In those circumstances you can either face up to the fact that all is not well, or brazen it out by pretending that you don't take polls seriously. Eamon Gilmore seems to be taking the latter approach.
Eamon Gilmore: "I think the poll is a measure of the difficult job that we have to do. We were never under any illusion that the job that this Government was going to have to do was going to be very difficult. The immediate job was to stabilise the situation and I think we've made some progress on that.
"We have to show courage to see through the job of work we have to do to put the economy into recovery."
EG: "Opinion polls are very different to elections, particularly when they're a long way out from them, and to be honest I wouldn't draw very many conclusions from an individual poll.
"The position I always put myself in everyday is not how something is seen through the eyes of a pollster or political commentator or political scientist, but how it is seen by somebody who doesn't have a job today or whose business is in trouble or somebody who's having difficulty repaying the mortgage. That's my job.
WK: "But doing that job is going to involve continuing to do things that will make you unpopular -- such as the next two budgets, for example.
EG: "We've had to walk the economy back from that brink, we're making some progress. I'm very pleased with our jobs announcements this week, there's been a succession of good jobs announcements but we have a lot more progress to make. It's not going to lend itself to popularity every day. But we have to get on and do it because that's what is in the public interest."
WK: "Other junior parties that put their heads down and ignored opinion polls -- the PDs, the Greens and even the Labour Party, found themselves punished at the next electoral opportunity.
EG: "When you're in a crisis it's no time to start getting blown around. There aren't any magic bullets, there aren't any simple answers and we have to stay focused on that job and that means working at it every day."
WK: "Are you working on the basis that by the time of the next general election you will have made enough progress to be recognised as successful in government?"
EG: "The most important thing is to do the job -- because we all have a stake in this country and what we have to do here is remake this country's economy so that a child born here can get a good education here, can get a good job as a result of that education, be able to make a home, grow old in the company of their friends. That's what I come into work to do every day."
WK: "Somebody said yesterday that the troika should be taking note of the poll results -- the effects their measures are having on the Government they depend on to implement them."
EG: "Well, anybody can take note of it but if you look at the EU/ IMF programme I am confident that we will be out of that within two years. There are two more difficult Budgets that we have to do. It involves encouraging investment here which we're seeing some success in now, increasing our exports again -- we've some success there. We have more to do, I think, to stimulate the domestic economy."
WK: "So if all that were to happen and you were to get the budget deficit back on track, you'd still have an insurmountable problem of sovereign debt and bank debt."
EG: "That's right and that's why we've been involved in negotiations with the troika. Progress is slow. I would like to see things move a lot faster, I'd like to see us making more progress on the jobs front. I'd like to see us making more progress in relation to mortgages."
WK: "There are a lot of people going into the Commercial Courts blaming the banks for acting too quickly against the interests of all, including themselves."
EG: "Well that's why we are introducing new legislation and the new legislation is then also backed up by the range of recommendations that are contained in the Keane report.
"This economic crisis is not going to last forever and what we all have to understand, including the banks, is that the period of time that we're going through now is one where we have to make sensible arrangements to enable people to get through it. People who are having difficulty repaying mortgages today will be back in business, back in employment and able to pay their way again."
WK: " Sinn Fein seems to be the main beneficiary of your losses in the opinion polls."
EG: "What Sinn Fein are doing is encouraging people to vote against the stability treaty. That is quite irresponsible without taking into account the affect it will have on the euro itself, the implications that there will be for investment and jobs here.
"Sinn Fein are pushing default on our debt -- you default on your debt you're not going to get private institutions to lend to you tomorrow. Gerry Adams says tell the troika to take a hike and take their money with them, so you don't have the money from the arrangement that's there at the moment.
"And now they're telling us that they don't want the safety net of the European Stability Mechanism. So would they please tell us where they're going to get €13.7bn that we need to bridge the gap between what we're taking in taxation and what we're spending to keep schools and hospitals and the garda stations open because to date they haven't put that forward."
WK: "There's a perception that Fine Gael is leading the government agenda and that Labour is going along with it -- is this fair and if not can you point to achievements that have been predominately Labour-led?
EG: "There's a programme for government which is agreed between the two parties, and that's the policy of the Government and that programme for government is subscribed to by both parties. It's a Government that's working well and we have established structures within our Government for decision-making to be done on a joined-up basis."
WK: " Joan Burton is seen by some as the Labour minister doing most to champion the party's values in Government -- like when she laid down a condition before she would agree to adjust the limits for payments to lone parents."
EG: "First of all, Joan Burton is doing a superb job as Minister for Social Protection and the job of work that she has to do is to reform the social welfare system and that system, as anyone who's familiar with it knows, has been left unreformed for a very long period of time.
"One of the reforms that she is doing is the way in which payments are made to lone parents the introduction of a reformed system of childcare in that she is reflecting the settled government view."