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'I won’t be whipped': Here are the winners and losers from the political week

A Ming dynasty, a Socialist revolution and bad news for the two biggest opposition parties…

EVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie casts its eye over events inside and outside Leinster House that have got people talking.

As the saying goes: ‘You win some, you lose some.’

So here are our political winners and losers from the past seven days:

The 3 winners of the week are…

1. ‘Ming’ Flanagan

The ‘Ming’ brand is incredibly strong in Roscommon South-Leitrim as he ensured the candidate he backed, Michael Fitzmaurice, took his old Dáil seat, seeing off the challenge of Fianna Fáil.

2. The Socialist Party

The party is becoming increasingly mainstream as it now has three TDs in the Dáil. Paul Murphy pulled off a stunning victory in Dublin South-West pipping the Sinn Féin favourite Cathal King.

3. Gerard Craughwell

It was an extraordinary feat for the former TUI president to win a Seanad by-election without the official backing of either of the two biggest parties in the Oireachtas. He wouldn’t have done it without ‘McNulty-gate’ but it was still impressive.

… the 3 losers of the week are…

1. Joan Burton 

joan burton

The Tánaiste’s remarks on the “extremely expensive phones, tablets and video cameras” of water meter protesters were ill-judged. Many believe her remarks were indicative of the government’s detachment from the electorate. While she might have been raising a legitimate point about the conduct of some protesters Burton might have worded it better.

2. Fianna Fáil 

The largest opposition party in the country has failed to win any of the six Dáil by-elections held over the last three years. That it put significant time and effort into trying -but failing – to get Ivan Connaughton elected in Roscommon South-Leitrim will be disappointing and worrying for Micheál Martin.

3. Sinn Féin

It can also be said of Sinn Féin that it has failed to make any inroads in the last six Dáil by-elections with Cathal King pipped to the post by Paul Murphy in Dublin South-West, despite topping the poll on the first count. Sinn Féin consistently fails to garner enough second preferences in elections and that’s a problem that needs addressing.

… and the one we can’t decide is…

Fergus O’Dowd

National Water Services Conferences Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

The former junior minister sharply criticised Irish Water – the body he helped to set up – in a newspaper article and subsequent – and disastrous- radio interview this week. His remarks were embarrassing for the government. But was he right or is it just sour grapes in the wake of his surprise sacking in the reshuffle?

We can’t decide on this one. So, is Fergus O’Dowd a winner or a loser?

Poll Results:

Loser (1155)
Winner (917)

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Analysis: Is Sinn Féin really proposing a 73 per cent tax rate?

More analysis: Enda avoids more McNulty embarrassment – but now has a BIG problem in the Seanad

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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