Post-crash cynical voters more likely to move away from established parties
The turn of the year is a good time for reflection. Thinking anew can mean thinking afresh. In this spirit, let's start the new year with a challenge to the conventional political wisdom.
Most pundits believe Irish voters are stability-oriented, and that they will be inclined to vote for stability in the soon-to-be-called General Election. It is widely held among commentators that once the campaign proper begins, the average busy voter - who normally gives only limited consideration to the performance of politicians between elections - will weigh up the options and be more inclined to plump for the better-known devil.
This logic suggests that as the posters go up and the political class takes to the hustings, the mainstream parties - Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Labour - will collectively stage something of a comeback from the lowest levels of support they have garnered since the 1950s. Some have even spoken of an overall majority for Fine Gael.