Taoiseach says record low poll result will not dictate policy

Along with government satisfaction, the two main coalition parties have also seen their support fall in an Irish Times/Ipsos poll
Taoiseach says record low poll result will not dictate policy

By Luke O'Reilly, PA

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has said he won’t allow policy to be dictated by an Irish Times/Ipsos poll that has shown that voter satisfaction with the Government has fallen to its lowest level since it formed two years ago.

According to the polling, released today, voter satisfaction with the Government is at 31 per cent, down 12 points since April of this year.

Along with government satisfaction, the two main coalition parties have also seen their support fall.

Fianna Fáil’s support has fallen by three points to 20 per cent while Fine Gael’s has fallen by four points to 18 per cent.

Worryingly for the coalition, Sinn Féin has seen its approval rating rise three points to 36 per cent.

 

Speaking at a progress update on the Housing for All Plan on Tuesday, Mr Martin said that he does not allow polling to “dictate” government approaches to issues.

“I don’t allow opinion polls to dictate government approaches to issues, and I think one of the challenges and dangers can be, with polling, that people respond too quickly or with a knee-jerk and it leads to short-termism in terms of government decisions and policies.”

He said that the Government was going to go the distance.

“I’ve always seen this as a government that goes the whole distance. I see that as my role as Taoiseach”, he said.

“I was heartened by the confidence vote the other day with a very substantial gap between government and opposition which indicates to me that the majority of deputies in Dáil Eireann want to see out the mandate of this Dáil, and this government, to effect real change.

“You can only effect real change if you can do policy decisions that have the timeline, and that are more future-oriented than a short-term perspective.”

However, he added that the polling showed that there was a platform for Fianna Fáil.

“What’s interesting about the poll is that it’s an in-person poll”, he said.

“I think it’s clear now that there’s a very strong contrast, to say the least, between the in-person polls and internet panel polling – particularly related to the core parties.

“We’ve been in and around the 20 per cent, and 20 per cent in today’s poll, consistently now in the in-person polling for quite some time.

“So for us there’s a platform there, we were at 22 per cent in the general election.”

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