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  1. #1
    El Matador El Matador is offline

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    Why is Fianna Fáil more popular than Fine Gael?

    Without wishing to encourage partisan arguments along FF v FG lines, what are p.ie visitors' opinions on why Fianna Fáil has been so electorally successful compared to Fine Gael? Another thread mentioned the post-Treaty government of Cosgrave prior to Fianna Fáil fully participating in the electoral process- given that the C na nG/ FG had a headstart on Fianna Fáil, how did FF come to replace them as the main party of government, and stay in that position until the present day? Likewise, why has FG not been able to challenge FF and overtake them on occasion, as happens in the UK between the Tories and Labour for instance?
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  2. #2
    owenfeehan owenfeehan is offline

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    They pandered more.
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  3. #3
    cyberianpan cyberianpan is offline
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    I'd claim that Fianna Fail is a coalition:

    Between Republicans & Opportunists.

    The Republicans were hard core, high minded folks such as Dev.

    Then opportunists/realists joined on board when they realised that FF had a chance of power after the C na G government. These were more "common" people who saw their chance to surf a riding tide.

    Republicanism (on it's own) is quite a narrow backbone so it has left FF free to move & drift with the people- hence FF oft being referred to as a "movement" rather than a party. Furthermore republicanism has been a conveniently ideal backbone which required very little action (Michael Collins et al took the last serious action is this area).

    I think that FF is an atypical party & they are at issue not FG.

    Even if we take FG as very blue economically (appearing uncaring) from say 1930-1970, they've started moving since & probably could be termed left of FF by now (certianly in real-politik terms given their symbiosis with Labour). So no matter what ground FG occupy , FF remain supreme unless of course FG was to be more agile & change ground more often (voters don't notice shifts over decades)... that is of course what FF do.


    cYp
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  4. #4
    White Horse White Horse is offline
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    Fianna Fail is more in tune with the Irish psyce.
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  5. #5
    Waggs Waggs is offline

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    Why have FF been so successful

    I think the main reason for FF's success has been down to the party organisation and party discipline. Remember Bertie's lightening quashing of the 'back bench revolt'? Also, I dont' believe you would ever see a 'push the leader campaign' in FF the way it happened to John Bruton. Sure you get in-fighting between fellow party members and particularly in smaller constituencies but ultimately FF members have a stronger loyalty to their party in my opinion than the FGers. I believe this is because FF is fundamentally based on an ideal: that of a United Ireland; a romantic notion to some but something that holds party members together much more strongly than they can ever be held in FG where I think their main unifiying ideology is opposing FF. It does seem strange that FG's desire for power hasn't spurred them on in the way it did Labour in Britain. I believe Enda has improved party organisation and loyalty on the ground but there is a very long way to go before it becomes as strong as their opponents. I think it has to be said as well, that at least in recent times, FF have had a fair bit of good luck. It also took a long time for Labour in Britain to reverse its fortunes. I would like to think that it's possible for FG to do the same because it is frightening to consider the possibility that there is no relaistic choice in our democracy.
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  6. #6
    tonys tonys is offline

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    FG have always fished in a much smaller pond, traditionally they have been supported by the middle/business classes and better off farmer. In other words, those voters who had a vested interest in the status quo. FF have appealed to a much larger group, the more working class or less well off voter to whom, the status quo is just not good enough.
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  7. #7
    KeithM KeithM is offline

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    In a word "leadership". Since their formation FF have had better, stronger of more charismatic leaders. The only exception was Fitzgerald vs Haughey and that was when FG came closest to overtaking FF.
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  8. #8
    White Horse White Horse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonys
    FG have always fished in a much smaller pond, traditionally they have been supported by the middle/business classes and better off farmer. In other words, those voters who had a vested interest in the status quo. FF have appealed to a much larger group, the more working class or less well off voter to whom, the status quo is just not good enough.
    This is a cliche. I can't speak about Dublin, but Fine Gael have strong support among small farmers and workers in rural areas.
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  9. #9
    tonys tonys is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by White Horse
    Quote Originally Posted by tonys
    FG have always fished in a much smaller pond, traditionally they have been supported by the middle/business classes and better off farmer. In other words, those voters who had a vested interest in the status quo. FF have appealed to a much larger group, the more working class or less well off voter to whom, the status quo is just not good enough.
    This is a cliche. I can't speak about Dublin, but Fine Gael have strong support among small farmers and workers in rural areas.
    FF have traditionally done better than FG in working class areas, cliché or not, it’s true.
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  10. #10
    White Horse White Horse is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonys
    FF have traditionally done better than FG in working class areas, cliché or not, it’s true.
    You also metioned that FG support derived from large farmers. Do you now accept that this is a cliche and incorrect?
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