The Irish Times poll
The figures are dismal for Fianna Fáil. There is no gloss on it. The two byelections will be lost. They will lose at least one MEP in the European elections. They will realise that the nadir of the local elections in 2004 was not really a nadir. THIS is a nadir.
For a year we have looked at this administration as it has floated further and further out from shore and said; they are possibly waving. Really we should have been saying they are probably drowning.
If there is one little teensy bit of consolation for the Government it is this: its core vote is unchanged, suggesting a bottoming out.
I’m no expert on adjustments. When Fianna Fail was on the pig’s back, it was found that more people told pollsters they supported Fianna Fail than the actuality. So the party was always subject to a larger adjustment.
The adjustments include more than the exclusion of ‘don’t knows’. Fianna Fail’s core vote is 20 while its adjusted figure is 21, an increase of one point.. Fine Gael’s core figure is 29 and it gets a boundce of 9 points to 38, while Labour goes from 15 (core) to 20 (adjusted).
Fianna Fail strategists take issue with the adjustment, saying its actual vote will be higher than is being reflected in the poll.
As Charles Haughey was wont to say, we will learn for sure in the ‘real’ opinon poll on June 5.
Another couple of startling statistics:
Satisfaction rating with Government: 10 per cent. Astoundingly low.
Satisfaction rating with Brian Cowen: 18 per cent. Abysmal.
Enda Kenny just isn’t doing it with Joe Public. A 33 per cent satisfaction rating for Kenny when his party is riding high is not impressive. Compare it with Eamon Gilmore who is at 51 and seemingly can do no wrong at the moment.
Fianna Fail will need to replace its leader. And the more the crisis deepens, the more it becomes obvious that it will be before the next General Election, whenever that is.
Cowen always seems to be on the back foot and defensive. He exudes passion about twice a year. When he does it, he is very impressive. But for the rest of the time, he is incredibly uninspirational.
He gave a stannd-up interview to reporters on his first day onthe hustings in Dundrum on Monday. He parried away questions about George Lee, about his leadership, about everything else. The interview lasted for ten minutes and he said nothing worth quoting. It was as dull as ditchwater.
I’m not saying that he needs to do a song and dance routine. But contrast his performance with the adroit way that David Cameron handled the moat and wisteria crisis over MPs’ expenses in the UK.
I was down on the campaign trail in Cork today and wasn’t there for Fianna Fail’s euro launch. Cowen apparently came out fighting. He needs to do a lot more of that. Every day. Every interview. Evey appearance. The people badly need leadership and he badly needs to display that leadership to the peole.