Monday, 5 September 2011

Fianna Fails

FIANNA Fáil has failed, well not so much failed but rather decided not to fail in the Irish presidential election.

Leader Michael Martin announced on Wednesday last week that Fianna Fáil will not be nominating a candidate for the forthcoming presidential poll in the Republic. In a wonderfully worded statement, Mr Martin said that the party had undertaken research that indicated there “wouldn’t be any significant shift or change in terms of public opinion."

Translation: “We’d get a kicking in the ballot boxes!”

Perhaps some would say there is a lesson for certain parties in Northern Ireland, but even more pertinent could be FF dangling the carrot of a potential link-up with the SDLP.

Both parties are struggling to re-build after electoral slumps. With Sinn Féin in electoral ascendancy in the North, a formal link would demonstrate the SDLP's nationalist credentials and provide a distraction from FF’s woes.

And with the social media tweeting about a possible late Sinn Féin presidential candidate from North of Ireland, the pressure on both Fianna Fáil and the SDLP to show a commitment to a united island becomes all the more relevant.

The question is whether any of the potential SDLP leadership candidates float this idea ahead of the party conference...just to see if there is any mood for desperate measures.

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