Saturday 18 November 2017

People have a growing appetite for new party

Votes, not money, will talk at the next general election, as long as the citizens' willpower prevails.

A Fianna Fail/Sinn Fein coalition was once only a twinkle in Eamon O Cuiv’s eye, but if FF has to choose between FG and SF after the next general election, the choice is very stark indeed. Photo: Frank McGrath
A Fianna Fail/Sinn Fein coalition was once only a twinkle in Eamon O Cuiv’s eye, but if FF has to choose between FG and SF after the next general election, the choice is very stark indeed. Photo: Frank McGrath
Sunday Independent/Millward Brown

Michael McDowell

The polls published this weekend must be treated cautiously in that they relate to an immediate political context which is not that of a general election. Extrapolating from them carries risks.

For one thing, the pollsters make the positive effort to approach the voters polled; the sad likelihood is that the majority of Irish voters will probably stay away from the polling stations on the day of the local and European elections. Those who will not bother voting on the day may well have quite different attitudes from those who actually will go out to vote.

But even people who do bother to vote at local, European and by-elections feel that it is an opportunity to be freer with their votes, and that the consequences of "sending a message" are radically different from a vote in a general election.

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