Poll reflects hard choices, says Gilmore


THE POPULARITY of the Government would go up and down during its time in office, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said.

He was responding to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll, which showed satisfaction with the Fine Gael-Labour Coalition down six points to 21 per cent.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin welcomed the four-point rise in his party’s standing to 21 per cent but added that the “real poll” would be the local elections in 2014.

The Tánaiste said: “I think opinion polls more than three years from a general election aren’t something that have a great deal of currency.

“Given what the Government has to do to restore the country’s fortunes, take very difficult decisions, I think it’s inevitable that the polls will reflect that.

“I’ve always believed that opinion polls will go up, will go down – as we have seen before.

“Anybody who goes back three years before the last general election, [should] have a look at what the opinion polls were saying then and compare it with the results of the general election, [and] tell me how accurate a three-year pre-election poll is likely to be in terms of predicting an election outcome,” he said.

“I’m not that distracted by it at all. We have a job to do. We’re in the middle of the match. There’s not much point in looking up at the scoreboard, particularly when it’s early in the first half,” Mr Gilmore added.

The Fianna Fáil leader said: “It’s a welcome trend, but it’s just one poll. The bottom line for us is, we have a long journey in terms of rebuilding trust with the people.”