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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 13 April 2021

The TrailFix: Has Enda snatched defeat from the jaws of victory?

The best and worst bits from today’s #ge16 campaign trail.

EVERY NIGHT DURING the general election, TheJournal.ie brings you the latest from the Election 2016 campaign trail.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny on a visit to Trim,County Meath Looking pleased: The Taoiseach with Fine Gael TD Ray Butler, Michael (5) and Grace Coogan (3) in their father's butchers shop in Trim this afternoon. Source: RollingNews.ie

Everybody’s talking about 

As one seasoned political correspondent put it today, this government came in with the largest majority in the history of the state yet now it will be lucky to return with the help of independents. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Fine Gael and Labour believed the economic upswing, the few extra bob in people’s pockets and the promise of more if re-elected would be enough to return the two parties to government.

All polls now indicate this will not happen. All that could change in the final hours of the campaign with still quite a number of undecideds. The polls could also be wrong as they were in the UK. But there’s little denying that Fine Gael and Labour have had bad campaigns where their core message of recovery and stability did not get through to an angry electorate.

Step in Fianna Fáil, the star performers of this campaign and, to a lesser extent, Sinn Féin which has capitalised on people’s anger. However, the smaller opposition party has suffered as a result of Gerry Adams’s poor grasp of detail when it comes the party’s main policies.

23/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Source: RollingNews.ie

By contrast, Micheál Martin has performed excellently in all three TV debates. Even when he’s wrong, he sounds like he’s right. In the modern political environment, presentation is everything and Martin has definitely presented himself as a credible alternative taoiseach.

Tomorrow’s broadcast moratorium, which kicks in at 2pm, will mean an end to the debate on the airwaves. The ground war continues write up until polls close tomorrow as candidates around the country do everything they can to secure crucial votes.

The outcome is far from certain and it ensures that a long and exciting weekend of counting is ahead for anyone with an interest in the future direction of the country.

Slap Downs of the Day

Tánaiste Joan Burton took a swipe at Fianna Fáil and its rejuvenated leader Micheál Martin, saying she had noticed a “smugness” creeping back into the party today. She added:

Smugness with a smile in the case of Micheál Martin – old wine in new bottles, the new Micheál bottles.

Meanwhile, Róisín Shortall reminded people that Fine Gael has never been re-elected to government – and there’s a reason for that.

FactCheck of the Day


As part of our general election coverage, we’re testing the truth of claims made by candidates and parties on the campaign trail. Dan MacGuill has done a comprehensive round-up of the truth and lies in last night’s final TV debate.

Bull**** Claim of the Day

Labour has said repeatedly that it is the only party that can deliver a referendum on the Eighth Amendment if re-elected to government.

But, in fairness to others, it is explicitly stated in the manifestos of Sinn Féin, the Social Democrats, the Green Party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit groupings.

WTF Moment of the Day

Someone knitted Labour TD John Lyons a miniature doll of himself.

It was a good day for 

Source: Helen McEntee/YouTube

It was a bad day for 

screenshot.1456335920.19066 Source: www.thejournal.ie

Tomorrow’s news today: What’s happening on the campaign trail

  • Fine Gael: Enda Kenny will do a final canvass with candidates in south Dublin before he campaigns in Longford-Westmeath.
  • Fianna Fáil: Billy Kelleher will hold a final campaign press conference at the party’s election HQ.
  • Sinn Féin: Gerry Adams and other senior party figures will canvass on Moore Street.
  • AAA-PBP: Richard Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy and Gino Kenny will be canvassing in Dublin city centre.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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