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Why is Fianna Fáil more popular than Fine Gael?


El Matador

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Without wishing to encourage partisan arguments along FF v FG lines, what are p.ie visitors' opinions on why Fianna Fáil has been so electorally successful compared to Fine Gael? Another thread mentioned the post-Treaty government of Cosgrave prior to Fianna Fáil fully participating in the electoral process- given that the C na nG/ FG had a headstart on Fianna Fáil, how did FF come to replace them as the main party of government, and stay in that position until the present day? Likewise, why has FG not been able to challenge FF and overtake them on occasion, as happens in the UK between the Tories and Labour for instance?
 

cyberianpan

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I'd claim that Fianna Fail is a coalition:

Between Republicans & Opportunists.

The Republicans were hard core, high minded folks such as Dev.

Then opportunists/realists joined on board when they realised that FF had a chance of power after the C na G government. These were more "common" people who saw their chance to surf a riding tide.

Republicanism (on it's own) is quite a narrow backbone so it has left FF free to move & drift with the people- hence FF oft being referred to as a "movement" rather than a party. Furthermore republicanism has been a conveniently ideal backbone which required very little action (Michael Collins et al took the last serious action is this area).

I think that FF is an atypical party & they are at issue not FG.

Even if we take FG as very blue economically (appearing uncaring) from say 1930-1970, they've started moving since & probably could be termed left of FF by now (certianly in real-politik terms given their symbiosis with Labour). So no matter what ground FG occupy , FF remain supreme unless of course FG was to be more agile & change ground more often (voters don't notice shifts over decades)... that is of course what FF do.


cYp
 

Waggs

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Why have FF been so successful

I think the main reason for FF's success has been down to the party organisation and party discipline. Remember Bertie's lightening quashing of the 'back bench revolt'? Also, I dont' believe you would ever see a 'push the leader campaign' in FF the way it happened to John Bruton. Sure you get in-fighting between fellow party members and particularly in smaller constituencies but ultimately FF members have a stronger loyalty to their party in my opinion than the FGers. I believe this is because FF is fundamentally based on an ideal: that of a United Ireland; a romantic notion to some but something that holds party members together much more strongly than they can ever be held in FG where I think their main unifiying ideology is opposing FF. It does seem strange that FG's desire for power hasn't spurred them on in the way it did Labour in Britain. I believe Enda has improved party organisation and loyalty on the ground but there is a very long way to go before it becomes as strong as their opponents. I think it has to be said as well, that at least in recent times, FF have had a fair bit of good luck. It also took a long time for Labour in Britain to reverse its fortunes. I would like to think that it's possible for FG to do the same because it is frightening to consider the possibility that there is no relaistic choice in our democracy.
 

tonys

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FG have always fished in a much smaller pond, traditionally they have been supported by the middle/business classes and better off farmer. In other words, those voters who had a vested interest in the status quo. FF have appealed to a much larger group, the more working class or less well off voter to whom, the status quo is just not good enough.
 

KeithM

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In a word "leadership". Since their formation FF have had better, stronger of more charismatic leaders. The only exception was Fitzgerald vs Haughey and that was when FG came closest to overtaking FF.
 

White Horse

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tonys said:
FG have always fished in a much smaller pond, traditionally they have been supported by the middle/business classes and better off farmer. In other words, those voters who had a vested interest in the status quo. FF have appealed to a much larger group, the more working class or less well off voter to whom, the status quo is just not good enough.
This is a cliche. I can't speak about Dublin, but Fine Gael have strong support among small farmers and workers in rural areas.
 

tonys

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White Horse said:
tonys said:
FG have always fished in a much smaller pond, traditionally they have been supported by the middle/business classes and better off farmer. In other words, those voters who had a vested interest in the status quo. FF have appealed to a much larger group, the more working class or less well off voter to whom, the status quo is just not good enough.
This is a cliche. I can't speak about Dublin, but Fine Gael have strong support among small farmers and workers in rural areas.
FF have traditionally done better than FG in working class areas, cliché or not, it’s true.
 

White Horse

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tonys said:
FF have traditionally done better than FG in working class areas, cliché or not, it’s true.
You also metioned that FG support derived from large farmers. Do you now accept that this is a cliche and incorrect?
 

Cael

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John Bruton refered to Britain as "the mainland" while speaking in Leinster House. When Prince Charles came over, Bruton gushed that it was the best day of his life. Gay Michell want to bring back the English Crown over Ireland. One ex Donegal TD, Paddy somebody, I cant remember his name, is accepting an OBE (How long have we spent trying to smash this thieving Empire). The announcement was made this week. Enda Kenny want to lower the status of our national language in the schools.

Not surprisingly most Irish people are quite hostile to such sleeveenism and shoneenism.

This is really why FF are more successful. Certainly there is no difference between them in any other area of policy.
 

tonys

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White Horse said:
tonys said:
FF have traditionally done better than FG in working class areas, cliché or not, it’s true.
You also metioned that FG support derived from large farmers. Do you now accept that this is a cliche and incorrect?
I also used the word “traditionally” which you omitted, you scurrilous white horse you, and no, I do not accept that it’s incorrect, there’s a basis of truth there and it annoys FG’ers, so I will defend it to the last. Bring it on, WH boy.
 

KeithM

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Cael said:
John Bruton refered to Britain as "the mainland" while speaking in Leinster House.
No, that was Albert ("the last Gombeenman") Reynolds.
 

White Horse

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tonys said:
White Horse said:
tonys said:
FF have traditionally done better than FG in working class areas, cliché or not, it’s true.
You also metioned that FG support derived from large farmers. Do you now accept that this is a cliche and incorrect?
I also used the word “traditionally” which you omitted, you scurrilous white horse you, and no, I do not accept that it’s incorrect, there’s a basis of truth there and it annoys FG’ers, so I will defend it to the last. Bring it on, WH boy.
A basis of truth? Is that the same think as truth? Or is it meaningless Bertiespeak.

Does the word "traditionally" mean that it is not contemporaneous?

Are you therefore taking a leaf out of your leader's book and admitting that you are wrong without saying the words.
 

ibis

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Fine Gael is high-minded, which only works when they have the intellectual firepower to back it up, as with Fitzgerald. Otherwise, they seem likely to get things wrong on principle, stick to them on principle, and end up taking us all the way up s**t creek on principle - whatever we said about it.

FF, on the other hand, are flying by the seat of their pants and the whim of the electorate - so they need to be clever fixers. No-one expects a clever fixer to be 100% honest, so the sort of scandal we're having at the moment just gets tuned out, really. Fine Gael can't capitalise on it, because they get all high-minded about it. Even when it comes to the North, most people realise that high principles and passionate republicanism will not sort out a settlement - back-room fixing is what's wanted.

Politics is the art of the possible - Fianna Fail are masters of the possible. They could campaign under the slogan - "Fianna Fail - you know what you're getting" with a wink.
 

Gombeen

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I thought it was common knowledge that it was the cumann grassroots system that guaranteed FFs success. FG never built that up. Seems to be in rapid decline now though. But almost constant stints in power will do that to any party.

FF certainly have been more adept at reaching the common man certainly, but that old argument that FG are how they are because they only chase the elite vote doesn't hold much water. They've been fairly consistent at approx. 30%(and above in better times) over the decades and the idea that 30% of the population are rich farmers and moneyed elite is just laughable.
 

Cael

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KeithM said:
Cael said:
John Bruton refered to Britain as "the mainland" while speaking in Leinster House.
No, that was Albert ("the last Gombeenman") Reynolds.
Maybe Albert did too, but John Unionist Bruton certainly did.
 

Cael

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Of course, it has to be said that Fine Gael still bears the mark of Cane for the war crimes committed during the civil war or counter-revolution.
 

Cael

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Of course, it has to be said that Fine Gael still bears the mark of Cane for the war crimes committed during the civil war or counter-revolution.
 
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