A Government that nobody wanted, least of all those who comprise it.
The likelihood as of now must surely be that this will damage all three participants but the Greens and FF in particular. The Greens are clearly split on the issue but bowed to pressure applied over the last week, and now find themselves propping up a desperate power grab on the part of an ever fading civil war cohort. Assuming the expected transpires in economic terms, the finances simply wont be available to deliver on most of the Green elements contained within the PfG. Having campaigned for ‘change’ they’re now walking a tightrope of possible return to their post bailout numbers.
FF potentially face an even worse scenario. Equally split, membership only supported the current proposal because the alternative was an electoral wipeout. They will now need a miracle for them not to have been at helm during the two largest economic contractions of the past 50 years. Their campaign was based on lies and a vote for FF is now clearly a vote for FG in spite of what they say. They may not be around for much longer.
Id suggest that its now likely that a new broadly right liberal establishment bloc will coalesce around FG into the future. This is where the power in Irish life currently lies and is likely to remain as such for the forseeable. The pandemic has been good to Leo and co given where they were in January.
SF are also happy enough with how things have panned out. They likely would have formed the current administration had they fielded more candidates last time out. However, assuming a significant recession is incoming they are better off in opposition. There is a left vote in Ireland now and most of it is likely to coalesce around SF. They will cannibalise the PbP and elements of the Greens and maybe even whats left of Labour. They could also potentially hoover up the republican element in Fianna Fail but that will depend on events elsewhere.
Regardless, Ireland is now a society where an aggressive secular liberalism holds sway and where access to official communication channels is increasingly limited to those who conform to one of two permitted liberal, globalist dogmas ie economically right leaning liely to coalesce around FG and economically left leaning likely to coalesce around SF. The establishment permits no alternative public utterances.
However, there is clearly a significant cohort, perhaps as much as 20% of the electorate, who do not support the prevailing dogma. They consist of segments within both FF and SF along with supporters of numerous independents and the likes of Aontu. It remains to be seen if any of these groups could organise themselves into a coherent outfit. But they are disparate and formulating a common policy programme might be beyond them.
The possibility must be however that if they dont, in the event of a significant recession (the first of which we will ever have experienced when emigration does not provide opportunity for escape and reinvention), that we may begin to see the rise of the type of populism that has emerged elsewhere in Europe.
The January election was won and lost on the issue of access to housing which is linked to a number of related issues. Any party that offers viable solutions around this issue is on to a winner