Ivana Bacik fails to rule out Labour Party merger with the Social Democrats
8th January 2023
Ivana Bacik is not ruling out a merger with another party after another lacklustre Labour result.
Labour leader Ivana Bacik© Provided by Independent.ie
An opinion poll in the Sunday Independent puts Labour at 3pc, meaning it is languishing in a worse position than when Alan Kelly was ousted as leader over a year ago.
New Labour leader Ms Bacik insisted in a radio interview today that she was “in it for the long haul.”
But she was asked on the RTE’s This Week radio lunchtime programme if it was now time for Labour to seek a merger with the Social Democrats, also on three per cent.
A co-leader of the Social Dems, Róisín Shortall, is a former Labour Party junior minister who resigned from the Department of Health over allegedly being overlooked by her senior minister, Fine Gael’s Dr James Reilly.
Ms Bacik replied: “We are two distinct parties. But we do of course work very closely together. We have a lot of issues of commonality and we work closely with our colleagues in the Social Democrats.
“We’re a party that is serious about delivering change. We’re not content to sit on the sidelines and just critique. We want to be in our politics and we want to offer that constructive alternative for which we saw a real appetite among voters in the most recent by-election” — that in Dublin Bay South in July 2021 that saw then-Senator Ivana Bacik elected to the Dáil for the first time.
“I think it’s too early to speak of a merger,” she told RTE interviewer Justin McCarthy, who noted on air that she was not ruling it out.
Ms Bacik said: “Certainly we’re very interested in working with all parties and all representatives who share our our vision for a more equal Ireland affair of Ireland, an Ireland that works for everyone, no matter their background.”
Another former party of Government, Democratic Left, merged with the Labour Party late in the last century after it fell below a critical mass in voter support.