The 1997 ROI election leading us into FF-led rule until 2011. Was that first election bought?

Gin Soaked

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the peace process had nothing to do with it

it was all down to the labour collapse
Ok, fair point. The Spring tide going out. Forgot about the Spring tide. Wonder though that the vote did not transfer to FG more than it did. Always saw the Spring tide as an anti FF vote over anti FG. In Dublin affluent and liberal areas, we did not see LAB as left wing in any meaningful sense.
 


The Rahenyite

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Ok, fair point. The Spring tide going out. Forgot about the Spring tide. Wonder though that the vote did not transfer to FG more than it did. Always saw the Spring tide as an anti FF vote over anti FG. In Dublin affluent and liberal areas, we did not see LAB as left wing in any meaningful sense.
It's funny how people decided to punish Labour for going into government with Fianna Fáil in 1992 when they were so anti-FF in the '92' election campaign by putting FF back in government in 1997, Labour switching horses with Fine Gael through the Dáil term also didn't do any good to their perception with their traditional voters or the wider electorate.
 

midlander12

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I recall the 97 election well, I went down the country for a few days during it and it was very obvious that FF were running a bulldozer of a campaign all over the place. I don't recall NI being an issue at all. The tax issue was huge - there was a perception that the Rainbow were being ultra-cautious on the issue, and that people were entitled to some relief after the dreary, austere 1980's and early 90's.

Of course it's easy to say in retrospect that voters were bribed and ushered in a decade of fiscal insanity, but at the time tax cuts did not appear of themselves grossly irresponsible. The fact is of course that they were accompanied by rampant overspending, including a bizarre expansion of the welfare system at a time of virtually full employment.
 

Degeneration X

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It must be stressed that the FF share of the vote was pretty much unchanged compared to 1992. But they were maybe more transfer-friendly as Bertie was popular at the time. Furthermore FF's share of the vote increased from around 24% to 27-8%. Labour however collapsed from 19% to 9.8%, some of their vote going to Independents.
FF had much better vote management in the 1997 election than they had in previous elections - Haughey would have never lost an election if he had had better vote management.
 

Degeneration X

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It's funny how people decided to punish Labour for going into government with Fianna Fáil in 1992 when they were so anti-FF in the '92' election campaign by putting FF back in government in 1997, Labour switching horses with Fine Gael through the Dáil term also didn't do any good to their perception with their traditional voters or the wider electorate.
The decline in Labour popularity had very little to do with FF, their opinion poll ratings held up quite well when they were in coalition with FF but dropped sharpely when the coalition dissolved.
 

SuirView

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Ok, fair point. The Spring tide going out. Forgot about the Spring tide. Wonder though that the vote did not transfer to FG more than it did. Always saw the Spring tide as an anti FF vote over anti FG. In Dublin affluent and liberal areas, we did not see LAB as left wing in any meaningful sense.
Great thread OP.
Are ye all forgetting the 1992 general election, the one Labour did so well in? Spring brought Labour from 15 seats up to 33 but what people forget is that it wasn't an anti FF vote. FF did lose 9 seats, but poor FG managed to lose 10 seats in that 1992 election!
 

SuirView

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It's funny how people decided to punish Labour for going into government with Fianna Fáil in 1992 when they were so anti-FF in the '92' election campaign by putting FF back in government in 1997, Labour switching horses with Fine Gael through the Dáil term also didn't do any good to their perception with their traditional voters or the wider electorate.
You're forgetting that FF lost 9 seats, but poor FG lost 10 seats in the 1992 election!
You also forget that FF gained 10 seats in the 1997 general election with just a 0.2% increase in their vote!
 

SuirView

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FF had much better vote management in the 1997 election than they had in previous elections - Haughey would have never lost an election if he had had better vote management.
Great point, FF gained 10 seats in the 1997 election with just a 0.2% increase in their vote.
FG increased their vote by 3.4% but gained just 7 seats.
 

The Rahenyite

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You're forgetting that FF lost 9 seats, but poor FG lost 10 seats in the 1992 election!
You also forget that FF gained 10 seats in the 1997 general election with just a 0.2% increase in their vote!
In 1997 FF had better candidate and vote strategy. They ran less candidates in 1997.
 

The Rahenyite

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The fact is of course that they were accompanied by rampant overspending, including a bizarre expansion of the welfare system at a time of virtually full employment.
Which is what the great geniuses of Varadkar and Donohoe are slowly doing at the moment. Near full employment and social welfare gets a €5 weekly increase.
 

SuirView

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In 1997 FF had better candidate and vote strategy. They ran less candidates in 1997.
You're not addressing the full issue.
How did FG lose 10 seats in the 1992 general election.
They weren't even in govt going into that election!
 

The Rahenyite

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You're not addressing the full issue.
How did FG lose 10 seats in the 1992 general election.
They weren't even in govt going into that election!
Because John Bruton in that election was brutal. Labour and Dick Spring were the real voice of opposition in that campaign and towards the end of the previous Dáil.
 

SuirView

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Because John Bruton in that election was brutal. Labour and Dick Spring were the real voice of opposition in that campaign and towards the end of the previous Dáil.
But John Bruton was still leader after the 1997 election when FG won 7 seats & FG had come out of govt!
What changed?
 

Degeneration X

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Because John Bruton in that election was brutal. Labour and Dick Spring were the real voice of opposition in that campaign and towards the end of the previous Dáil.
Bruton was a woeful campaigner alright - I don't think he ever formerly conceded defeat in the 1997 election. He was lucky in 1994 to become Taoiseach, he was always on borrowed time once Ahern became FF leader.
 

DJP

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Some good posts on this thread.

It must be stressed that the FF share of the vote was pretty much unchanged compared to 1992. But they were maybe more transfer-friendly as Bertie was popular at the time. Furthermore FF's share of the vote increased from around 24% to 27-8%. Labour however collapsed from 19% to 9.8%, some of their vote going to Independents.
You mean FG's share of the vote increased from 24%-27% in that election? (I initially didn't know what you meant and a lot of younger posters on this site would be lost without that clarification given election results since the late 00s :)).
 

Eoin Coir

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FF just about got over the line in 1997. They had to cobble together a hotchpotch coalition of Healy-Raes and Donegal Deflector people to get a majority.

Without a doubt the most important election in decades because it was a choice between Rainbow competency and FF's politics of economic sabotage. The saboteurs just shaded it sadly for the country.
what a price the country paid,but shure Bertie was charismatic
 

Eoin Coir

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I've read in many books and wish I could find the sources but Northern Ireland as an issue has never been high on ROI voters' minds at election time in modern times and would hardly have swayed the 1997 election towards FF.

The 'payback time' headline on the front page of the Irish Independent just before election day had a negative impact on the rainbow coalition's chances of re-election.

Sir Dr A J O Reilly was surely behind that, but some Indo staff to this very day say it was decision taken by then editor Vincent Doyle, Like hell it was. Chris Glennon in on the act too, Bruce Arnold had an article of his spiked at the time. No wonder Indo has had to be bailed out, bankrupt like Sir AJ. What goes around comes around.
 

Dame_Enda

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Some good posts on this thread.



You mean FG's share of the vote increased from 24%-27% in that election? (I initially didn't know what you meant and a lot of younger posters on this site would be lost without that clarification given election results since the late 00s :)).
Editing now. I meant FGs vote increased from 24% to 27-8%. :?

Economic growth had already begun to hit 10% towards the end of that government and unemployment was falling. But it wasn't fast enough to change the outcome. Also many doubted the legitimacy of the Rainbow government because it was formed without a new election in 1994. Or at least that was how I felt at the time.
 

cricket

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Sir Dr A J O Reilly was surely behind that, but some Indo staff to this very day say it was decision taken by then editor Vincent Doyle, Like hell it was. Chris Glennon in on the act too, Bruce Arnold had an article of his spiked at the time. No wonder Indo has had to be bailed out, bankrupt like Sir AJ. What goes around comes around.
I posted earlier about theories put forward at the time for the thinking behind the editorial :
1.illegal tv rebroadcasting in competition with an O'Reilly company.
2. row with Ruairí Quinn about inheritance tax.

Even 20 years later would love to know if either is true.
 

Eoin Coir

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I posted earlier about theories put forward at the time for the thinking behind the editorial :
1.illegal tv rebroadcasting in competition with an O'Reilly company.
2. row with Ruairí Quinn about inheritance tax.

Even 20 years later would love to know if either is true.
general opinion it was to do with illegal tv rebroadcasting,but as I said a fairly prominent person still with Indo told me once that Sir AJ had nothing to do with it- Vincent Doyle did it all on his own !, Still flying the flag.
 


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