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Historic Leftwing electoral victory Euro and Local elections

category dublin | elections / politics | feature author Saturday June 13, 2009 11:29author by Paula Geraghtyauthor email mspgeraghty at yahoo dot ieauthor phone 0876101340 Report this post to the editors

featured image
The Floor of the RDS for Counting

The election of Joe Higgins as the third MEP elected from Dublin has marked a significant shift in Irish politics. With the Greens now wiped out clinging desperately to a dying government the election results have shown there is an alternative and hope for another Ireland.

Higgins victory reclaims the No to Lisbon vote as a left wing vote and diminishes the ability of the media to pin that on Ganley and Libertas and undermine the next leftwing not to Lisbon Treaty Campaign- that's if the government would dare to re run that referendum.

The first result out of the RDS was the Dublin South Bye-election. The tally's clearly showed a run away success for George Lee, which had probably been reflected in the unrealistic polls of 38% for Fine Gael in previous weeks. Sinn Féin just didn't have the trust. But it had been clear on the doors that Labour would clean up.

Higgins victory reclaims the No to Lisbon vote as a left wing vote and diminishes the ability of the media to pin that on Ganley and Libertas and undermine the next leftwing not to Lisbon Treaty Campaign- that's if the government would dare to re run that referendum.

The first result out of the RDS was the Dublin South Bye-election. The tally's clearly showed a run away success for George Lee, which had probably been reflected in the unrealistic polls of 38% for Fine Gael in previous weeks. Sinn Féin just didn't have the trust. But it had been clear on the doors that Labour would clean up.

The main stories that were focused on were FF wipe out and George Lee. But there's something a lot deeper here. The left got a massive boost and it remains to be seen how long this government will fester away in the Dail pumping resources stolen from our communities into the banking sector.

How will the left re-align itself from here on in? Will the legacy of Tony Gregory be to bail out another corrupt and dubious Fianna Fáil government or will Maureen O'Sullivan decide to join the principled resistance in the Dáil?

The following is a selection of some of the images from the RDS election count on Saturday 6th of June 2009.

images are (c)

George Lee picking up those number 1's
George Lee picking up those number 1's

Media frenzy- something to believe in
Media frenzy- something to believe in

John Gormley didn't hang around for the carnage
John Gormley didn't hang around for the carnage

RTE on stage
RTE on stage

Henry and Mary Upton, Labour
Henry and Mary Upton, Labour

Maureen O'Sullivan just before she had wone a seat on Dublin City Council. Their group will meet this week to nominate another person to fill this seat as you can't be a TD and a councillor at the same time.
Maureen O'Sullivan just before she had wone a seat on Dublin City Council. Their group will meet this week to nominate another person to fill this seat as you can't be a TD and a councillor at the same time.

Emer Costello having wone her council seat
Emer Costello having wone her council seat

Lisa Connell, Out, proud and Independant, campaigning for civil marraige for LGBTQ community
Lisa Connell, Out, proud and Independant, campaigning for civil marraige for LGBTQ community

Sinn Féin and Labour victories side by side
Sinn Féin and Labour victories side by side

author by Paula Geraghtypublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:22Report this post to the editors

images (c)

Electoral prediction: Gay Mitchell 1, De Rossa 2 and Joe Higgins 3
Electoral prediction: Gay Mitchell 1, De Rossa 2 and Joe Higgins 3

Rebecca Moynihan celebrating her easy victory as a Labour Councillor
Rebecca Moynihan celebrating her easy victory as a Labour Councillor

Larry O'Toole SF rides again!
Larry O'Toole SF rides again!

Damien O'Farrell, Dublin's favourite councillor who received the highest amount of first preferences 4,194 with his family
Damien O'Farrell, Dublin's favourite councillor who received the highest amount of first preferences 4,194 with his family

Mannix Flynn
Mannix Flynn

Louise Minihan, Sinn Fein wins a seat.
Louise Minihan, Sinn Fein wins a seat.

Cieran Perry wins his seat late into the night in Cabra
Cieran Perry wins his seat late into the night in Cabra

Brid Smith wone a seat in the Ballyfermot area for People Before Profit
Brid Smith wone a seat in the Ballyfermot area for People Before Profit

Joan Collins with her Mum on the announcement she was re-elected as a councillor for People Before Profit
Joan Collins with her Mum on the announcement she was re-elected as a councillor for People Before Profit

author by Darren C - L5I (pc)publication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:45Report this post to the editors

- clip

"The vote for the Left Bloc in Portugal was significant, around 10 per cent. And the Committee for a Workers International were riding high after its Irish Section, the Socialist Party, won a big victory, getting Joe Higgins elected in Ireland. Higgins beat the ruling Fianna Fail party to secure his seat, part of a wider trend that saw FF and their coalition partners the Greens do quite badly. The shift to the left by the Irish workers was greeted by Kieran Allen from the SWP who said: “The radical left must now enter discussions to form either an alliance or broad radical left party, where different tendencies can coexist.” Such a call for a party must be welcomed by socialists, workers and youth, who should press for a new workers’ party and a democratic debate over its programme and strategy."

Full article: http://www.workerspower.com/index.php?id=193,2005,0,0,1,0

author by Leftypublication date Mon Jun 08, 2009 22:54Report this post to the editors

Highlight is Joe Higgins (SP) becoming MEP outsting Fianna Fáil in the capital. Also Maureen O'Sullivan (Ind) getting elected to the Dáil.

On the Councils there were breakthroughs. In Dublin City Bríd Smith (PBPA-SWP), Joan Collins (PBPA-Ind), and Cieran Perry (Ind) were elected. Mannix Flynn (Ind) may also play a progressive left role on the Council. In Fingal Joe Higgins (SP) was elected with a thumping surplus, Ruth Coppinger (SP) took the first seat in Mulhuddart and Clare Daly (SP) got elected on first count. In South Dublin Gino Kenny (PBPA-SWP) won a seat in Clondalkin, while Cllr. Mick Murphy (SP) narrowly lost seat in Tallaght Central. On Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Richard Boyd Barrett (PBPA-SWP) and Hugh Lewis (PBPA-SWP) won seats.

In Cork Cllr Mick Barry (SP) was re-elected on the first count and Ted Tynan (WP) then went on to also win a seat in the orth Central ward. This adds to the Workers' Party's other council seat in Waterford. In Drogheda Borough Council the Socialist Party took a seat (Frank Gallagher) and in nearby Balbriggan Terry Kellagher (SP) took a seat on the Town Council. the South Tipperary Workers and Unemployed action Group also tallied decent votes and seats on the local authorities.

There are many other left candidates that did not win seats but have scored decent support in communities. Important now that these elected Councillors stick to left politics and avoid coalitionism or "pacts". The very politics that crushed the Greens could crush any left that travels that well worn path towards compromise and "deals" with the main establishment parties.

PS- apologies in advance if I missed any other highlights for the left in the elections!

author by Creative Typepublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 00:02Report this post to the editors

.

Don't do the same thing expecting a different result
Don't do the same thing expecting a different result

Once again - biffo says.... no new ideas
Once again - biffo says.... no new ideas

author by Rotormanpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 13:55Report this post to the editors

There is truth in what you say about Sinn Fein but what you say about Christy Burke is wrong. His reasons for leaving Sinn Fein are because it is not right wing enough. One reason he gave for leaving is that he doesn't support opposing the Dublin City Council budget even though those budgets contain cuts in services.

author by Rotormanpublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 14:01Report this post to the editors

The RTE website says "Mr Burke said he also disagreed with the party line on a number of issues including voting against the council's budget estimates."

author by Versopublication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 14:21Report this post to the editors


Anyone who seriously claims Christy Burke is right wing shows a complete lack of knowledge about him as an individual, him as a public representative and the work he has done in working class Dublin communities for more than 30 years

The stated reasons for leaving were fed to the media by whom? Christy has not made an official statement on his resignation, so presumably they came from the right wing party he has just left.

Please do a little research before you comment on someone who has done so much for working class people in Dublin . . .

author by Left Winger.publication date Tue Jun 09, 2009 14:57Report this post to the editors

"Thus Dublin once the powerhouse of Sinn feins' working class leftwing activists."

Never saw Sinn Fein wielding much real power in Dublin.

Neither have I ever seen the SLIGHTEST evidence that Sinn Fein is "Left Wing" after over 35 years watching it.

It is a Right Wing party............now snuggled up to their soul-mates in the North, the Right Wing DUP.

author by mickbpublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:41Report this post to the editors

In Lefty’s round up of the results above we get :

Bríd Smith (PBPA-SWP), Joan Collins (PBPA-Ind),

Christy Burke should take Lefty’s advice and avoid coalitionism or pacts if he decides to run again . Perhaps it might help get the vote out if he were to stand as an independent with the People Before Profit party as Joan Collins did .

author by Michael O'Brien - SPpublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 14:42Report this post to the editors

Joe's image is being used on a recruitment appeal by the SWP on their website.

Is this meant to confuse prospective members into thinking that Joe belongs to the SWP.? If so it's pretty silly.

For an organisation that talks big on left unity it certainly knows how to piss the SP members off. You have plenty of your own elected reps now, why not use them as pin ups?

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net
author by pseudonympublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 15:38Report this post to the editors

How anyone can complain about Joe Higgins image being used by the SWP as a symbol of Ireland's huge shift left is beyond me. I would guess it is being used because although the left did well in the local elections they pale against the significance of someone on the far left taking a Euro seat off FF in Dublin.

The real question you should be asking is why are you so pathetic and insecure to be bothered by it?

author by Marianpublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 15:51Report this post to the editors

Well psedo if you don't think there is anything wrong with this image then thats fine but I certainly think there is something wrong with them trying to pretend that Joe Higgins is a member of their party in order to get people to join the SWP! It is a fucking disgrace and should be removed immediately.

author by Michael O'Brien - SPpublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 16:09Report this post to the editors

"Ireland's huge shift to the left"

Come off it Pseudonym the far left made qualitative advances but we have a way to go before you can seriously say that there has been a huge shift to the left. in society as a whole. Don't forget the FG & LP were the biggest winners. This very choice of words gives you away as being an overexitable SWPer

The fact of the matter is that the SWP is not using Joe's image as a 'symbol' as you say but as a cheeky recruitment tool. The fact that you cannot see why it would piss off SP members is emblematic of why colloborations with the SWP by others on the left more often than not end in tears

You rapid descent into abuse won't deter me or others from speaking up on this. How exactly does Joe's election as an MEP make the case for people to join the SWP? You should treat the prospective members you want to recruit with a bit more respect

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net
author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 16:10Report this post to the editors

There is no problem with the SWP or anyone else using Joe's election as a "symbol of Ireland's huge shift left", except in so far as "huge" is possibly a bit of an overstatement.

There is a problem with the SWP using the name of someone who is not an SWP member in the headline of a "join the SWP" appeal, and using the same person's image to illustrate the recruitment appeal. It is entirely and reprehensibly dishonest.

author by Emma swppublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 17:03Report this post to the editors

Forgive me for defending the excitability factor among supporters of the Left. I must have been dreaming when I saw footage of Joe Higgins, surrounded by what I would can only describe as "excited" or would you believe even elated supporters. You really should have been there to calm them down-such hyperbole tendencies indeed. You are right -what we need are more agents of not only State but emotional control!! That way we can decide on what issues people can become happy-yes that sounds like a burning issue and well worth raising.

PS I can lend you a photo of Richard Boyd Barrett , Brid Smith, Gino Kenny, Joan Collins and Hugh Lewis for the SP recrutiment site as a bargining chip to work with other left groups or indeed to settle your nerves on the recruitment issue-I'm ok with either. I might be able to get them to do a collective one as there will be a high premium involved given their extraordinary election success. Sorry did that sound too excitable?! Well done again to John Mc Camley, Clare Daly and Joe Higgins for whom I voted for excitedly.

author by Michael O'Brien - SPpublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 17:21Report this post to the editors

But thankfully others among your comrades do because the offending piece has been thankfully amended on your website.

I was there at the count as elated as anybody on Joe's election. That is not the issue. One needs sense of proportion to know what represents an electoral breakthrough a qualatative as opposed to a decisive political shift in society to the left. The overall political situation remains somewhat contradictory with growth for the left on the one hand but a FG/Lab being the most likely outcome of the next general election on the other.

Everyting else you say in your post is pointless sarcasm which only further emphasises how much you just don't get it!

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net
author by Mark P - Socialist Party (personal capacity)publication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 17:26Report this post to the editors

Emma, there is a difference between getting excited about something and being excitable as a political method. Anyone who has been around the left for a while will be well used to the SWP's habitual overstatements at public meetings and in print. No matter what is going on in the world at a particular time, you can guarantee that it will be hyped and described as "exciting", "inspiring", "brilliant" or whatever. Which is all very well, but being "inspired" or "excited" isn't a substitute for a careful analysis of events.

Getting back to the point initially made by Michael, it seems that the SWP have now changed the recruitment appeal on their website. Joe Higgin's picture has been replaced by a picture of two People Before Profit Alliance councillors and while Joe is still mentioned it is now made clear that he isn't in the SWP. So, while I'm tempted to ask why the appeal wasn't produced like this in the first place, I can at least say fair play to them for responding to complaints and changing it.

author by Emma swppublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 17:45Report this post to the editors

Well I thought the whole thing was a little boisterous and not modified to the fact that the SP had beat just one and not several dynastic members of the right wing establishment- so you see I agree with you-the revolution is not going to happen today or tomorrow.

What a relief the SWP have removed a photo-which may have served to obfuscate the SP's empassioned desire to be sectarian!!! That in my view, would be a crime deserved of a hefty jail sentence or even a call to Joe Duffy. At least you can relax now in the knowledge that "thankfully" my comrades are more diplomatic and skilled in dealing with this nonsense than I. Yours in SWP solidarity and a spirit of sharing this victory with you-I told all on my canvass to vote for Joe! Dammit-I soooooo wish I was in the SP now!

author by D_Dpublication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 18:29Report this post to the editors

So, let us drop the SWP-SP part of this thread at this point. Don't add more fuel to the fire. Hold yer whisht in the interests of the new possibilities.

author by .publication date Wed Jun 10, 2009 19:04Report this post to the editors

Really really good. Better than any in the mainstream. As for the arguments about the Joe pic etc. Jesus wept.

author by A.Rpublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 10:04Report this post to the editors

Top quality photos Paula....Really excellent

author by Nosmo Kingpublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 18:00Report this post to the editors

Great Success for the left on Friday 5th June 2009. It could go down in history as one step forward for the workers' movement. It casts aside the cynics and the defeatists that say things cannot be changed and that nothing can be done.

One reservation I have about PBPA is that they are now looking for alliances with the Labour Party and "independent lefts" on the Councils. Fair enough about the independents that are left-wing. But I've big reservations about pacts with Labour on the Councils. Labour have been in power on many Councils and have not done anything to rock the boat over the last 5 years. Fair enough if you seek their support on a motion or proposal here and there.... but a pact? Is the DLR Mayoralty now a goal for Richard Boyd-Barrett?

Another lesson from Friday was the wipe out of the Greens. They went down that well trodden path of coalitionism/pacts/deals with the main parties and just got hockied. In fact come the next election they could be totally out of the Dáil. Beware PBPA!

author by Interested - -publication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 18:38Report this post to the editors

When was labour pact mentioned by pbp? Links please

author by Democratpublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 18:43Report this post to the editors

Nosmo King, this is not a monarchy where small groups can determine the entire political process. Building networks and strategic alliances is a neccessary part of representative democratic politics. Cooperation is inevitable in a diverse polity. A fact of life that the left needs to accept rather than ignore.

I voted People Before Profit and Labour. I am quite happy to see my poltiical preferences work together. I also tallied during the elections. Most voters who gave PBP and SP their first preferences gave their 2nd and 3rd preferences to Labour. So, if PBP are building alliances with Labour then they are democratically representing the interest of their voters.

We need a broad left coalition involving Labour, Sinn Fein, Greens, SP, PBP and Independent left candidates. The alternative to not building this strategic left alliance, is more a government led by FG or FF.

author by john throne - labors militant voicepublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 18:45author email loughfinn at aol dot comReport this post to the editors

Unconditional congratulations to all the left candidates and groups who won good votes and were elected in the recent elections, the SP, the South Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group, the PBP, the SWP, the WP, apologies to anybody I left out. This is a step forward for the struggle to oppose the capitalist offensive against the working class in Ireland.

The question I have is what happens now. I believe that it is urgent to bring together the different forces referred to above in a left alliance/front/pact. The program for this would come out of discussion and negotiation. It should I believe have as a minimum an anti capitalist position, opposition to all cuts on the living standards and wages of the working class, and a statement that it is going to fight to mobilize the working class to use the tactics of direct action fight to win. The negotiations to bring about such a formation might demand concessions. I believe as long as these are not unprincipled then they should be considered. As long as the basis of the formation makes clear that the source of the problems are capitalism and the solution is the mobilized working class and that the formation exists to act on these two general principles then I think that such a formation would be positive.

The main responsibility for taking the lead on such a formation lies with the SP. This is because it has the greater resources with its councillors and Joe Higgins in Europe. The SP should now set about trying to organize a conference of all these forces to discuss this issue. In doing so it has to be recognized that there has been a lot of sectarianism amongst all the left in the past and there remains a lot of suspicion. The hullabaloo about Joe Higgins photo is an indication of what exists. As if anybody did not know that Joe Higgins was a member of the SP.

To take this project forward the SP should open up a discussion in its own ranks about its own history and its own sectarianism. Then issue a public statement explaining how it recognized this and how it had been damaging to the working class and how it was going to struggle against it in its own ranks and in the working class in general. This statement would help open the door to more discussions and negotiations.

I am glad Joe Higgins was elected for two reasons. He is a strong voice for the working class and will continue to be so in Europe. But also he is now stronger within the SP and the CWI. The internal life of the CWI makes it impossible for that organization and therefore also the SP to become mass organizations. The larger they become the more different views will emerge, the more debate there will be and the more factions will develop. And the CWI and the SP leadership do not tolerate factions or serious oppositional views. The result of these organizations moving towards becoming mass organizations will be that they will be convulsed with internal struggle and expulsions and they will disintegrate. Joe Higgins from his position of increased strength inside the CWI should now take up a struggle to transfer the internal life of the CWI and prepare it for an increase in membership and prepare it for any increase in membership to be able to voice their opinions.

John Throne.

Related Link: http://laborsmilitantvoice.com
author by Michael Gallagherpublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 19:19author email libertypics at yahoo dot ieReport this post to the editors

Anyone got a photo of Jesus weeping?

Keep it as light as possible people, (but sarcasm is the lowest form of wit) we did win something after all.
Congratulations everyone.

Now let's see can the genuine left win each other? Over to you comrades.......

author by From the Northpublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 21:39Report this post to the editors

Please folks, think more than twice before you talk about a broad left that includes Sinn Fein....they are Fianna Fail in waiting as they have made more than clear since they have been in government here in the North. They are happy to cut public services, privatise others, lick the boots (and other bits) of any industrialist or rich git who deigns to visit this bit of Ireland.....Left wing? Like deValera was when it suited him in the 1920s.

Not sure if this is trolling or sectarian garbage? Just have a look at www.niassembly.gov.uk and read the debates - you'll quickly get an idea of just how right-wing SF really are.

author by Wayne Tobin (22) 085-765 9347 - none currentlypublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 22:45Report this post to the editors

Well done to Brid, Huey, Richie, Mannix, Gino, Joe and others. I unfortunately missed out on a seat but polled 396 votes for Wicklow County Council, 225 (6.5%) for Bray South so am very happy and look forward to supporting wider alliances in the future. We need more honest people on the councils who will fight corruption and cronyism and stand up for ordinary people and families.

If horses could vote!!
If horses could vote!!

author by What are the Shinners at?publication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 00:13Report this post to the editors

Mary Lou was deselected from a FF convention in a previous life? Am I wrong? SF have to be fleshed out-Their supporters endorse community based activity but dont seem to be concerned with longer term project? How will Left address this as SF are winning the battle in some of the most marginalised regions. I had a sense they played "race " and "drug vigilante card" big time in my locality. Where will Mary Lou run in next election?

author by Just a Gigolo - Pre-Reconstructed 999th International (East Cheam)publication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 08:07Report this post to the editors

Didn't see the original image on the SWP site. It does smack of opportunism if descriptions are accurate, but couldn't we simply put it down to unthinking enthusiasm on the part of our excitable brethren on a momentous night for the Left and leave it at that? If we were feeling particularly charitable, we might even call it a magnanimous feeler, given the bad blood which has existed in the past?

Congrats to all involved in the gently ebbing red tide at either end of the DART line; Joe, Clare, Ruth, RBB, Joan Collins, Hughie Lewis (and The News) etc.

PS: I see Joe's election has sneaked the word "socialist" (in bold type too) onto the PBP website. Will wonders never cease? Okay, that was a low blow. Can't we all just git along?

author by sper - sppublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 14:07Report this post to the editors


"To take this project forward the SP should open up a discussion in its own ranks about its own history and its own sectarianism. Then issue a public statement explaining how it recognized this and how it had been damaging to the working class and how it was going to struggle against it in its own ranks and in the working class in general. This statement would help open the door to more discussions and negotiations."

Do you think statements like that are going to encourage SP members to initiate discussions? its like asking us to repent and see the light. A little more positive position of left unity would be more helpful to those inclined that way. John throne your comments are having the opposite effect to what you say you want the sp to do.

author by Cringingpublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 16:28Report this post to the editors

I read John Throne's article and cringed. To think that lashing the SP is going to get left unity. All the criticisms that are raised by John are totally contradictory to public speeches and public comment by their MEP and their Councillors.

author by localistpublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 17:06Report this post to the editors

Now that a recession has hit, everyone is suddenly voting left again. Don't you get it? People simply use socialism for their own gain and then cast it to the side when they no longer need it.

author by Arniepublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 20:08Report this post to the editors

In Ireland they swung centre-left as a protest against the vanished consumer paradise based on spuriously easy and unrepayable bank lending. However, in the UK and continental Europe they veered centre-right in a similar protest. The two BNP seats and 5 UKIP seats were won by persistent drumming away at loss of Britishness, British sovereignty and uncontrolled immigration. Similar Irish concerns could just as easily swing votes towards FG if its candidates decided to play the issues up. I see the recent EU elections in Ireland and elsewhere as a send-em-a-message exercise by millions of voters worried by the economic prospect. They'll return to their traditional mainstream party loyalties when the world economy begins to recover. Left groups will then continue to appeal for fickle attention.

author by D_Dpublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 00:32Report this post to the editors

It's just the electorate throwing a tantrum, localist and Arnie? And they'll get over it in the morning?

author by francis hughespublication date Mon Jun 15, 2009 17:28Report this post to the editors

lets go everyone. the time is ripe,it hasnt been like this in years. UNITE AND FIGHT. if we dont muster a good left alternative now, we are our own worst enemy. lets link up on as much things as possible. tiocfaidh ar la

author by cbpublication date Tue Jun 16, 2009 18:43Report this post to the editors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyYw3OXZk84

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video


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