Sunday 15 December 2019

Why this is the longest shortest election ever

The RTE General Election debate. Photo: FusionShooters
The RTE General Election debate. Photo: FusionShooters

Brendan o'Connor

While poll coverage tends to focus on the main headlines - the state of the parties etc, there is a lot of fascinating information buried in the detail and the breakdown of polls. Here are some of the interesting things we have found in our opinion polls over the course of this campaign that didn't make the headlines.

In the wake of last week's leaders' debate on RTE, 97pc of the people in the demographic category 'Dads and women of the certain age' believed that the country should be run by a grand coalition of Micheal Martin and Claire Byrne.

Some 84pc of the so-called Millennial generation, which for technical purposes is referred as the demographic: 'Entitled youngsters who go around with their heads stuck in their phones', believe Martin is an Independent candidate. Only 1pc of that demographic could name any other Fianna Fail candidate, and that 1pc were people who were related to Billy Kelleher and the other Michael guy. Some 62pc of those under 35 are not sure who Gerry Adams is. Some of them suspect he might be running for election but 48pc thought he was one of those joke candidates put up by The Sun or someone, to go around scuppering Sinn Fein's chances; 38pc of under-35s think Mary Lou McDonald is Gerry Adams's carer and that Pearse Doherty is some kind of hospital orderly or a helper in Gerry's old folks' home.

Some 99pc of men believe Joan Burton should perhaps take a holiday or at least stay off the media once the campaign is over. The period suggested was anything between three weeks and six months. Some 54pc of women think Joan should have a nice lie-down now.

In certain working-class areas, Labour support has actually dropped to below zero. This was hitherto thought to be statistically impossible. While only 8pc of people think Enda Kenny may be a robot, 68pc believe that while the real Enda Kenny is not a robot, Fine Gael has on occasion sent a robot Enda Kenny out on the canvass trail, while the real one rested.

Some 83pc of people believe Stephen Donnelly should be either Taoiseach or a minister, but only on condition that he, in the words of one voter, "ditch those two women who follow him everywhere".

And 98pc of people are not sure whether Shane Ross is right wing or left wing, while 99pc are not exactly sure of the point of the Independent Alliance.

One in 9 people wonder why Lucinda didn't just stay in Fine Gael because "wouldn't she be fine now if she did". Some 95pc of people are wondering where Eddie Hobbs has gone. According to one poll, subcontracted out to a UK firm this weekend, 74pc of people think Edna Kenny and John Burton will not have enough seats to form a government and worry they will consider involving Geri Addams. And HS758H 88pc of people are wondering how come the shortest election campaign in recent history feels like the longest.

Sunday Independent

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