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'Is Labour dead?': We answer the big election questions you've been Googling

You’ve asked the search engine some pretty odd and interesting questions.

GOOGLE HAS RELEASED a list of the top trending searches for political parties and leaders over the past six months as the general election approaches.

The search engine giant has also disclosed the election related search terms which have been the most popular since the campaign officially got under way last week.

Google has cautioned that the amount of traffic a search term generates cannot accurately gauge the true popularity of a candidate or a political party. But it is a useful way of measuring interest in them.

So with that, we thought we’d answer the questions you’ve been asking Google as best we could.

Fine Gael

22/1/2016.78th Fine Gael Ard Fheis

Who set up Fine Gael?

Fine Gael is a pro-treaty party founded in September 1933 through the merger of Cumann na nGaedhal (led by WT Cosgrave), the National Centre Party (led by Frank MacDermot) and the National Guard (led by Eoin O’Duffy).

What does Fine Gael mean?

It translates as ‘Tribe of the Irish’.

What have Fine Gael done in 2015?

It would take us a long time to work through everything Fine Gael claims to have done in 2015, so here’s a link that should help. Our FactCheck series analyses some of the party’s bigger claims.

What date is the Fine Gael term finishing?

Fine Gael’s parliamentary term has finished in that the 31st Dáil is no more as of 3 February. While the government still exists – and Fine Gael ministers are still ministers – they will cease to be members of cabinet once the next government is formed – unless the party is re-elected.

Who are the Fine Gael voters?

Historically, those who vote Fine Gael tend to be economically liberal and socially conservative. The party has long advocated fiscal rectitude and supports policies which encourage enterprise, low taxation and minimal state intervention in public services. This is why Fine Gael garners significant support from high earners, entrepreneurs and big farmers in rural Ireland, among others.

Fianna Fail

16/1/2016. Fianna Fail Ard Fheis Source: Sam Boal

What does Fianna Fail mean?

It is commonly translated into ‘Soldiers of Destiny’ although it would be more accurately translated as ‘Soldiers of Ireland’ as ‘Fál’ is an old word for Ireland.

Is Fianna Fail the largest political party in Ireland?

No. Fianna Fáil has an estimated 20,000 members, but Fine Gael has around 35,000.

Who retired from Fianna Fail today?

No one that we know of.

How many seats did Fianna Fail have?

Fianna Fail had 21 seats in the last Dáil before it was dissolved on 3 February. But if you’re talking about 2011 (which we suspect you are) then it had 71 before its historic general election defeat.

How many times has Fianna Fail bankrupted the country?

There’s no objective way of answering that. Its critics might argue two or three times in the last 30 years, but we’re not getting into it.

Sinn Fein

5/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Source: Sam Boal

Who founded Sinn Fein?

Arthur Griffith founded the party in 1905 although it took on its current form following a split with the Workers’ Party in 1970.

When was Sinn Fein founded?

See above.

What does Sinn Fein mean?

It translates as ‘ourselves’ or ‘we ourselves’.

What does Sinn Fein stand for?

The party primarily stands for a united, democratic, socialist Ireland.

What did Sinn Fein call Michael (sic) Martin in the Dáil?

All manner of things over the last five years, but most recently Sinn Féin’s justice spokesperson Padraig MacLochlainn described Martin as the “prime gurrier” of Leinster House.

Labour Party

30/1/2016. Labour Party Conferences Source: Eamonn Farrell

Is the Labour Party dead? 

No. The Labour Party still exists even if some are hoping its political obituary will be written after the election.

What is the address of Jan O’Sullivan’s department?

Department of Education and Skills, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1.

Is the Irish Labour Party a leftwing party?

Labour would see itself as a social democratic party on the left of the political spectrum.

What year was the Labour Party founded?

1912.

Who was leader of the Labour Party before Joan Burton?

Eamon Gilmore.

Social Democrats

Social Democrats launch Ge Source: /Photocall Ireland

Who will run for the Social Democrats?

The SocDems are running 14 candidates in total in this election. The full list is here.

What do Social Democrats work for?

At the moment, the party is working to get its 14 candidates elected and hopes to win at least 7 seats to gain speaking rights in the next Dáil.

The party argues that it is working for a fairer, social democratic society with good public services funded by progressive taxation, support for Ireland’s SMEs and more transparency in government.

Where do the Social Democrats fall on the political spectrum?

They party is left of centre on the political spectrum.

Enda Kenny

4/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Source: Sam Boal

How old is Enda Kenny?

64.

Who is Enda Kenny?

Enda Kenny is the Taoiseach, leader of Fine Gael and a TD for Mayo.

How much does Enda Kenny earn?

€185,350.

Where is Enda Kenny from?

Castlebar, Co Mayo.

What party is Enda Kenny in?

Fine Gael.

Micheál Martin

16/1/2016. Fianna Fail Ard Fheis Source: sam boal

What time is Micheál Martin speaking at?

We’re not sure, but if you follow @TJ_Politics on Twitter will keep you updated on when he’s next speaking.

How old is Micheál Martin?

55.

What did Sinn Fein call Micheál Martin in the Dáil?

We answered this one already.

Who introduced Micheál Martin at the Ard Fheis?

At the most recent Ard Fheis, Martin was introduced by the Fianna Fáil councillor and Dublin Bay South election candidate Jim O’Callaghan.

What statement did Micheál Martin make about the election?

In Fianna Fáil’s party political broadcast, Martin said: “In this election we’ve a fundamental choice to make about the kind of Ireland we want to have. Will we move forward together or will we be more unequal and unfair?”

micheal ppb

Gerry Adams

How old is Gerry Adams?

67.

Is Gerry Adams married?

Yes, Adams is married to Collette Adams (nee McArdle).

For which area is Gerry Adams a TD for?

Louth.

Who is Gerry Adams?

Gerry Adams is the president of Sinn Féin and a TD for Louth. He was formerly an MP for Belfast West. For the record, he says he was never in the IRA.

Why was Gerry Adams (sic) voice dubbed?

From 1988 until 1994, the voices of Sinn Féin representatives and several Irish republican and loyalist groups were banned from being broadcast on television and radio in the UK and Ireland.

This was part of an effort to prevent Sinn Féin and others from using the media for political advantage. However broadcasters found their way around the rules by dubbing anyone who was banned with the voice of an actor.

Joan Burton

5/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Source: Eamonn Farrell

Where is Joan Burton from?

Stoneybatter, Dublin.

How old is Joan Burton?

67.

What party is Joan Burton in?

Labour.

How tall is Joan Burton?

We’re told that Burton is 5’11”.

Who is the Labour Party leader?

That would be Joan Burton.

Top questions asked about the general election since it was announced on 3 February

screenshot.1455116929.81652 Source: www.thejournal.ie

When is the election in Ireland? 

The election takes place on Friday, 26 February. Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm.

Which constituency am I in?

You can find that out by typing your address in here.

Who should I vote for?

The choice is yours but our candidate database might help you find the right person for you.

Who to vote for in the 2016 Ireland elections?

See above.

Who will win the next Irish general election?

The latest poll indicates that no one will win the election although Fine Gael will take the most seats. The only poll that matters is in just over two weeks’ time.

‘Come over here’: Gerry and Enda shook hands in Sligo this morning

Read: The results of the first poll taken DURING the election aren’t great news for the coalition

All your Election 2016 news in one place > 

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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