Sinn Féin to hold election post mortem behind closed doors tomorrow

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and senior party officials from both sides of the border will meet in private tomorrow in a bid to explain their disastrous local and European election results.

Sinn Féin to hold election post mortem behind closed doors tomorrow

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and senior party officials from both sides of the border will meet in private tomorrow in a bid to explain their disastrous local and European election results.

The private meeting of the party's ard chomhairle will take place in Dublin two weeks after Sinn Féin lost two MEPs and more than half of its local council seats in a shock double election defeat.

During last month's local and European elections, Sinn Féin saw its local council representation - which surged on the back of an anti-austerity message in 2014 - slump dramatically, with the party losing 78 seats across the country.

The problem was repeated in the European elections, with Dublin and Ireland South MEPs Lynn Boylan and Liadh Ni Riada losing out in tight contests and Midlands North West MEP Matt Carthy keeping his seat but seeing his percentage fall.

In the aftermath of the double defeat, Ms McDonald and a host of senior TDs admitted the party needs to review what happened immediately if it wants to avoid a similar general election problem.

While tomorrow's meeting was always scheduled to take place, the shock results and questions over Ms McDonald's leadership have led to scrutiny over how Sinn Féin will respond to the internal crisis.

However, several senior party figures have admitted they have no clear understanding why their election tactics failed so badly.

Tomorrow's meeting is expected to involve representatives from the four cuige giving their views on why the party's local and European elections message failed to win over voters.

The representatives of the cuige, which are areas based on the three MEP constituencies in the Republic and the one constituency in Northern Ireland, are expected to give individual reports on the problems in their own locations.

However, several sources in the party said it is highly unlikely the individual area concerns will mirror each other, with the need for post-austerity policies, a bland reaction on the doorsteps, concerns the party is moving too far from its core vote and the eighth amendment likely to be on the agenda.

During the same meeting, representatives of the 410 local cumann groups who choose to attend the meeting will also be asked for their views on what happened in the local and European elections and how a repeat of the result can be avoided.

A number of senior Sinn Féin members have said that, among the underlying concerns is the lack of any real reaction either way from voters to party canvassers - an issue they said could undermine the party in the future unless it is addressed now.

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