Well - it has finally arrived. Polling Day and a General Election. All the arguments are over, and the long wait for the count kicks in. Whatever happens, I hope we get a stable Government as a result - we simply need a safe pair of hands to run the country for the next few years. I go along with most of the informed opinion that this will be an excellent election for Fine Gael, with Sinn Féin and Independents also doing well.
|Photo from The Guardian.|
Enda Kenny will be Taoiseach - of that there is no doubt. While I have never voted for Fine Gael, I am not anti-Kenny in the sense that I believe he may actually turn out to be a good Taoiseach (maybe not a great one!). He doesn't have a particularly difficult act to follow, and the country is at such a low ebb that he is starting from rock-bottom where the only way is up. My belief is that anyone who takes up the Taoiseach's Office means well and will do his/her best for the country (this includes Brian Cowen). He has a lot to live up to and the country is waiting for the massive change that is about to overcome us tomorrow. A little bit if trivia for you - when he was a teacher, Kenny gave grinds to Roma in Castlebar!
Will Fine Gael get an overall majority? Well I have to say that I'd prefer this to a Fine Gael/Labour coalition. My sense is that Labour don't have the balls to make the tough decisions over the next few years that need to be made. If they are part of the new Government - I believe it will be weak. However, I don't think Fine Gael will get a majority - they will need Labour. The real work begins at the Coalition Talks bargaining table - the country will have to wait in second place while the deal is done.
My own first preference vote will go to Mary Hanafin as I have done in every election since 1997. I have decided not to desert her now in her hour of need when she needs my vote more than ever. As I have written elsewhere on this blog, I have not been greatly inspired by the other candidates on the ballot paper in Dún Laoghaire. However, I have made a last minute change and plan to vote for Mary Mitchell-O'Conner of Fine Gael as #2 (Andrews #3 and Barrett #4). In the event that Hanafin is eliminated or has a surplus, I would like my vote to transfer to Fine Gael as I would prefer MMO'C to be elected ahead of Bacik and Boyd-Barrett. None of the other candidates will get a preference vote from me as I plan to stop at #4 - they have not done enough to convince me to vote for them. Not even Eamonn Gilmore - who is a magician without a wand.