Saturday, June 06, 2009

Radical Left breakthrough in Ireland

Irish Marxist Joe Higgins takes Dublin Euro seat off governing party Fianna Fail

The local elections in Ireland have seen the governing Fianna Fail party and their Green Party coalition partners massacred, as voters use the ballot box to exact revenge on a government that has been attacking workers conditions and slashing public services. With over 400,000 workers now unemployed in a country with the same population as Aotearoa, the economic crisis has now come home to rout the Neo-Liberals in the ballot boxes.

Fianna Fail has been the biggest party in Ireland since the 1930s, but now sees its national vote fall to the low 20%s. The Irish Greens betrayed their principles around military neutrality, ownership of natural resources and even motorway building, and have lost heavily in all areas where they held council seats.

The experience of the Alliance party in coalition with NZ Labour in 2001 shows the danger of small left wing parties being swallowed up and destroyed by the policies of the devil that they dance with. The Italian Refondazione party, which led the struggles at Genoa in 2001, founded the European Social Forum in 2003, and led a mass anti war movement afterwards, was also destroyed when they sold out to power and joined a government with the Social Liberals.

But the rout of the Irish Greens should serve as a warning to both their NZ counterparts and to the Maori Party. As the effects of the global crisis accelerate in Aotearoa, so hatred of the National Party and their allies will increase. Parties who have entered into dodgy coalitions or signed memos of understanding can try to explain all the niceties of their treachery when the backlash comes, but experience shows that voters keen on revenge will lump them all together.

The great victory in the Irish elections is the breakthrough of the more radical left parties, notably the Socialist Party and the People Before Profit Alliance. The Socialist Party's Joe Higgins is fighting tooth and nail for Dublin's third European parliament seat, and the SP have taken council seats in Swords , Balbriggan, Fingal and Tallaght. The People Before Profit Alliance have taken five seats in Dun Laoghaire, Ballybrack, Crumlin, Clondalkin and Ballyfermot. Other independent socialists such as Declan Bree in Sligo and Seamus Healy's Workers and Unemployed Action Group in Tipperary have also broken through.

Socialist Aotearoa congratulates its Irish socialist comrades on their great victory, and looks to the day when the radical left in New Zealand can organise a serious alliance to give workers here a fighting voice, both in local and national politics.



People Before Profit GAINS:
Brid Smith elected in Ballyfermot.
Richard Boyd Barrett elected in Dun Laoghaire,
Joan Collins elected in Walkinstown,
Hugh Lewis elected in Ballybrack.
Gino Kenny takes seat in Clondalkin

In Dun Laoghaire, Richard Boyd Barrett topped the poll with 4091 1st pref votes-22.8% of the vote.

Ballyfermot Brid Smith tops the poll with 18.93% - 2,289 1st Pref votes.

Joan Collins (Crumlin/Walkinstown) holds her seat 2512 1st pref 17.43%

Ballybrack (5 seater): Hugh Lewis on 15.8% with 2131 takes seat.

Gino Kenny (Clondalkin) took a seat late this evening bringing to five the seats won by PBP.His first preference were 1,137 or 7.3% of vote.

Tina McVeigh (Dublin South West InnerCity) beat the Greens with 640 votes on the tallies giving a terrific 8.3% for a first time out.

Bryce Evans in Rathmines with 1st Pref 639 votes is on about 3.91%

Pat Dunne (Tallaght/Greenhills) polled 1300 votes at more that 5%

Ex Waterford Crystal worker Donie Fell is on a little over 5% in Waterford

Martin O'Sullivan running a creditable 3% for first outing in Artane/Whitehall

Sean Moraghan (Tralee Town Council) 127 1st Pref 1.3% (beat 2 FF and tied with Green)

OTHER LEFT CANDIDATES

Dublin Euro tallies:

Joe Higgins, the Socialist Party candidate, was elected to the Dublin Constituency for the European Parliament on the seventh count at around 5.15am this morning.He received 22,201 votes from the eliminated Sein Fein candidate Mary Lou McDonald, leaving him with 82,366. FF's Eoin Ryan received 5,426 transfers leaving his vote at 76,956.Afterwards Eoin Ryan said he was disappointed to loose his seat as an MEP having served Dublin for 25 years.


Mitchell 26.43%
De Rossa 18.4%
Eoin Ryan 14.1%
MLM 13.2%
Joe Higgins (SP) 11.1%
PMK 3.4%
EB 4.4%
CS 3.6%
DDB 4.4%

Joe Higgins (SP) is on 3787 Ist prefs 28.1% in Fingal; set to top the poll in Castleknock

Clare Daly (SP) set to top the poll in Swords 3192 1st Prefs 20.5%

Mick Barry (SP) set to top the poll in Cork North Central 2096 Ist Prefs 26.5%

Mick Murphy (SP) on 10% in Tallaght Central (2159 1st prefs) with two LP candidates - the three are fighing out the last two seats.

Mulhuddart: Sitting Councillor Ruth Coppinger (SP ) 1,705 1st Prefs 12.86% and Denis Keane (SP) 642 1st Pref 4.84% one seat likely .

OTHER LEFT WINGERS

Declan Bree Independent Socialist elected in Sligo Strandhill 1366 Ist Prefs 16.8%

Seamus Healy Workers and Unemployed Action elected in Clonmel 2336 and 21.8%

Breaking News: Workers and Unemployed Action Group (South Tipperary)(leader former Deputy, Seamus Healy) has gained a seat on Carrick-on-Suir Urban District Council following the elimination of one of the two sitting Labour Party councillors. WUAG were unrepresented on the outgoing council. Labour Party representation on the council has now been reduced from two to one of the nine seats.

Where Clonmel Leads, will Ireland follow?

The combined strength of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael is now reduced to one third of the seats on Clonmel Borough Council following the election of all five Workers and Unemployed Group candidates. The combined representation of WUAG and the Labour Party on the Council is now up to seven of the twelve seats.

Cllr Seamus Healy headed poll having polled 3 quotas.

Composition of outgoing council: Fianna Fail 4, Labour Party 3,WUAG 3, Fine Gael 2

Composition of new Council: WUAG 5, Labour Party 2, Fianna Fail 2, Fine Gael 2, Independent 1


NEW ANALYSIS- A Seismic Shift in Irish Politics, by Irish Marxist Kieran Allen

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