New side advert

13 May 2010 Edition

Resize: A A A Print

Election success must be built upon

With 25.5% of the popular vote, Sinn Féin consolidated its position as the North’s largest party in last week’s Westminster elections. The rise in Sinn Féin’s vote share and the retention of its five seats showed that the party’s message of equality and Irish reunification resonated with the electorate.
Michelle Gildernew’s victory in Fermanagh/South Tyrone, where she faced incredible odds including a single candidate supported by all the unionist parties and vote splitting by the SDLP, was particularly sweet.
The election may also have reflected the beginnings of a changing political dynamic in the North. People from all backgrounds made Michelle’s re-election possible. The growth in the Sinn Féin vote in North Belfast and Upper Bann showed that no seat is beyond the reach of republicans and that the party’s progressive political agenda and desire to represent all citizens, is increasingly popular.
The rejection of reactionaries and naysayers such as Jim Allister’s TUV, showed voters have no wish to return to the failed politics of the past. The message of this election is that politics is working. The people are up for power sharing, partnership politics and the all-Ireland institutions.
Sinn Féin looks forward to further success in the North’s Assembly elections and also to promoting the party’s progressive political agenda in the South.
The 26 Counties is very much in need of a radical republican political agenda. The government and political system have failed the Southern electorate. The government’s most recent refusal to hold overdue by-elections because they fear the people’s verdict, leaving constituencies unrepresented, is shameful. So is the refusal to accept the democratic mandate of referenda or any responsibility for the current economic crisis.
In the North, Sinn Féin has put equality at the heart of government and now intends addressing the issue of the economy with the same focus that it brought to the peace process.
Sinn Féin’s progressive politics and its record of leadership and delivery must now be conveyed to the Southern electorate. Fifteen years ago, many would have considered holding Fermanagh/South Tyrone against the combined forced of unionism impossible. If this election shows us anything it’s that with determination and strategic application everything is possible. To build an Irish republic based on equality and social justice, Sinn Féin’s success in the North can and must be built upon nationally.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

Powered by Phoenix Media Group