Special Features

Analysis: Fianna Fáil back in power unless Bertie bombs:


If he survives the election campaign, the chances are Bertie Ahern will be Taoiseach again. This is a substantial “if” at the time of writing. But his party will lose many seats – on these predictions 10 seats. However, Fine Gael won't win sufficient seats to be able to form a government with Labour and the Greens. The next government will be Fianna Fáil and Labour.


A poll of polls

Village has calculated the average results of all national, published opinion polls since the last election, up until the day of printing, Wednesday 2 May. Individual polls are unreliable guides to election results – as the pollsters themselves stress, they give just a snapshot at a particular moment in time, and can be fickle. But when taken together, the polls show trends, and these calculations' average results bring those out. Fine Gael's recent bounce has had little impact upon the average figures, which puts them at just one per cent above their 2002 first-preference vote.

A legacy of broken promises

An audit by Village on the key promises made by the government parties prior to the last election shows that at least 20 major promises have been broken or are being broken. By Hilary Curley and Emma Browne

Legal Loophole around election posters

A ‘legal loophole' in the Litter Pollution Act is being exploited by politicians who have erected banners, posters and other signage on public property to advertise their candidature ahead of the forthcoming general election.

FF/PD legacy

The recent (April 16th) RTE program on the prospects of an Irish property crash highlights the economic legacy that is being left by the present government and what the incoming administration will inherit. What is immediately apparent to this reader in travelling around the country are the results of the apparently cosy relationship between Fianna Fail and Irish developers. The relationship which resulted in the reintroduction of tax breaks on developments in 2002.

Animal welfare an election issue

An Irish hunting organisation has recently claimed that Fine Gael leader, Enda Kenny, has given a commitment that if his party gets into government, they will not restrict or ban hunting.

Huge disparities of wealth in Irish society not an issue in election

One in every 100 Irish person is now a millionaire, even when their family homes are excluded from the calculation. This is according to the Sunday Independent of 18 March.

The newspaper also reported that Ireland now has six billionaires whose combined worth of €11bn is equivalent to the GDP of Jordan, which has a population of six million.

The newspaper says one in every 100 Irish people is a millionaire - even if you exclude the value of the family home.

Massive expenditure for election: How money will talk

A Fine Gael candidate for the Dun Laoghaire constituency, Eugene Regan, has acknowledged that in the 2004 local elections he spent personally €45,000 on his campaign. He got 2,000 votes to the cost per vote was €22.50. Were he to get a quota in the five  seat Dun Laoghaire constituency and were the cost per vote to be the same, he would have to spend in excess of €200,000 and as he is a successful barrister, that might not be a problem for him.

Cork North-Central - Important issues

1. Bring back idea of a third level campus on North side of Cork.

2. Improve the vocational programe so that their is clear career development for young people in trades and recognised qualifications, more than there is presently on offer from Fas.

3. Funding for people to oversee activities for teenagers in the community to give them good pastimes to pursue.

4. Stop all American troop transports out of Shannon.

5.Further development of affordable housing.

6.Make big companies like Shell accountable to ordinary Joe.