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Well-known member
Dec 13, 2007
The relatively poor showing of Labour and FG in the Donegal by-election seems to mean a good chunk of disaffected FF voters either stayed at home or came out and voted SF.

Labour are now dominated by 3 former members of Democratic Left (which split from the Workers Party). The legacy of this has been a sort of skewed interest in the north of Ireland over the years, which will have consequences in attracting disaffected FF votes in the next election.

FG, with a poor leader, and with their flirtation with the British Tory party would also have difficulty attracting ex-FF voters.

Labour have not given any indication they could do a deal with SF. This will play into SF hands, as it means ex-FF who can't bring themselves to put FG into power won't vote Labour (who look like doing just that). They will be more likely to stay at home or vote SF.

SF were consistently anti-Nice, and anti-Lisbon. The promises made by Labour and FG with respect to jobs and growth may again find negative resonance with ex-FF voters as they look for a fresh alternative.

It seems to me Labour should get a clearer line on the north of Ireland, should use the Irish language more prominently, and should not rule out going into coalition with Sinn Féin. They should clearly state they don't want IMF/EU debt before a national debate and an election. This would give some comfort to ex-FF voters, who may then be more comfortable voting for the Labour party.

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