Monday, 16 February 2009

Ciarán Cannon to move from Progressive Democrats to Labour?

Last year I blogged a couple of times about the demise of the Progressive Democrats and the delay in the party finally meeting its conclusion. However, according to yesterday's Sunday Tribune the party will be wound-up within a fortnight. And in an added twist, party leader Senator Ciarán Cannon may bypass Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and go straight to Labour.

The Tribune reported that according to Labour sources:

"Negotiations with Ciarán Cannon have been ongoing and huge progress has been made in encouraging the PD leader to join the party in recent weeks. Nothing is definite in politics but a deal is almost done with the PD leader. Negotiations were ongoing before the results of Friday's Irish Times poll but we hope the bounce from the poll will help us entice other high-profile names into the party."

Cannon told the newspaper that he has been in discussions with Labour and has been impressed with Eamon Gilmore's leadership.

"I have had discussions with a number of parties and Labour has been one of those parties. I have had a number of tentative discussions with them. I have had discussions with Labour, Fine Gael and the Greens."

No doubt part of Cannon's decision will be based on what will deliver political success for him in the future. His four-seater Galway East constituency already has two Fine Gael TDs and two representing Fianna Fáil, leaving little room for him to capture a seat if he ran for either party. A move to Labour could enable him to combine his existing support with that for Eamon Gilmore's party, providing a platform to build upon. With the recent poll bounce for Labour, Senator Cannon, if selected as a Labour candidate for the next General Election, would hope that this would be enough to carry him across the threshold to capture a seat from either of the Big Two.

If Cannon does make the move to Labour, it will also dispel the notion that PD members will simply demerge en masse back into Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.


Mr Ulster said...

Thank you for highlighting this story, which I read with interest. Reminded me of the time I asked John Bruton (who was visiting UCD) how Fianna Fail and Fine Gael presented clear differences in left-right socio-economic policies.

After his explanation, he said, "And by the look on your face you don't seem impressed." (mild laughter)

I muttered something along the lines of pro-/anti-Treaty parties, and how at least with Labour and the PDs I readily understood where their policies would be.

Personally, I lament the dissolution of the PDs as a non pro-/anti-Treaty party, but some hope has been restored with Ciaran Cannon's potential move to Labour.

Anonymous said...

If he does join labour then that must be a huge shift in his political idealogical thinking - from right wing to the left! I think the pro- and anti- treaty thing is dying a death as the years that pass make these memories fade - how many people are still alive who were directly affected by the civil war? The youngest orphans must be in their late eighties