.
Sinn Féin are benefiting from Labour’s increased identification with being a party of the establishment. However, Sinn Féin’s claim to be a “left” alternative lacks credibility when one looks at the budget they have signed up to yesterday in the Northern Ireland Executive amounting to £4 billion in cuts, pay freezes, rates hikes and privatisations!
Are we to take seriously Sinn Féin’s “partitionist” approach to cuts – opposing them while in opposition in the South, while supporting them while in power in the North? If they are willing to implement British government cuts in coalition with the DUP, you can take it as read that they would sign up to IMF / ECB cuts if they get even the scent of an opportunity to be part of a coalition government after the next election. Only two and a half years ago Sinn Fein were desperate to prop up Fianna Fáil in power.
The increase in support for what the pollsters have termed “Independents / Others” hides the growth in support for the radical left in the form of the recently launched United Left Alliance.
The launch of United Left Alliance has had an impact on the political situation and has at least six serious contenders for Dáil seats, and possibly more as the crisis unfolds and continues to demonstrate that other parties are wanting in their lack of a real alternative.
I call on the polling companies and the media outlets who hire them to now cease obscuring the support that is there for the ULA by lumping us in the categories of “Others” or “Independents”. We will offer a coherent radical left alternative in about half the constituencies in the coming election and should receive appropriate recognition for that fact.