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Lucinda is still the voters’ favourite but the long waiting game must end soon 

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Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton

Lucinda Creighton

When asked to choose between Ms Creighton, the Independent Wicklow TD Stephen Donnelly and the high-profile People before Profit Alliance TD, Richard Boyd Barrett; Ms Creighton attracted the support of 19pc of the voters.

By contrast, both Mr Donnelly with nine per cent and Mr Boyd Barrett with seven per cent are lagging behind the de facto leader of the Reform Alliance by a substantial margin. 

The result, however, is not entirely positive for Ms Creighton

While she is the only politician who comes close to attracting the critical mass of public support any new party leader requires, today’s poll suggests public interest in the prospect of a new party is declining.

Significantly, 40pc of the voters said they didn’t know which of the three candidates would be the most effective leader, while a further 20pc said that none of the three candidates were suitable.

The disinterest of two fifths of the electorate over who should lead a new political party and the active opposition of a further fifth to the selection offered, suggests the initial excitement sparked by Ms Creighton’s departure from Fine Gael has chilled.

The stark unpopularity levels of all the party leaders and ongoing high support levels for Independents in today’s Millward Brown poll indicates that a market still exists in the gap for a new party. 

However, our result indicates that the reluctance of the Reform Alliance to make the final leap from being a “movement of ideas” to an actual political party is becoming an increasing turn-off for the voters.

The decision, last week, by Ms Creighton and her colleagues to join the Technical group of Independents in Leinster House is believed to represent the final step in the severance of the Reform Alliance from Fine Gael.

A series of private summer time meetings with figures such as the Tory radical philosopher Philip Blond and the broadcaster Tom McGurk has also led to speculation that a new party will be announced by Ms Creighton before the end of the year.

Commenting on the Reform Alliance’s dilemma, one senior political analyst told the Sunday Independent: “To borrow a phrase from Lyndon B Johnson the problem Lucinda has is that the punters think that the time is fast approaching for Lucinda and the Reform Alliance rump to either p*** or get off the political pot.’’

They said: ‘‘The Irish voter is an impatient sort of fellow. A dance of the seven veils is fine, but Lucinda appears to want to engage in the dance of the  700 veils. She’s a lovely girl, but people’s patience is running out.’’

These fellows, he added, ‘‘certainly are not the new PDs’’. 

Significantly, the fate of Stephen Donnelly and Mr Boyd Barrett — when compared to the political popularity of Ms Creighton — may also chill the ambitions of any Independents who were planning to gazump the Reform Alliance by setting up a new party of their own.

Online Editors