Fianna Fail: 'Martin factor' fails to provide bounce
THE 'Micheal Martin' factor has not given Fianna Fail the bounce it desperately needs as it faces into its general election campaign.
Fianna Fail is still languishing in a distant third place with support for the party rooted at 16pc, the Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne poll reveals.
The party hoped the new leader -- and his relentless media bombardment over the past week -- would help drag Fianna Fail out of the doldrums.
But despite Mr Martin scoring an impressive 44pc personal satisfaction, his initial popularity has so far failed to rub off on his party.
Last weekend's 'Sunday Independent'/Millward Brown poll suggested Mr Martin may attract increased support and help the party crawl back from 16pc to over 20pc.
But Fianna Fail Fail is starting its general election campaign on record low levels of support -- almost a third of the 42pc it secured in 2007.
Despite today's poll findings, Mr Martin last night insisted his party would not lie down and accept defeat.
"Fianna Fail will campaign with energy in every community. We will put our case with vigour and determination. We will treat our opponents with respect, we will listen and we will respond," Mr Martin said on the plinth of Leinster House after the Dail was dissolved.
"There is a clear duty on all parties to give the people an election which is as serious as the issues which are facing our country."
He continued to pile pressure on opposition parties to lay out detailed plans for dealing with Ireland's economic crisis.
The newly elected leader said the politics of "empty soundbites and personal attacks" had nothing to offer voters in the coming weeks of campaigning.