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25th Sep 2019

Lisa Chambers: Mood towards Fianna Fáil has changed “completely” since 2011

Conor Heneghan

Lisa Chambers

Fianna Fáil are currently the most popular political party in Ireland.

Fianna Fáil TD Lisa Chambers says the public mood towards the party has changed “completely” since the worst defeat for a sitting government in the history of the Irish state in 2011.

Traditionally the biggest party in the country, Fianna Fáil have had to regain the trust and confidence of the Irish people since a landmark election in 2011, when they lost 58 seats and paid the price for their role in the financial crisis which brought about the worst recession in Ireland since the 1980s.

Speaking to Dion Fanning on Ireland Unfiltered this week, TD for Mayo and Fianna Fáil Brexit spokesperson Lisa Chambers said that the mood towards the party has changed completely since then, something she has seen on the doorsteps and in her role as Director of Elections for the recent European elections.

“I ran in 2011 in the general election and I went on then in 2014 to run in the local elections and I got elected as a councillor,” Chambers said.

“So even in that three-year period, I was working as a local rep in the area, so I was out canvassing all the time. And I could see a mood change, just that people were willing to give me a chance because I was new as well and they were getting an opportunity to get to know me as a candidate.

“Then the 2016 election and even more recently, we have had another round of local elections and European elections which I was heavily involved in. I was Director of Elections for the European elections nationally so there’s definitely been a change and the message we get back is that they want a change of government.”

Asked if Fianna Fáil have been forgiven by the Irish public, particularly by younger people who have been affected by decisions made by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments, Chambers instead pointed to the Fine Gael government’s role in the current housing crisis and the fact that a resolution doesn’t appear to be in sight.

“They (the public) are just fed up, they want a change, they want to see a government which is genuinely going to tackle the housing problem. And they don’t see Fine Gael as that government that is going to do it, because they’ve had a decade almost in government now and the housing crisis is getting worse every month,” Chambers said.

“There are more and more people coming into homelessness, rents are continuing to spiral, and home ownership percentages are dropping.

“So, the evidence is there for itself. People can see that the government currently are not getting to grips with housing and they do want a change. And I hope they’ll vote for that change and I hope that we get an opportunity to vote for those changes, but it will ultimately come down to the electorate and the decision that the people make.”

Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.

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