• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

Was it the Bertie factor that won the 1997 election for Fianna Fail?


RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
Looking back on the 1997 election when the incumbent Rainbow coalition of Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left went into that election with the strong record of economic growth, a budget surplus for the first time in 30 years as well as growing employment figures. How did they lose? was it Bertie Ahern being leader of Fianna Fail. A highly popular leader whose personality was possibly more key than the party to explain the defeat of the Rainbow coalition?
 

TIREDSOULD

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
12
Just off the top of my head - as I was only 13 at the time, but I feel that the turnaround on the Spring Tide saw the major reduction in the Coalition's seat numbers with a serious loss of seats. Fine Gael I believe actually increased their seats in the Dail to a small degree.
Would feel that the media perforances of Bertie against Bruton would have been a major factor alright. And a lot of the anti Fianna Fail hatred (amongst swing voters/FF leaning) at the 92 election had sufficiently abated as well.
 

RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
Bruton actually came out top of Bertie in the leaders debate in the pre-election build up. The reversal of the Spring Tide is another factor. It's interesting to note tho that the voters didn't necessarily come back to Fianna Fail after the anti-Fianna Fail feeling in 1992. Their vote share was virtually the same in 1997 to what it was in 1992. A better distribution of votes nationwide probably explains the increase in their seat total without a vote share increase, that's the bizarre nature of the Single Transferable Vote system.
 

Keith-M

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2007
Messages
15,779
Website
www.allkindsofeverything.ie
In 1997 Ahern wasn't tainted by the shadow of corruption that had dogged both CJH and Albert Reynolds. He was also a Dubliner, which helped in many of the Dublin constituencies. However he hadn't been an especially good leader of the opposition. The fact that Labour had promised changed in 1992 and ended up putting FF back in power, saw their vote collapse and every other party benefitted, bar the PDs, who had their own problems.
 

civilserpant

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
674
Bertie lost the 97 and 02 debates, but it made no odds. The big mistake was Dick Spring pushing Bruton for a may election, to try and capitolise on the CJH scandal rather than waiting until the Autumn. It played right into FF hands.

Pat Leahy's book (Showtime) deals excellently on the election and Labours performance. Ahern wasnt going down too well beforehand, but FF made the decision to run him up and down every road etc, much the approach that Kenny copied in 07.

FF also promised giveaway budgets, far in excess of what FG/Lab were.. and as for 'zero tolerance'... hahahahahaha
 

redger

Active member
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
166
Just off the top of my head - as I was only 13 at the time, but I feel that the turnaround on the Spring Tide saw the major reduction in the Coalition's seat numbers with a serious loss of seats. Fine Gael I believe actually increased their seats in the Dail to a small degree.
Would feel that the media perforances of Bertie against Bruton would have been a major factor alright. And a lot of the anti Fianna Fail hatred (amongst swing voters/FF leaning) at the 92 election had sufficiently abated as well.
I bloody remember it only too well, mores the pity. Bruton took Bertie apart in the debate (bizarrely, Bruton was heavily advised by none other than Eoghan Harris for the debate, and you could hear it when Bruton ripped the carpet from under Bertie on the Northern peace process of all things). However, the big event was the intervention of Independant Newspapers firmly on the side of FF (some things never change). First they spun the debate as a victory for Bertie , and then they "bent the rules" (I'm being polite there) by doing their notorious "payback time" headline on election day. These events were enough to swing the crucial 4 or 5 seats that decided it. In other countries, it might have been termed an "inappropriate media intervention" or even "a coup". But this is Ireland, so normal rules do not apply. Mind you, neither the Indo or anyone else physically forced the morons to actually go and vote out the best Government we ever had, to replace them with a gang of spivs, gangsters and snakeoil salesmen. That was all down to our own stupidity.
 

RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
How stupid must us Irish people be. We had a good government that was doing well for the country and we got rid of them and are still stuck with Fianna Fail government since. We won't even learn our lesson from their failures this time around either. They'll be out in the next election but most likely back in again in the following election.

Ireland is screwed politically:(
 

turdsl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
26,085
Bertie lost 3 seats in the last election, where he shone was his ability to bring others into his web, nobody expected the Greens to be bought over, Beritie needed them as insurance. How right he was.


Mary Hanafin, says we are going to have flat growth, I was born on a farm. I do not think that is good growth, In fact I never came across that kind of growth.
 

RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
. However, the big event was the intervention of Independant Newspapers firmly on the side of FF (some things never change). First they spun the debate as a victory for Bertie , and then they "bent the rules" (I'm being polite there) by doing their notorious "payback time" headline on election day. These events were enough to swing the crucial 4 or 5 seats that decided it. In other countries, it might have been termed an "inappropriate media intervention" or even "a coup". But this is Ireland, so normal rules do not apply. .
You know The Sun greatly affected the UK election of 1992 with it's election day headline of 'If Kinnock wins will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the light' which turned around a predicted Labour victory into a Tory victory.

What the Independent did most likely swung those crucial seats to the FF-PD coalition and away from Labour.
 

Mushroom

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
15,777
However, the big event was the intervention of Independant Newspapers firmly on the side of FF (some things never change). First they spun the debate as a victory for Bertie , and then they "bent the rules" (I'm being polite there) by doing their notorious "payback time" headline on election day. These events were enough to swing the crucial 4 or 5 seats that decided it.

Mind you, neither the Indo or anyone else physically forced the morons to actually go and vote out the best Government we ever had, to replace them with a gang of spivs, gangsters and snakeoil salesmen.

That's my recollection too.

But I have to add that the "gang of spivs, gangsters and snakeoil salesmen" as you (correctly) call them, were the same vermin that Slick Dick had happily supported five years earlier. I was among the many, many voters who didn't give my second preference to Labour in 1997 - to teach Spring/Labour/Fungus Finlay a lesson.

EDIT - it's also why I wouldn't trust Gilmore (or Quinn) an inch - they've done it before so they can do it again - in the 'national interest' naturally.
 

locke

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
3,091
While people talk about the implosion of Labour, we tend to forget what happened to the PDs in that election. In terms of votes, a lot of their loss was FG's gain
 

RahenyFG

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
9,206
While people talk about the implosion of Labour, we tend to forget what happened to the PDs in that election. In terms of votes, a lot of their loss was FG's gain
Sure the PDs dug a hole for themselves with that pre-election manifesto drafted by McDowell that they would cut 25,000 public service sector jobs. I know they really meant 2,500 jobs not 25,000 but still that done them no favours to the public service sector electorate.
 

smitchy2

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
1,817
The Indo piece “Its payback time” was a bizarre headline for any supposedly non-corrupt paper to go with after some very impressive economic results.
A similar agreement was struck between FF & the Sindo the last time out.

It is a blessing in some ways that they have stayed in power until now so they will get the full blame. No deal with the Indo can save them now.
 

flavirostris

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 21, 2007
Messages
25,031
Fine Gael gained seats bringing them up to 54 I think but as we all know the Spring Tide receeded badly halving Labour's representation to 17 seats..
Fianna Fáil vote management was an important factor and FF were able to maximise their seat gain through careful strategy & candidate selection in Cork North West & Cork North Central for example ( which returned 2 FF and 3 FF respectively ).
Ahern had given PJ Mara the green light to impose candidates on local organisations but it paid off for the party big time as they were able to achieve an improved seat bonus on an overall vote only slightly better than Albert's in 1992.
Somewhat ironic that the electorate's decison to punish Labour for Spring's U-Turn in 1992 had the effect of putting Ahern and his band of crooks in.
 

Mushroom

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
15,777
The Indo piece “Its payback time” was a bizarre headline for any supposedly non-corrupt paper to go with after some very impressive economic results.
A similar agreement was struck between FF & the Sindo the last time out.

It is a blessing in some ways that they have stayed in power until now so they will get the full blame. No deal with the Indo can save them now.

O'Reilly owed FF big time at the time of the 2002 election, after the dubious way in which McCreevy had facilitated the Valentia take over of Eircom.

This link brings us back to the happy days when the Honest Green Party was still extant and Eamon Ryan was focused on serving his country rather than fattening his bank balance.
 

turdsl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
26,085
What Quinn did when he paired with Coghlan was despicable, Kenny was right the removal of the government was most important,Sure it was Quinn also that gave Bertie his Thursday mornings off in the Dail.
 

Red_93

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2010
Messages
4,678
What Quinn did when he paired with Coghlan was despicable, Kenny was right the removal of the government was most important,Sure it was Quinn also that gave Bertie his Thursday mornings off in the Dail.
I'm sorry, but it really is baffling how you manage to bring in the pairing debacle and Mae Sexton into every second post of yours. That has nothing to do with the topic in hand. Coughlan was going to stay home rather than go on that trade mission, where she, no matter how awful she is as a minister, was going to attempt to bring money to our shores. If that brings €10,000 in it's better than her staying here to protect the governments majority.
 

NewGoldDream

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2004
Messages
20,929
Website
-
the best Government we ever had
Really?

You didn't count the resumption of the bombing campaign by the IRA and a return to the conflict as denting that claim at all?

Not that their weak handling of the conflict on the island necessarily cost them votes, after all didn't Bruton announce that he was 'f*****g sick' of the North anyway. I suspect Keith may be close with his assertion...

In 1997 Ahern wasn't tainted by the shadow of corruption that had dogged both CJH and Albert Reynolds. He was also a Dubliner, which helped in many of the Dublin constituencies. However he hadn't been an especially good leader of the opposition. The fact that Labour had promised changed in 1992 and ended up putting FF back in power, saw their vote collapse and every other party benefitted, bar the PDs, who had their own problems.
 

turdsl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
Messages
26,085
I'm sorry, but it really is baffling how you manage to bring in the pairing debacle and Mae Sexton into every second post of yours. That has nothing to do with the topic in hand. Coughlan was going to stay home rather than go on that trade mission, where she, no matter how awful she is as a minister, was going to attempt to bring money to our shores. If that brings €10,000 in it's better than her staying here to protect the governments majority.
You are defending a woman who said she would not pick up a phone to Michael O Leary to save a 1000 jobs. 200 jobs went that day in Dublin, I consider what Quinn did that morning
a stab in the back to Kenny, Quinn got the full the support of the Press for his deed. Thanks for reminding me about Sexton, It was bad enough Gilmore doing his about turn on Lisbon. In the selection of Sexton Labour is now a right wing party, That is their right, I have great respect for Willie but it is getting harder every day to consider him for a vote, If 10.000 euros can buy Labours vote, Thats OK, It will not buy me, Fianna Fail has destroyed this country.Half a million on the dole, Middle income people cannot afford to go to the doctor, Will a Toiseachs job convince Labour to keep Fianna Fail at the cabinet table. I do like to stick with the facts, Sexton is a candidate I believe, does that embarrass
you. I only speak for myself and believe I am entitled to offer my viewpoint. I know Labour and Fine Gael are separate parties. I am very glad it is that way this time.
 

Tomas Mor

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
10,389
I think Bruton was made unpopular (as Kenny is today) by media as against pin up boy Bertie, we had that notorious frontpage Payback editorial by the Sir Anto Indo. People were anxious to get at Spring for the 1992 defection. And I have my suspicions as to why IRA would not declare renewed ceasefire until one month after election. I await the historical record on that ! Funny things do happen, Nixon team in US worked behind scenes to get Viet Cong drag out Paris peace talks until the US Presidential election was over in 1968.
 
Top