Fianna Fáil TD calls for inquiry into RTÉ-TG4 exit poll

Poll dominated news agenda for two days ‘as if it was gospel’, says Darragh O’Brien

Darragh O’Brien.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Darragh O’Brien. Photograph Nick Bradshaw


There should be an inquiry into how an RTÉ exit poll dominated the news agenda with inaccurate data from the local and European elections, Fianna Fáil’s Darragh O’Brien has said.

Speaking on the RTÉ radio programme Today with Sean O’Rourke, Mr O’Brien said the exit poll had underestimated Fianna Fail’s performance and “questions need to be asked” about why this was so. Mr O’Brien, his party’s housing spokesman, said there had been an inquiry into the BBC’s handling of an exit poll in the UK and there should now be one in Ireland.

Mr O’Brien said Fianna Fáil has emerged as the largest political party on Fingal, Dublin City and South Dublin councils and the second largest party in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown.

He said the poll in Ireland “drove the news agenda like it was gospel” but in fact it had overstimated support for Green Party candidate Ciarán Cuffe by six points and put support for Fianna Fail at 23 per cent, when it should have been 27 per cent.

Overall, Fianna Fáil became the largest political party in local authorities across the State, but Mr O’Brien said the RTÉ-TG4 exit poll had not predicted this and there were questions to answer as to what that was.

Broadcaster Sean O’Rourke acknowledged some of the poll findings were inaccurate, particularly in relation to the divorce referendum, in which he said the poll showed 87 per cent of people claiming to have voted in favour, when the actual result was 82 per cent.