A nation ready for change
THE detailed questions in our latest opinion poll show a country both conservative and, in some areas, remarkably open to change. This paradox may help to explain the surprises of the election campaign.
The electorate is conservative when it comes to public finances and who it trusts to look after them. This may do more to explain Fine Gael's success relative to Labour than the performances of their leaders.
There is an irony here for Labour. Understandably, perhaps, it feels that it received scant reward in the 1997 election for Ruairi Quinn's sound fiscal management. In this campaign it stressed instead that it would not be a high-tax party.