Wednesday 21 February 2018

Michael McDowell: Voting public has lost confidence in our traditional party structure

As disillusionment grows, there is a danger that a 'flash mob' or 'pop-up party' will emerge at the next election

Five Star Movement leader and comedian Beppe Grillo
Five Star Movement leader and comedian Beppe Grillo

Michael McDowell

If you study the results of yesterday's opinion poll, and if you engage in the admittedly somewhat artificial exercise of extrapolating from its results the outcome of the next general election, the landscape seems very bleak for some indeed. Straight-line extrapolation, after all, has been described as the "shortest distance between two mistakes".

This poll is dominated by the huge "don't know" response. For every voter who plumped for Labour, nearly four voters plumped for "don't know". Nearly twice as many respondents said "don't know" as chose either Fianna Fail or Fine Gael.

It is obvious that the voting public is fast losing confidence in the existing party structure and in any of the existing parties as the answer to their concerns.

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