Thursday 15 November 2018

Public not convinced Seanad worth keeping

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

THE fresh blood in the Seanad hasn't convinced the public it's worth keeping.

Well over half of those surveyed still feel the Upper House of parliament should be abolished, an Irish Independent/ Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll has revealed.

But three in 10 want to see it reformed, while only 7pc are happy for it to remain in its current format.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has promised to hold a referendum next year on the abolition of the Seanad. The question on the future of the Seanad is likely to be included in a series of electoral reforms.

A clear majority of 55pc want the Seanad scrapped, with the proposal to end it receiving highest support among those over 65, farmers and those living in the rest of Leinster outside of Dublin, Connacht, Ulster and Munster.

Providing some level of hope for its future, 31pc want the Seanad to be reformed, with this proposition garnering most support among 18-24 year-olds, 50-64 year-olds, those from higher social classes, people in Dublin and Labour Party supporters.

The Seanad witnessed a substantial changeover in personnel in its recent election.

The bulk of Fine Gael and Labour Party senators were elected as TDs in the general election and Fianna Fail also had a large turnover, losing a number of seats along the way.

Mr Kenny was applauded for using his Taoiseach's nominees to put in a number of people representing different communities, including Martin McAleese, Fiach MacConghail and Katherine Zappone.

Irish Independent

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