The general election in Ireland on Friday of this week takes place in a context where official politics has descended into chaos.
The ruling Fianna Fail/Green Party coalition has collapsed.It is mired in corruption scandals involving bankers and property developers and riven with division. Its attempts at vicious austerity measures look set to backfire.
Fianna Fail—which has ruled Ireland for 66 of the 88 years since southern Ireland became independent—is expected to lose more than half its TDs (MPs) at the election and may face annihilation.
The new United Left Alliance (ULA) made up of the People Before Profit Alliance, the Socialist Party, the Tipperary Workers and Unemployed Action Group is calling for a real fightback against austerity.
It has ruled out being in coalition government and says the bank bailout should be cancelled rather than seeing the implemention of an IMF package.
The ULA is running candidates in 19 constituencies. People Before Profit councillor Richard Boyd Barrett said, “If the response we have received so far is anything to go by, ULA is going to make a very serious breakthrough in this election and begin the process of re-shaping the Irish political landscape in a progressive direction.”