Tanaiste says its time for Labour to "get tough"

The party are currently holding a very low rating in the opinion polls

Labour, General Eleciton, national conference,

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Rolling News

As Joan Burton stood among in the rubble of Boland’s Mill this afternoon watching the buildings being torn down, she must have wondered if she’d be standing over the rubble of her party in a few weeks time.

The whole area is being re-developed to include a 15 storey apartment block, office space for 2,300 workers as well as shops, cafes and restaurants.

A shining example of Ireland’s recovery in the heart of Dublin’s Silicon docks.

But at the moment it’s just a pile of empty buildings and rubble, scenes seen at hundreds of abandoned sites across the country.

Part of Labour’s problem is convincing people that cuts were necessary to get Ireland back on track, and that sites like this are being created because of their work.

The party face a massive uphill battle in this election, with the latest opinion poll putting them on just 7% support.

A constituency analysis of those figures by Maynooth University’s Adrian Kavanagh suggests that this would result in Labour winning just 4 seats.

That’s a staggering drop in support from 2011 when they achieved their highest ever representation in the Dáil, getting 37 seats.

They won’t get close to that number this time around, but Joan Burton says she’s confident that they’ll see a spike in their support in the last week of the election as floating voters decide to choose the devil they know and vote for the government.

The Tanaiste was bullish at times during her keynote address at the Labour launch, seemingly annoyed that the party’s role in Ireland’s recovery is being forgotten because of the cuts they signed off on.

For voters the choice is whether those cuts were worth it to get the country back on track, or whether the Labour Party sold out on its principles by supporting them.

Either way candidates taking to the doorsteps would do well to heed Joan Burton’s advice, and get tough or get going.

Newstalk's Sean Defoe is following the Labour campaign trail during the election, you can follow all the latest on Twitter @SeanDefoe