Saturday 20 January 2018

Who pays attention to the opinion polls?

By Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman. Picture Garry O'Neill (No Reproduction Fee)
Wicklow People Reporter, Deborah Coleman. Picture Garry O'Neill (No Reproduction Fee)

How much attention does the general public pay to opinion polls?

As the election draws nearer a new opinion poll is released almost daily in an attempt to predict the results.

Does anyone apart from the politicians themselves and the media actually pay any attention to the results? A point up or a point down it really makes not a jot of difference because there is only one day that matters - polling day.

In a way one would have to question whether these polls are actually helpful as they might influence the public rather than allowing people to make their own minds up.

They are, of course paramount for each political party but for the ordinary Joe Soap - not so much.

All the predictions in the world won't matter once we have cast our votes.

I think many of us really do wait until the last minute to fully make our minds up.

Unless you are a staunch supporter of a political party for years, your vote is there to be lost or won by candidates.

There are entire households who are loyal to their party and nothing will sway them, and there are others who often end up picking a candidate as the best of a bad lot.

I would love to see a candidate on the ballot paper who really speaks to me as a voter and who truly understands the challenges I face.

To many of them, we are all just statistics and percentages rather than real people.

For Enda Kenny to call anyone a whinger, be it Fianna Fáil or the general electorate shows him to be out of touch and insensitive to just how angry and hurt people are.

The fact that he would use that term shows his annoyance that anyone would dare to complain or raise questions about Government decisions.

Regardless of who is in Government after next week, next month, they will have to be prepared to take the hard questions and deal with the flack that comes with it.

You cannot please all of the people, all of the time but you can't blame those who voice their opinion if they are unhappy with a political decision.

Every Government wants recognition for the work they have done and that's fine, but there will always be room for improvement and the blame shouldn't be laid on those who seek this.

Wexford People

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