Monday 11 December 2017

Paul Moran: Waves of discontent washing over Gilmore

Latest poll reveals the extent of electorate's disenchantment with their political options.

Paul Moran

With well over a year to go before any national election, the electorate is somewhat disengaged in their appraisal of both the Government and the opposition parties. That said, there are still some interesting dynamics at play within this latest Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll.

First off, that detachment between the body politic and the general public is clear. One in three have no opinion, or arguably do not care, about who to vote for. This is a common theme throughout these findings, and to a certain extent reflects a malaise with our current protagonists in the Dail. When asked to rate the four main party leaders, over a quarter (27 per cent) are dissatisfied with all of them. Hardly a ringing endorsement of "Brand Politics".

Given that the public's attention is not as focused at this time, oscillations within the results are to be expected. However, all the parties can draw conclusions from this poll, in tandem with our other recent results. The combined support for the government parties has slipped marginally. However, contrast the fortunes of both: Fine Gael, rudely interrupted from its extended honeymoon early in the new year, has remained consistent. The drop in support that it experienced was inevitable – ongoing austerity measures were always going to catch up with the senior party in government, particularly as it ran out of "low-hanging fruit". FG will be relatively pleased that its support has steadied at this juncture in the Dail's life cycle.

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