Yes they did well in 1999 and meltdown in 2002 don't translate locals to natioanals, Jeez cop yourself on, for crying out loud...and look at the facts.
They have also NEVER been re-elected and have only ONCE even came close to the strength of FF, and have never held still for long to keep to one idology and the general gap between their administrations is 20 years, that is failure if ever there was a discription of it.
A better comparison to make would be 1977-81 - FG lost big-style in 1977 partly because they ran a lousy campaign, but largely thanks to a bag of FF promises that subsequently were reneged upon - sound familiar? Under a new leader, and with a more professional approach and better candidate selection, a recovery got under way in the 1979 local and euro elections. One of the chief successes of the local elections was the election of many ambitious and bright young councillors, who thus had a platform to challenge for Dail seats in the next general election - sound familiar? Also in 1979, FF were thrashed by FG in a by-election in Cork, in a constituency where FF traditionally held the upper hand - sound familiar? And then came FG's big breakthrough in the 1981 general election, where substantial seat gains put the party into government. Still, if you want to ignore all that, fire away - suits Fine Gael all the better if you do. :lol: