The Meath East bye election campaign has been an important step in the re-building of The Workers Party locally and nationally. However, it has also underlined the dominance of right wing parties in spite of the disastrous impact their policies have had for working people in this and in previous governments.
We are pleased with the campaign we ran and the unquestionable benefits it has brought us. We are naturally disappointed with the overall vote we achieved, but despite limited resources and a very short campaign we have seen tangible improvements in the Party organisation.
We achieved a level of local and national media coverage we have not had for some time. We had an active presence on the doorsteps in all parts of the constituency, we distributed almost 100,000 pieces of election literature and we have gained new members and supporters in the constituency. All of this augurs well for the growth of the Party in the future.
In addition the Party manifesto not only correctly identified and addressed the critical issues facing the working class today but put forward a clear alternative policy programme.
A fuller analysis of the election and its implications for both the Party and the political situation in the country today will be made soon and will be discussed throughout the Party.
However a number of salient points are immediately of some significance:
1. The low turnout of 38% and the implications of that for democracy and public life.
2. The combined vote of 75% for both FG and FF and 7% for Direct Democracy Ireland (Ireland’s version of UKIP?), making 82% for right wing Parties.
3. The collapse of the Labour vote from 21% to 4%.
These are matters of some importance which require further elaboration.
Finally, we all wish to record our thanks to the Party candidate Seamus McDonagh, the membership in Meath and those who worked so hard during the campaign. They can certainly not be faulted for their efforts and their outstanding commitment.