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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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The TrailFix: Does anyone have any idea what's going to happen?

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.

19/02/2016. Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDon Mary Lou McDonald strikes a pose with Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy as the party launches its latest anti-water charges poster in Dublin today. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Everybody’s talking about 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The government thought it would be well on the road to being re-elected at this stage, but the campaign has proved more difficult than it expected. The opposition have scored several points over the last few weeks and as a result it is, on current polls, looking like it will be a very fractured 32nd Dáil with no clear indication of who will govern.

Still, all parties will see the positives at this point. Fine Gael and Labour will still argue that only in the final few days will many voters make their minds up and they believe the stability argument will sway them.

Fianna Fáil will justifiably believe that a good campaign will translate into a good election result, while bearing in mind that opinion polls consistently underrate the party’s true level of support. Sinn Féin will also argue its had a good campaign and will hope its strong anti-austerity message will translate into increased support. It’s a long-term project for the party and it will be happy just to add to its Dáil representation.

But the independents and smaller parties may have the most to be optimistic about. A whopping 29% of voters, according to the latest poll, will vote that way on election day and in amongst that group are parties like the Social Democrats who’ve had a real impact on this election, particularly with Stephen Donnelly’s performance in Monday’s debate.

This weekend will see three new opinion polls that might make things a little clearer but chances are that not much has changed in terms of voter sentiment.

Micheál Martin has argued for weeks that all these polls could be wrong and do not reflect what the real outcome will be. If that’s the case then we truly are in the dark as to where the country will be politically in just over a week’s time.

Slap Downs of the Day

Lots of deep burns on the campaign trail today…

This morning, Fianna Fáil’s Seán Fleming had this to say about Finance Minister Michael Noonan and his claim that here is a hole in the opposition party’s figures.

This afternoon, Fine Gael produced a new campaign poster that took a cut off Fianna Fáil.

Fine Gael's Minister Bruton, Coveney and candidate Jobs Minister Richard Bruton with Fine Gael candidate Kate O'Connell and Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney today Source: RollingNews.ie

But in a speech to the party faithful in Castlebar this evening, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had this stinging assessment of the government and its election campaign:

They planned a coronation but what they got was chaos in their campaign – which is very fitting because what’s happened to their campaign is exactly what they’ve done to area after area of our public services.

FactCheck of the Day

original-2

As part of our general election coverage, we’re testing the truth of claims made by candidates and parties on the campaign trail. You can see all the excellent work done by Dan MacGuill right here.

WTF Moment of the Day

There’s another Michael Healy-Rae election video and it’s pretty special.

Source: Michael Healy-Rae TD/YouTube

Row of the Day 

If you haven’t seen it, you really should check out our latest High Table Election Debate involving Fine Gael’s Noel Rock and Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

It was a good day for 

It was a bad day for 

mary lou

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

  • Fine Gael: Fresh from marathon talks on ‘Brexit’ in Brussels, Enda Kenny will address a campaign rally in his native Castlebar.
  • Labour: Ministers Brendan Howlin and Ged Nash will launch the party’s plans for public service investment in Dublin. Joan Burton will canvass in Waterford and Kilkenny.
  • Fianna Fáil: No schedule at time of publication.
  • Sinn Féin: The party leadership will be at the Right2Change rally in Dublin.
  • Renua: The party launches its rural crime policy, entitled ‘We are thinking what you are thinking’, in Dublin tomorrow.
  • AAA-PBP: Senior party figures will attend the Right2Change rally and hold further demonstrations afterwards.
  • SocDems: The three party leaders will be canvassing at the top of Grafton Street on Sunday.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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