IT seems Mr Darwin's theory is applicable to political parties.
In 1963, Sean Lemass, Taoiseach (and Fianna Fail leader), sought contributions from his TDs on the party's electoral strategy.
Charles Haughey was one of those who responded, proposing a strategy which would "promote Fianna Fail as the centre party with no sectional ties, able to pursue a course across the board".
Included in Lemass' reply to Haughey was this:
"Our political propaganda must, however, always strive to sound the positive note. It may be true that people find it easier to be 'against' rather than 'for', and we must use this attitude as much as possible, but this should not be inconsistent with the maintenance of the image of Fianna Fail as the Party which is planning for the future, which has definite aims and a known policy, the displacement of which from office would be the prelude to a period of economic recession."
FF formed the core of the government after the 1961 election. It had 70 seats, Fine Gael 47, Labour 16, Clann na Talmhann 2, Clann na Poblachta 1, National Progressive Democrats (!!) 2 and Independents 6.
The FF slogan for that election was "Ireland's progress is well begun. Keep it going!"
FF's 70 was three short of a majority (144 seats in Dail) but Lemass was voted Taoiseach with support from some of the Independents.