Ó Cuív would prefer Sinn Fein to Labour in CoalitionApril 26, 2012 - 7:00am
Fianna Fail is a party in stalemate, with the traditional vote lost to Labour now drifting towards Sinn Féin – and there’s a crisis looming if their support does not improve significantly within a year.
That’s the verdict of Éamon Ó Cuív in the aftermath of the latest opinion poll which sees support for Fianna Fáil languishing at 14% - and in a position that differs significantly from his party’s previous stance, the Galway West Deputy says that Sinn Féin would now be his preferred choice as partners in Government.
Deputy Ó Cuív said he would put Sinn Féin in front of Labour as allies of Fianna Fáil in Government. But he completely dismissed any chance of Fianna Fáil entering Government with Fine Gael, a scenario being looked at by some commentators given the possible arithmetic following future elections.
“Fine Gael and Labour are natural bedfellows in Government given their background in previous administrations. It was disastrous when we went into Government with Labour in the nineties,” he said.
Éamon Ó Cuív said that Fianna Fáil differed from Fine Gael and Labour fundamentally in their republican ethos. He referred to Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin as now representing the republican tradition in Dáil Éireann.
Questioned on conflicts of policy between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin Deputy Ó Cuív said that in the event of Sinn Féin going into Government he expected their policies would shaped to meet the demands of running the country. “Sinn Féin policies in Government in the North differ from their policies in opposition in Dublin,” he said.
In the broader perspective Éamon Ó Cuív said that it was ‘an accident of political history’ that Sinn Féin was a separate party. “They did not recognize Dáil Éireann in 1926 and they went their separate way; they now are taking their seats in Dáil Éireann”.
An opinion poll last week placed Fianna Fáil at 14% support nationally – two per cent below its disastrous showing in the General Election of 2011. The same poll shows Sinn Féin rising to become the second most popular party in the State.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune.