Monday 29 May 2017

Move along now - there are very few surprises here

Today's survey doesn't look interesting at a glance but looking closely at the detail, a pattern emerges

'Today's poll shows that Leo Varadkar is still clearly the more favoured alternative leader' Photo: Tom Burke
'Today's poll shows that Leo Varadkar is still clearly the more favoured alternative leader' Photo: Tom Burke

Eoin O'Malley

Nothing to see here. Move on. On the face of it today's poll doesn't look very interesting. That should reassure us rather than bore us. Surprising polls are the polls we shouldn't trust. If there's a surprise it usually means that the polls is an outlier - the type you get every now and again that is plain wrong.

Today's Sunday Independent/ Kantar Millward Brown poll reflects the trends that we've seen in most of the recent polls published. In these, as we see today, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael are vying for top spot. They're close together, each between 25pc and 30pc, and on the basis of this poll together comfortably command a majority in the country.

Fine Gael will be relieved that its support is holding up after the budget. This is the first poll that measures the impact of the Budget. It wasn't a budget designed to 'shock and awe', it was a 'something for everyone' Budget. There were awkward moments about the authorship of the Budget. At times Michael Noonan and Michael McGrath gave the impression of secret lovers caught in an illicit embrace - though Noonan was only too happy to declare the relationship. Fianna Fail took some credit, but didn't want to get too associated. Sinn Fein was anxious to paint the two 'establishment' parties as brothers-in-arms. So there were dangers for both the main parties, but especially Fianna Fail. It survived that test.

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