The victory of Sinn Fein in the 1918 general election was solely due to the mistakes of the IPP after 1914. discuss

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The victory of Sinn Fein in the 1918 General Election was solely due to the mistakes of the IPP after 1914. How far would you agree with this statement?

Pre 1916, Sinn Fein rather than a fully established political party was known more as an umbrella term to label the various types of extreme nationalists in Ireland.  Therefore, their rise to prominence in the 1916-18 period marked, most notably, by their success in the December 1918 General Election was extremely quick considering their political anonymity pre 1916. Undoubtedly, the Irish electorates’ growing disillusionment and frustration of the IPP was a very considerable factor when looking at the Election result. However, there are other reasons for the electoral shift between the two parties including the actions of the Liberal Government and more simply, the support for the core principles and policy of Sinn Fein themselves.  Therefore, I agree with the above statement but only to an extent.

A major reason for the shift of support from the IPP to Sinn Fein in the 1918 General Election was due to the IPP and the electorate’s dissatisfaction with them as a nationalist party. Without doubt, the IPP were weakened by the postponement of Home Rule following the outbreak of World War one in 1914. One of the IPP’s core principles was the idea of achieving Home Rule for Ireland, with this postponed the IPP may have looked in the eyes of the electorate directionless and without clear-cut policy. Furthermore, the party’s deception by Lloyd-George during the 1916 Home Rule Negotiations further weakened its standing, particularly with some members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and it become wrongly associated with permanent partition. Jackson argues that the Home Rule negotiations were a ‘defining moment’ for a party already marginalised by the War.

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The IPP also decided to take part in the Irish Convention which ran from July 1917 to April 1918, this was a rather foolish move for the party in hindsight as the convention failed to secure an acceptable model of Irish self-government.  It became very evident to the Irish electorate therefore that Home Rule was becoming less and less likely to become a reality.  Therefore, their support began to shift to Sinn Fein. In the period 1917-18 the IPP lost a series of 7 by-elections to Sinn Fein, most notably in Roscommon North with the election of Count Plunkett. However, ...

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The writer shows a really sound knowledge of the subject and supports the with an excellent range of information. However, the expression of a few sections could be improved and a couple of small sections lack the accuracy of the main essay. More crucially, the actions of the British government- the shootings after 1916, conscription, and the maintenance of martial law well after the Rising which made life difficult for ordinary Irish people- need more prominence. But this is still an effective and well-informed answer which could be made even stronger by being brave enough to argue with the question's argument a little more!