Floating voters may be deterred by the rain
Published 22/02/2011 | 05:00
MOTHER nature will not be smiling on voters when they go to the polls on Friday.
The bad weather forecast for this weekend is expected to affect the turnout, particularly among uncommitted voters.
While aspiring politicians may promise the electorate the sun, the moon and stars, the heavens are expected to open across much of the country as the polls open at 8am, according to Met Eireann.
During the 2002 General Election, Sinn Fein was said to have lost a number of seats in Dublin after a downpour began in the middle of polling day.
The rain was thought to have hit the turnout in working class areas where the party was hoping for many votes.
While staunch supporters of the parties will turn out regardless of the weather, undecided voters and so-called soft voters can be put off by the rain.
Although the long-term forecast could change in the coming days, the latest satellite images are tracking a weather front coming over the Atlantic that is expected to hit the northwest coast by Friday morning.
"By 6am much of Munster, Connaught and Ulster will be quite wet," meteorologist Eoin Sherlock told the Irish Independent yesterday.
The rain is then expected to move eastward, but the good news is the system should clear out over the Irish Sea by midday.
However, there could still be lingering showers.
The temperatures, however, will remain mild, with daytime highs hovering between 10 and 13C, Mr Sherlock added.