It’s NOT the economy stupid!

Supposedly Bill Clinton won the 1992 presidential election with the slogan ‘It’s the economy, stupid’, thereby focusing on a not so well performing economy to the discomfiture of the incumbent George H. W. Bush.

That message hasn’t worked here for the incumbents.

In 2011 Fine Gael and Labour won a total 113 seats in the 168 seat Dail. As the economy boomed they sank. Fine Gael lost one third of its seats in each of the elections of 2016 and 2020. Labour tanked completely and left the Government after 2016. But it still lost ground in 2020.

Meanwhile, the economy grew by 40% between 2011 and 2016 and about the same rate in the last four years. Unemployment fell by one third while employment rose by almost one third.  The existential threat posed by the government’s finances in 2011 pretty well vanished.

As did the two political parties that brought it all about!

The Price of Success…
  2011 2016 2020
Fine Gael TDs 76 50 35
Labour TDs 37 7 6
       
GDP € billions at 2017 prices. 168 241 308
% Labour Force Unemployed 15.4 8.4 4.6
OOOs  Persons Employed 1798 1945 2353
Consumer Spending € billions at 2017 prices 90 99 111
Government Borrowing % GDP 12.8 0.7 0.3
% Government Debt/GDP 111 74 54
2020 Forecasts: ESRI Quarterly Economic Commentary