Saturday 22 July 2017

Brendan O'Connor: We are a country poised for political revolution

Our poll shows a vast share of the electorate are there for the taking, but the moment is being lost, writes Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Everything has changed. There is now a consistency creeping into our Sunday Independent/ Millward Brown polls that suggests that the old ways are gone forever, that the political landscape has genuinely been transformed, and that politicians should be queuing up to own the future. Because it is all to play for as the world changes around us.

Any politician who thought that the fragmenting of markets, the empowering of niches facilitated by the internet and the removal of the barriers between the people and their rulers facilitated by the flattening of the world, would not affect their game, needs to think again.

Yet again, today's poll shows that the two traditional, establishment political parties in this country are no longer the mass movements they once were. We perhaps knew that about Fianna Fail, but it is true of Fine Gael now too. Including the "don't knows", because they are far too big a force to set side, we see that Fine Gael remains in and around the late teens, with just 17 per cent of support while Fianna Fail is at just 16 per cent. Together they are supported by just a third of the population (33 per cent). Meanwhile, more than a third of the population (36 per cent) don't know who they would vote for. And Labour is favoured by just one in 20 voters now. We are moving rapidly towards a situation where the establishment becomes the fringe and the disillusioned are the new mainstream.

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