Sunday, 6 February 2011

Return of the Left-Wing?

With the Irish General election confirmed for the end of February and the Celtic Elections set for May 5th, an old force hopes to make a comeback.


United Left Alliance and Sinn Fein

In Ireland Fianna Fail looks guaranteed to haemorrhage seats in the Dail, while this spells good news for the Labour Party and Fine Gael it is the parties of the Hard-Left that look set to make gains.

Sinn Fein currently sitting with 5 seats in the Dail hope to at least double their seat numbers with the presence of Baron Gerry Adams and a disenfranchised electorate. Pointing to Northern Ireland to show that they can deal with handling budgets which limits are dictated by an external force, Sinn Fein will hope that if they make enough gain the other parties will have to consider them a viable coalition partner. Baron Adams has been firm in stating that coalition negotiations should wait till after the election, though stating he would not work with as a junior partner to the right wing parties of Fianna fail and Fine Gael. It can only be assumed that Baron Adams envisions a Labour-Led coalition of the Left to deal with the EU/IMF and the Irish financial situation. To do this however would require a bit more help however...

United Left Alliance

The ULA, featuring the Socialist Party, the People Before Profit Alliance, and the Workers and Unemployed Action Group and a few former Labour Party members will be fielding 19 candidates. They hope to establish enough seats to alter the assumed Fine Gael-Labour government in March. Much like Sinn Fein they do not wish to see the continuation of Irish politics being headed by either Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.


The potential Left wing government in Ireland would be historic, however it does suffer from several flaws in the theory. Firstly, the Labour Party are not keen on working with Sinn Fein, so unless Labour and the ULA gain enough seats to form a Coalition Labour may have to make a decision, the Hard-Left Republican Sinn Fein, Headed by Baron Adams or the battered Fianna Fail, led by former Foreign minister Michael Martin (could easily ask for his old job then). Both choice difficult, with Sinn Fein being seen as Radical and Fianna Fail being seen as the cause of a lot of the problems facing the Republic.

There is one scenario a Left-Labour Government could come about;

1) Labour become Largest/Second Largest party against Fine Gael
2) ULA makes some gains (first election for ULA)
3) Green Party maintains it seats
4) Independents (who do better than in British elections) make gains
5) Deal struck with either Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein

Depending on seat wins Gilmore could come out as Taoiseach with either Michael Martin or Baron Adams as Deputy

This however is not the only chance of a Left Resurgence, Scotland promises to attempt a fightback for the Left-wing.

George Galloway

The Firebrand, Maverick Left Winger, George Galloway hopes to lead the Left Wing back into Holyrood after a 4 year exile. With the imprisonment of Solidarity Leader Tommy Sheridan, not only have there been talks of Solidarity standing with George Galloway on a joint slate in Glasgow but also the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), has reached out to it's splinter, Solidarity, with an offer for reconciliation.

If a Joint left ticket could be agreed (and agreed for the whole of Scotland) The Left wing parties could make their way into the Scottish Parliament. While up against some stiff competition from Labour and the SNP who will no doubt be brawling for control, a sudden Left Wing presence could be a god-send for the SNP with the arrival of so many pro-independence Left-wingers.


Only time will tell if the Left-wing parties can manage to regain a foothold in the political make-up of the UK, but it will definitely make for an interesitng element in the elections.

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