Aidan Regan: Shine likely to wear off Sinn Féin when it finally enters government

Mary Lou McDonald’s party is currently riding high in the polls with almost one-third of the vote, but things will be very different if and when it assumes power

Mary Lou McDonald: her party has politicised economic conflict, and made housing inequalities the defining electoral issue. Picture:

Populist parties that successfully challenge the status quo do two things. One, they mobilise on one key issue that resonates with voters, and they pursue an anti-establishment rhetoric. Two, they do not have government experience, and typically blame the established governing parties for all of society’s woes.

Sinn Féin has relentlessly pursued this strategy since the 2020 election, focusing on housing and the cost of living for low-to-middle income households. This is consistent with their ...