Thursday 18 January 2018

New party blow to Lucinda, Ross as support fades

Independent TD still favourite to lead alliance but 'Reboot' Creighton says 'all guns blazing'

Lucinda Creighton
Lucinda Creighton

Philip Ryan Political Correspondent

THE public's appetite for a new political force has nose dived despite the emergence of two new parties in recent months, according to a Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll. Former Fine Gael junior minister Lucinda Creighton declared her intention to start a new party in January.

Independent TDs Shane Ross and Michael Fitzmaurice have also said they would form a political alliance before the next general election.

However, support for a new party, which was at 47pc last October, has plummeted to 38pc in today's survey.

Mr Ross at 16pc is slightly ahead of Lucinda Creighton's 13pc as the country's preferred leader of a new party. Mr Fitzmaurice is trailing behind both on 4pc along with Stephen Donnelly, according to the poll.

A significant proportion (16pc) of those surveyed said they did not want any of these candidates to lead a new party and more than a quarter said they did not know who they would prefer to take charge of a new political organisation.

The decline in support for a new party is replicated by voters turning their back on Independents, who fell a massive nine points in today's poll.

Independents and others, which includes left wing groups in the Dail, fell to 23pc after peaking at 32pc last month.

The January survey was taken at a time when public anger against water charges crescendoed after a massive public demonstration.

The wave of support for Independents could re-ignite in the coming months when households begin receiving bills, and more mass protests are planned.

Ms Creighton and personal finance expert Eddie Hobbs expect to launch their new party - tentatively called Reboot Ireland - in March.

A recent meeting in Dublin for potential candidates was attended by around 50 people, but the party expects to run far more representatives when the country goes to the polls.

Ms Creighton and her team are holding private meetings around the country with aspiring candidates and people interested in working with the party. She also has around 150 volunteers working on a policy document which will be unveiled when the party is launched. Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Ms Creighton said: "it's all guns blazing at the moment."

Mr Ross and Mr Fitzmaurice are also quietly building a support base and are holding talks with sitting TDs who they hope to court for their political alliance.

Mr Fitzmaurice recently gave his backing to Independent Galway County Councillor Sean Canney, who announced he will be contesting the next general election.

Mr Ross has spoken to around 50 potential candidates he hopes could run under the alliance's banner.

Sunday Independent

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