Another Week, Another Poll

Following on from the last TNS/MRBI poll, the Sunday Business Post has a Red C poll today. It is a week early to avoid a bounce from the Fine Gael National Conference this weekend. The headline figures are:

Fine Gael 35% (+2)
Fianna Fáil 30% (+4)
Labour 14% (-1)
Sinn Féin 8% (-2)
Inds 8% (no change)
Greens 5% (-1)

The poll also showed that around half of former PD voters will vote Fine Gael.

h/t: Irish Election

Ireland South: A look ahead

So a thread over on Machine Nation got me thinking ahead to next June’s European Elections. Some parties, including the Greens, Labour and Sinn Fein have selected their candidates. FF are a foregone conclusion with FG the only major party left to select. Of course Kathy Sinnott will run again. Libertas who say it is “substantially correct” that they have registered as a European Political Party.

So who is running (in no particular order):
Labour (Party of European Socialists) are running Senator Alan Kelly from Tipperary. He was elected on the Agricultural Panel to the Seanad.

Greens (European Greens–European Free Alliance) are running Dan Boyle their leader in Seanad Eireann and Chairman. He was appointed to the Seanad following the loss of his seat in Cork South Central in the 2007 General Election.

I assume Fianna Fail (Union for Europe of the Nations) are running Brian Crowley MEP who is the leader of the UEN in the European Parliament. Brian was first elected in 1994 and has held it since.

Sinn Fein (European United Left–Nordic Green Left) are running Cllr. Toireasa Ferris, former Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council. Her father, Martin Ferris, is the Sinn Féin TD for Kerry North.

Fine Gael (European People’s Party-European Democrats) still have time to decide between Colm Burke, who was co-opted to replace Simon Coveney TD, and former GAA President Sean Kelly. Burke is a former Lord Mayor of Cork with a long history of serving the people of Cork. Kelly on the otherhand will be well known around teh constituency so that convention should be interesting.

Kathy Sinnott MEP (Independence/Democracy) is also expected to run again as she currently heads up the Ind/Dem group in the European Parliament. She ran in the General Election back in 2002 and narrowly lost out on a seat in Cork South Central. She was elected to the European Parliament in 2004.

Thats all the candidates I know of. Other candidates may be announced and I will endeavor to keep this list updated!

Budget – Still not happy…

So we have had two major(ish) u-turns on the latest budget. One on medical cards, but still 5% of pensioners will lose their medical card and one on the 1% “Lenihan Levy” which means that if you earn €17,540 you don’t pay tax but if you earn €17,541 you do as P. O’Neil points out over in Irish Election. I’m still not happy with that as I work in retail so therefore have to work Sundays and public holidays meaning I get overtime and have to pay the tax. I worked it out. On my average wage the Government will get what it will cost me to go to College next year! I agree with the unions that the limit should be set at €22,000.

But now attention is moving on to the cuts in Education and to a lesser extent Social Welfare. Will the Government u-turn on these I doubt. Schools look like they won’t re-open in January due to health and safety concerns. 16 yr olds lose their disability benefit (to save 0.07% of the departmental budget!!!!!!). Lenihan has targetted the old, the sick and the young!

This PR Budget, has blown up in their faces! They would be better off re-writing or better yet Lenihan and Harney resigning.

You could add Mary Coughlan to that list as she has shown how useless she is in her current post as Tánasite. What an embarrassment to Brian Cowen this government must be, which is ultimately a reflection on him as he appointed them. The Greens don’t come out much better with Mary White trying to claim that the Greens were going to pull out over the Medical Card, they weren’t! The gainers from this have been Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and Independents, especially Finian McGrath and newly indpendent Joe Behan. I think next years local’s are a near dead cert loss for Fianna Fail over the Budget.

I do apologise for the incoherency of this post, but my mind is frazzled from last night

Do the Government want to fall? – Newsvine

I have written an article over on Newsvine on this. I have reproduced it below.

The Governments decision to scrap automatic Medical Cards for the over-70’s is still reverberating around the News websites and the papers letters pages. I have heard one theory on why the Government is not backing down on this issue despite the disquiet on the backbenches and with the coalition partners. Do they want the Government to fall?

This is my fathers theory. Basically Fianna Fail were not especting to win the General Election last year. So now they are stuck with a financial mess that they walked us into and have no Idea how to get us out of it. So the only solution is to lose a vote on the Social Welfare Bill and force a General Election. But will this happen?

A number of Government TD’s have come out against the proposals and a the Green’s are “concerned” over it, but will they vote against the Government? I have my doubts on the majority of those ho have expressed concern actually voting against but I believe that three could, Noel O’Flynn from Cork North Central, Tom Kitt from Dublin South and Jim McDaid from Donegal North East. The Governments majority of three votes is already reduced due to the resignation of Joe Behan from Wicklow from Fianna Fáil. The support of the four independents, especially Finian McGrath, Dublin North Central, Jackie Healy-Rae, Kerry South and Michael Lowry, Tipperary North is also in doubt.

If the independents vote against this bill, amotion of no confidence would have to be put before the Dáil or the Taoiseach can ask the President to dissolve the Oireachtas and call an election. The question is what will happen?

Not in a Million Years!

Every time there is an election I always give Fianna Fail a look to see if I would give them a preference and next year in the Local’s and Europeans a fairly high preference is on offer due to the fact there is only one FG candidate in Cork South Central LEA and Ireland Euro South constituency, but after yesterdays budget not in a million years will Fianna Fail get a preference, no matter how measly from me. The Greens and PD’s (if they are still around) can go look somewhere else too, unless they get a backbone. Not only have FF lowered my take home pay by 1% (I’m on minimum wage ffs) but all my costs will rise because VAT is going up, road tax is going up, petrol is going, flights are going up among lots of other things (oh and wine, but not beer and spirits? would love to know the reasoning behind that). Also I see they are bring in College fees by stealth, increasing the registration fee by €500. this year the registration fee for UCC was €1050 (it was €750 when I started many moons ago (4)), so that lessens the likelihood of me returning to a HEI as I have to pay fees for the first two years.

The over 70’s medical card is a scandal, it doesn’t effect me personally but I do have elderly relations. It annoys me so much. I pity any one from FF or the Greens who knock on my door next year, as it’s not only me who will be giving them a piece of my mind!

So FF/Greens, don’t even bother asking me for a vote next year!

Last of the Senators Appointed by Bertie

The following were appointed:

Dan Boyle (Green Party)
Martin Brady (FF)
Ivor Callely (FF)
Ciaran Cannon (PD)
Maria Corrigan (FF)
Deirdre de Burca (Green Party)
John Ellis (FF)
Eoghan Harris
Lisa McDonald (FF)
Brian Ó’Domhnaill (FF)
Fiona O’Malley (PD)

Also Senator Donie Cassidy has been appointed Leader of the Seanad.

Leo Varadkar was quick off the mark with a press release below. I’d kinda agree with it, though you can’t expect hime to be reforming on it! IMO

Taoiseach blows opportunity to appoint genuinely independent voices
to Seanad – Varadkar

Fine Gael TD Leo Varadkar has accused the Taoiseach of wasting his
last opportunity to appoint genuinely independent voices to the
Seanad.

‘I would like to congratulate the new Senators appointed by the
Taoiseach and wish them well in their new duties.

‘However, the selection of candidates from the Fianna Fáil ranks is
singularly lacking in imagination and appears to be driven by a
desire to repay political favours, or debts.

‘The Taoiseach has squandered his last chance to appoint genuine,
distinctive voices to the Seanad. Among his appointments there is no
genuinely independent voice, no-one to represent Northern Ireland,
and no-one to represent the Irish emigrant community. This is
regrettable.

‘When you consider the number of under-represented communities that
could have been put forward in these appointments, it is
disappointing that the Taoiseach has chosen instead to appoint a
number of people who were rejected in at least two elections in
recent months.’

Civil Union Bill 2007

Well the Govt. have effectively sounded the death knell for this bill. They have tabled a reasoned amendment to the bill delaying the second stage for 6 months, well beyond the life of the current Dáil, meaning the bill will fall when the election is called.

Please lobby your Fianna Fail and Progressive Democrat TD’s to oppose the amendment!

Govt U-turn on Airport debt means higher air fares for passengers – Buttimer

People of Cork cannot trust FF & PDs, Fine Gael Cork South Central
candidate Cllr Jerry Buttimer has said: ‘The decision by the FF/PD
Government not to honour its public commitment and promise to deliver
Cork Airport as completely debt-free is another example of Cork and
the people of Cork being marginalised’.

‘The people of Cork can no longer trust Fianna Fáil and the PDs.
Their hollow empty words and promises are false rhetoric. Again we
have another example of false promises by Fianna Fáil not being
honoured.

‘All the Government wants is for the people in the regions to pay
more. This failure to deliver Cork Airport as debt-free means:

– Higher air fares for passengers;
– Higher costs being applied to airlines;
– Increased difficulty in securing new contracts and business;
– Increased financial burden on the airport authority;
– Reduced attractiveness and competitiveness for securing inward
investment.

‘If the Government was serious in relation to joined-up thinking,
decentralisation and its National Development plan and spatial
strategy, then Cork and the greater Southwest region would have a
debt-free airport and not a watered-down version.

‘Local Fianna Fáil TDs should collectively hang their heads in shame
and explain to the people of Cork how:

– They allowed their Government to renege on a clear commitment;
– Cork Airport now burdened with a €100 million dent will promote and
enhance growth of the airport;
– How this decision will benefit the consumer, local business and the
public of Cork.

‘The simple truth of the matter is not that Cork airport is facing
the crippling effect of debt but that Cork City and County will also
share in the fall out of the debt.

‘Added to the recent significant job losses the failure of
decentralisation and the pitiful allocation of funding projects to
Cork in the National Development Plan it is clear that Cork is not a
priority for local Fianna Fáil TDs or for the Government. It is clear
that Fianna Fáil have failed Cork airport, the staff and the people
of Cork.’

Interesting take on the yesterdays IMS poll

got this off a friend

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard about the IMS poll in the Tribune yesterday.

FF – 39
FG – 22
Lab – 12
PD – 5
Green – 5
SF – 7
Others – 10

IMS did similar polls during the 2002 general election, and their predictions were woeful. 2 days before the election they had a poll which had FF on 50% (they got 41% on the day) and had FG on 18% (we got 22.5%). This crazy margin of error seems to continue to this day and would explain why FF are so high and FG so low in IMS polls, compared to the MRBI and RedC ones.

So if you correct yesterdays poll in line with the margins of error IMS had in 2002, you get:

FF – 31%
FG – 26%
Lab – 11%
PD – 6%
SF – 8%
Green – 4%
Others – 13%

FF/PD – 37%
FG/Labour – 37%
FG/Labour/Greens – 41%

A crude way of looking at it perhaps, but it paints a very different picture – one that the Sunday Tribune dont seem to think is worth noting.

So if the Tribune, or anyone else, think that the election is over……….then they need their heads examined!

PS: If you meet any crowing FF members in the next few days- you might ask them what they think of the plunging FF support in Dublin – down from 44% to 31% in the space of 2 months. If you believe IMS, their support in Dublin is actually 4% LOWER now than it was before Ahern blubbed and sobbed about his money troubles.

Morning Briefing, 15th January

Maidin Maith againn!!!

An nuacht ar an maidin seo!

Well the bastards (Bus Eireann) put up their fairs today and i didnt even know! really pissed off!!! Had the exact change ready and it had gone up. I last got a bus on firday and they had no signs up!

Any back on the news

Breakingnews reports on the confusion been made by Pat Rabbitte on wheather or not he would enter a coalition with FF.

RTÉ reports on more hangings in Iraq. When will they learn that will only make things worse.

EU Parliament now have 785 MEP’s with Bulgaria and Romania MEP’s attending for the first time! (BBC)

Some interesting debates are taking place on Right Wing World (hat tip: Sam) on various issues including the United Nations, the EU Constitution and others

Slán!