Wednesday 18 January 2017

Day of reckoning beckons as many are braced for overnight redundancy

Published 26/02/2016 | 02:30

'After all the noise and a blizzard of polls, today people will quietly make their way to polling stations.'
'After all the noise and a blizzard of polls, today people will quietly make their way to polling stations.'

After all the noise and a blizzard of polls, today people will quietly make their way to polling stations. The anger on the radio has finally receded. Time for everyone to reflect and "think twice".

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For the candidates themselves, polling day has a weird quality to it. It can be lonely and gloomy. There is nothing more to be done; the day can drag now that canvassing is frowned upon near polling stations. There was a time when voters had to encounter leaflet waving canvassers vying for last-minute preferences. Thankfully, that crude practice is now outlawed.

My sense this time is that there will be a high turnout; the electorate, however irked, is engaged - which is good. In that context, votes of the over 65s will be crucial. As Dan O'Brien pointed out in these pages yesterday, there are more pensioners in Ireland than there are twentysomethings. This favours established parties, who win most support from this age cohort. With the polls showing such a flight to Independents and hard Left, mature voters could have a stabilising effect.

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