John Downing: 'Things are suddenly going better for Mary Lou - but she's not getting a 'big table' seat in TV debates as 'Leo v Micheál' will decide this election'
The past few days have been kinder to Mary Lou McDonald and her colleagues in the upper echelons of Sinn Féin than their experiences of recent months.Create an account Yesterday's Ipsos MRBI survey for the 'Irish Times' also allowed Ms McDonald and other party luminaries to pump up the volume in their push to be included in the TV debates, which are restricted to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin. Both RTÉ and Virgin Media are insistent they will stick to their plans to only allow Ms McDonald participate in the other debates which will also include leaders of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour, the Social Democrats, Renua and Solidarity-People Before Profit. Sinn Féin is making veiled threats about"taking advice" on the issue, suggesting it could be headed for the law courts. It's an understandable device to generate more media coverage in an election campaign - but it seems unlikely that such a legal gambit would yield the desired result. If it is in any doubt, they should have a word with Eamon Ryan and the Green Party who took an unsuccessful High Court case during the last election trying to reverse their exclusion from a big RTÉ debate involving seven leaders. The Greens had argued that RTÉ stipulating that only parties with three TDs in the outgoing Dáil could participate was unfair, undemocratic and unconstitutional and in breach of RTÉ's legal obligations as a public service broadcaster. RTÉ counter-argued that its criteria were objective, fair, transparent and applicable to all parties. The Greens effectively wanted the broadcaster to apply"subjective" criteria for leaders' debates that would favour the Greens over other parties, it argued. In the end the only soot the Green Party got was that the judge ruled there was a real question to be answered. On that basis each side paid its own costs, estimated at €50,000 each. This writer would never dream of second guessing what a judge would do if Sinn Féin was to risk a court outing this time. But it is clear that its case would be even weaker than that of the Greens in 2016 since it is, after all, included in the other debates. Equally, there is no denying that a crucial factor in this election will be the choice of"Leo or Micheál for Taoiseach". When the last Dáil concluded, Fine Gael had 47 seats, Fianna Fáil had 46, while Sinn Féin had 22. Recent good opinion poll figures cannot over-rule poor showings in the presidential, local and European elections over the past 18 months. It is not realistic to postulate that Mary Lou McDonald has a serious chance of becoming taoiseach just yet at any rate. Yesterday, her party announced it will field 42 candidates across the 39 constituencies. Reality is it would need almost all of those to get elected for Sinn Féin to be the dominant party in any coalition talks after polling day. And the reaction of the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil leaders to the Sinn Féin debate complaint was of interest in itself. Leo Varadkar said it was up to the two broadcasters to make their own decisions on the formula. But speaking on the canvass in Fermoy, the Taoiseach essentially said that if Ms McDonald was given a late call-up to make a three-way debate, he would fall into line. But Mr Martin emphatically said Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were the only two parties that could lead the next government. "I don't think we should be deciding these issues on opinion polls," he said dismissing the Sinn Féin gambit. Irish Independent Read more: Independent.ie
The electorate will decide who wins the election.🤔not those two 🤡 🤡. This debate is no different than identical twins looking in the mirror and seeing the same face. Well that’s how democracy works when your media is completely bought and paid for, ey Indo? The debate is for party leaders. The people will decide this election, despite how much ye try to undermine that.
Limpy Leo v slippery Mick adjudicated by well past it pat, no thanks I'm boycotting the debate unless top parties are there, otherwise it's undemocratic! It’s disgraceful. While I personally wouldn’t vote SF it can’t be denied that they are now a real option for many people fed up with FG/FF and could cause an upset in the election. She should be debating with them. People should be able to see alternative options.
FF and FG are terrified... and, rightfully so! Both of them are useless, worthless, self-interested only, political bodies. They’ve totally neglected the citizens of this country, outside of the upper income leveled. 😡👎🏻👎🏻 The sheep need to wake up, SF are no better than FF or FG Have to say this is shocking 3rd biggest party in the country they must be afraid or is section 31 still in place ?
Sinn Féin objects to Virgin Media for excluding Mary Lou from Leaders' debateThe party is also considering legal action against RTÉ for not including Sinn Féin. Sure they won't be getting anywhere so a vote for SinnFein is a waste of time. And rightly so Is Irish media reverting to Troubles default mode? Self-censorship/self-imposition of Sec 50 of Broadcasting Act?
Hopefully this will be the election where MSM realise their bias doesn't hold sway over the electorate anymore ,people are starting to wake up The voters will decide That is a gross assumption. And if only the current leaders get such media coverage then TV channels can be seen as corruptly influencing the GE outcome & of standing in the way of change.
I thnibtur electorate will decide the election result! About time the traditional media both print and broadcast realise that! Time for real change! Vote National Party ! GE2020 FF and FG run Ireland's media.
Poll: Should Mary Lou be allowed partake in RTÉ and Virgin Media's party leader debates?Poll: Should Mary Lou McDonald be included in RTÉ and Virgin Media's leaders' debates? AlvaghCronin No thanks Yes should be on top of the list, SF is rising to power. Yes
Mary Lou McDonald asks uncertain voters to give Sinn Féin ‘a chance’Party leader says Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil’s dominance of Irish politics ‘needs to be over’ i voted all my life labour, and now no party. and not in this lifetime would i vote for these traitors and since when did irish times be nice to sf,? pr stunt , as these globalist parties are all in bed with each other, Yeah, no
Mary Lou says 'dominance of FF and FG is gone, but RTÉ has yet to catch up'Sinn Féin leader MaryLouMcDonald: 'The days of single-party government are gone, and the days of dominance of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are gone - although RTÉ has yet to catch up with that reality.' MaryLouMcDonald SinnFein = FakeOpposition. This is all you need to know 👇👇👇 MaryLouMcDonald 'RTÉ has yet to catch up with that reality' - this is something the majority of people in my life have been saying about RTE in general for a long time now. MaryLouMcDonald The Debate with FG and FF is on vergin media one tonight and not RTE
'Mary Lou will have a Navan accent by the time its over' - Tóibín claimed SF targeting his seatThe Meath West TD left the party in 2018 following a row over the abortion referendum. Really? She's in Dublin the past few days Somebody looking for the limelight I think. And aren't all the parties targeting seats? It is an election after all. They are all up for grabs. 🤔. As 'his' seat was won while he was a member of SF, I am surprised he is surprised. With Aontu at 1%, I expect SF will have that seat back without too much trouble.
'Mary Lou will have a Navan accent by the time its over' - Tóibín claimed SF targeting his seatThe Meath West TD left the party in 2018 following a row over the abortion referendum.