Sunday, May 30, 2010

Leaning Left

Today's SBP/RedC poll is significant even though there are no changes outside the margin of error. Mainly it shows that the seven point bump that Labour gained last time out has by and large been retained. Secondly, it shows that last month's poll was a blip in SF support, rather than a nose dive. Thirdly it shows that no matter how bad things are, there is still a quarter of the adult population who will support FF through thick and thin. And finally it demonstrated that FG are not making the sorts of gains that they should. Being down 5 points over a two month period is not good.

Taken as a whole I would say it reflects well on the left as a credible alternative to the tried and untrusted policies of FF and FG. Together Lab, SF and G have 37%, which while not currently enough to oust the conservative blocks, is a huge step forward from the last general election. This is especially welcome when you consider that in areas where SF are likely to hold and/or gain seats, Labour is well off the pace (both Donegals, Cavan/Moneghan) or looking to gain an extra seat themselves (Dublin SC, Dublin SW).

It is a pity, therefore, that the various left groups spend more time fighting amongst each other than working together. I attended last week's Right to Work protest having missed the first two. The event was dominated by SWP, PBP and Eirigí with some support from SF and Labour. Listening to the speeches though, the groups spent more time slagging each other off than actually making headway against the government and promoting job creation. Luckily the event passed off without incident and a very good natured march down to Dublin Castle rounded out a nice evening in the sunshine. Hopefully the complete lack of potential violence and disorder at the last march will convince more people to join. Until all the trade unions and Labour come out officially in support of the campagin, I can't seen it getting more than a few thousand attendees at best.

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