Independent TD Lucinda Creighton, who announced the formation of a new political party on Friday, has said that since then councillors and business people from Sligo have been in touch with her.
And she believes that the new party will have a realistic chance of having a TD elected in the Sligo-Leitrim constituency in the next election.
The Claremorris, Co. Mayo native was speaking in Sligo on Tuesday, where she met local media as part of a whistlestop visit to the north west.
“Since we made our announcement on Friday we have had an absolutely unbelieveable response from all over the country including from Sligo”, she said.
She told the Sligo Weekender said that some councillors from Sligo had been in touch with her but she said she “wasn’t going to get into names”.
The former Fine Gael minister said they had also been contacted by people who were not councillors, and that was important.
“This is a new political party and we are trying to get people involved who have never been involved before”, she said.
“We are looking for business leaders and there are already some business leaders in Sligo that I have spoken to before Christmas and obviously I will be talking further to them, some who are interested in potentially being candidates and some who would just be involved behind the scenes.”
The now independent TD, who lost the Fine Gael whip after voting against the government’s abortion legislation, said they would now be building an organisational capacity in every county.
“After we launch the party in eight weeks time I will be doing a full regional tour and I will be doing town hall meetings – including in Sligo – to bring the network together,” Ms Creighton said. they needed to shake up the political system.
“It can’t just be a rehash of people who are already involved in politics. It has to be more than that and we need people from different backgrounds and different walks of life. We also need women to get involved because women are so under-represented in politics.”
She said that they intended to run at least one candidate in every constituency and after their “rallying call” last Friday they now had an “abundance of potential candidates”.
Ms Creigton feels that they have a realistic chance of taking a seat in this constituency.
“The political situation is in huge flux. There is huge disappointment with broken promises and expectations that were built up before the last elections.
She said that only thing that would be “predictable” about the next election is that it would be very different to the last one or “any previous election”.
Mr Creighton said there had been a “lurch to the hard left”, and there was a “view being propagated that a socialist model will solve all our problems”.
“You see the rise of left wing politics from Sinn Fein and others even further to the left. There is almost like a race to the bottom, pretending that nobody has to pay for anything, pretending that everything can be done for free.”
But she also said that at the moment there was no difference between what Labour, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael were doing and described “the lack of economic vision” in the government as “continuity Fianna Fail”.
She said that what was needed was “a rational, sane voice in the middle, that will say we want pragmatic solutions”.
“We want honest politicians, we want people of proven integrity to make realistic commitments before the election – not wild promises – that will be honoured in government.”