NOTES ON THE LATEST IRISH ELECTORAL POLL – implications for the far left.

Sinn Fein at 32%, ahead of FG at 22% & FF at 20%

Solidarity-PBP are at 2%

It is hard to see Sinn Fein going anywhere but up – all they have to do is sit back & enjoy the own-goal thrashing FFG will no doubt continue to give themselves.

The prospect of a Sinn Fein outright majority government is now clearly in view. A Sinn Fein result in the mid to high 70s, with the support of a few strays bringing it over the 81 seat line is perhaps a stronger possibility.

They will likely win at least some of these seats at the expense of Solidarity-PBP. Only Richard Boyd Barrett, running in one of the few constituencies where SF are not a factor, is likely to retain his seat out of the current line-up of socialist TDs – reducing him to the kind of amusing oddball distraction that Joe Higgins was back in the 1990s.

Sinn Fein will not need Solidarity-PBP to govern, either as part of a coalition, or in some kind of minority SF govt deal with opposition. Since the main thrust of PBP’s organising strategy is to position themselves as the red conscience of Sinn Fein and win enough seats to pressurise Sinn Fein to implement socialist policies after the next general election, this chronic stasis in the polls – Sol-PBP are at essentially the same level of public support as they were in the 90s before the electoral turn – and likely loss of seats at next GE is something of an existential crisis in the making (to which I have no doubt DENIAL & SHOOT THE MESSENGER will be the main response).

It’s not just a problem in Ireland. Germany’s Die Linke – mooted as a huge success & a model to be followed back in the early days of PBP – is in a state of chronic stasis edging into precipitous decline too. Italy’s far left committed their electoral suicide back in 2005. France’s various electoral formations of the far-left are going nowhere. The UK far-left’s electoral experiments have all backfired massively. I could go on & on & on.

Has the working class in Ireland made one single significant gain in 25 years of far-left electoralism as a result of this strategy? I can’t think of one – and I was involved in the strategy much of that time.

I think electoralism has proved a cul-de-sac, at the end of which is a brick wall towards which Sol-PBP are accelerating.

Time is short I think. 19th Century socialists could dream (stupidly in the end) of long-term electoral victory. 21st century socialists don’t have a long-term framework of stability to work with.

We are in an era of collapse in which fiery oratory and the endless series of pointless failed Bills proposed by Sol-PBP are not working to change the world in any way whatsoever, and working even less to boost electoral prospects, and will not be doing either over the next few crucial years.

New thinking needed for new times – for unprecedented times for which the past is no guide.