Irish Labour defy voters to help Fine Gael implement Fianna Fail austerity programme

Having ridden to power on the back of Fianna Fail’s unpopularity, the new Irish government is promising more of the same. Buried away as a throwaway line at page 16 of the 64 page coalition agreement it says:

We believe it is appropriate, in order to enhance international credibility, to stick to the aggregate adjustment as set out in the National Recovery Plan for the combined period 2011-2012.” Continue reading

Irish Labour’s desperate gamble

As Fine Gael is set to form the next government of the Irish Republic, it is tempting to see the General Election as following the typical pattern of politics in the 26 counties, with power alternating between two conservative parties; Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. But the voting figures show a more complex pattern, with a drop of 24.1% of first preference votes from Fianna Fáil since the last general election and a gain of only 8.8% for Fine Gael. Whereas left parties have grown, Labour’s vote up 9.3% since 2007, Sinn Féin up 3% and the far left up 1.6%. Overall, the left parties won over 31% of the national vote. Continue reading