This might not be the impossible task that some might consider it to be.
I believe the party would need to win about 39% of the vote to achieve this.
In Nov 1982 FG Won 70 seats with with the same percentage vote as this - but this was against a FF with a rock solid 44%.
39% would allow FG to win more seats this time because FF will be far weaker at the next GE. With a lot of FF seats up for grabs, FG will be the main beneficeries in constituencies where Labour are not well organised.
At the moment FG are on 33% according to the latest Red C poll.They have been as high as 35% recently and appear to be on an upward trend at the moment.
So 39%, while difficult, is by no means impossible.
The question is - how might this come about?
Well lets consider the scenario that's likely to unfold over the next few months.
FF are facing substantial losses at the upcoming elections. This will contribute to their downward momentum.
The public will have even less faith in their ability to get us out of this very difficult situation.
The next budget will be the final straw; when the govt are forced to reveal the true extent of the measures needed to keep us afloat the patience of the electorate will finally snap.I believe an election is inevitable at that stage, and it's one that FF can't win.
So what must FG do.It's not enough for FF to lose the election:FG must ensure they actually win it.
Well the next 6 months offers a golden opportunity.
All the publicity surrounding the June elections will heighten political awareness among the general public.
FG must capitalise on this: they must work very hard over the succeeding months to sell their policies to the public.
There must be no long summer break for FG while the Dail is on holidays.
They party has been developing a lot of good policy initiatives over the last while, such as the new health policy.
They must continue to do this, and most importantly, they must be constantly on the airwaves to sell those policies.
They must become associated in the public mind as the government in waiting.
Momentum is crucial here: once you get it, it tends to become self-fulfilling.
They must sell a positive message of hope to the people.
75 seats would leave FG in a very strong position, and would strengthen their hand when forming a government.
Let there be no doubt that a very strong government indeed will be needed.
The message must be sold that voting for independents or ex FF men is no good when we need a very strong government.There are some good genuine independents running in the locals, but in the GE the public must be fully convinced of the necessity to vote for a strong government.
As far as the constituences are concerned there must be no selfishness.
They must go for the maximum number of seats, and aim for ones that might have been considered out of the question up to now.Quota sitters are no good; the candidates must be brave, and willing to take the risk.
The prize is there to be won.
FG must go for it.