Times are a changing?

Ever since the historic events of last Thursday, many people have predicted that the new political era in Ireland could well herald a radical shake up in Dáil representation and Sinn Féin build on and enhance their Euro election performance to possibly as much as double their tally of Dáil seats. Indeed some on slugger have gone so as to predict that in the very likely event of Sinn Féin holding the balance of power that we could even see a Fine Gael backed Fianna Fáil government, if not at the next election then eventually. Personally this is soemthing I would welcome as it would show a progression from civil war politics to a genuine left-right political axis. FF and FG are the two most naturally alligned parties contesting elections in Ireland. I would love to see Sinn Féin at the helm of a broad coalion of the left to counter the two traditionally strongest parties.

However, this is obviously more of a long term goal but in htis week's An Phoblacht Máirtin Mac Eoin attempts to predict the likely outcome of any election in 2007. Former taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald has predicted a FG/PD/Labour/Green government but surely such a coalition would lack any stability given the huge divergence in the political views of its members. Máirtin also believe that the former Fine Gael leader underestimates Sinn Féin's chance of electoral gains and believes that the party could do better than the 4 seat rise to 9 TDs that Fitzgerald predicts. Of course we have to remember that a week is a long time in politics never mind two years and that its far to early to attempt genuine accurate predictions. One thing is for sure though, there are interesting times ahead.

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