Brilliant vote for Militant Labour in Dublin Election

Steve Wallis S.Wallis at
Thu Apr 4 10:02:43 MST 1996

I include below an article from Militant (issue 1270) - the newspaper
of Militant Labour in Britain.

More information can be found at the Dublin Militant Labour page at:

and at the by-election page

and also at the anti-water rates page which has links on the above pages.


Brilliant vote for Militant Labour in Dublin Election
Joe Higgins close to winning

MILITANT LABOUR in Ireland almost pulled off a spectacular victory in this
week's Dublin West by-election for a seat in the Dail (Parliament).

Militant Labour's candidate Joe Higgins only narrowly lost to the
Fianna Fail candidate Brian Lenihan Junior at the end of an exhaustive
series of preference votes. After all the votes for the 12 candidates
had been transferred to their last preferences Lenihan polled 11,754
votes to Joe's 11,384. Joe lost by only 370 votes. As we go to press a
recount has been called. [The recount confirmed the result - SW]

Joe, a Militant Labour councillor in Dublin, waged a tremendous
campaign winning thousand of new votes for his fighting socialist
policies. His main platform was against the new water charges which
would hit Dublin's poorest areas, leading a campaign for mass
non-payment. It was Ireland's equivalent to the poll tax.

Taking the political establishment by storm Joe became many bookies'
favourite and definitely that of Dublin's working class.

Showing the strength of his support Joe polled 6,743 votes, 23% of
first preference votes to 24% for Fianna Fail, 13% for Fine Gael, 10%
for the Workers' Party and a dismal 3.8% for the Labour Party.

The Labour Party has paid dearly for its participation in the
coalition government with Fianna Fail, the main capitalist party. This
government has carried out a vicious series of attacks against the
working class, following on from the previous coalition government of
Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. When that government fell Labour put Fianna
Fail back into power.

The level of Joe's support reflects the opposition to the established
parties and the system they all represent. The established collective
parties between them polled only 42% of first preference votes. The
rest went to a plethora of independent parties and individuals.

This election is full of lessons for British socialists, workers and
young people who want to fight against the political establishment and
the system. A future Labour government led by Blair, carrying out
pro-capitalist policies, will rapidly lose its support and face rising

Militant Labour in Britain has already shown that this sort of
election result will not be confined to Ireland. Socialist policies
will increasingly win support, in strikes and the other struggles of
the working class as well as in council and parliamentary elections.

The tragedy is that this election could have been won. The Workers'
Party rejected Militant Labour's offer of an agreement to transfer
votes, depending on who emerged as the leading Left candidate. Had
they agreed to this Joe would have won.Instead, 1700 of their votes
did not transfer to anyone. Had these gone to Joe, he would have won.

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