#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 2°C Thursday 22 April 2021

The TrailFix: Why the polls don't mean all that much right now

The best and worst bits from today’s #ge16 campaign trail.

EVERY NIGHT DURING the general election, TheJournal.ie brings you the latest from the Election 2016 campaign trail.

Gerry Adams Pierce Gerry Adams meets his lookalike 'Pierce Brosnan' while in Ocean FM studios for an interview earlier today.

Everybody’s talking about

Political nerds might obsess over the latest Red C poll findings, but there are a couple of things we should all keep in mind. The fluctuation in support for the various parties is all within the margin of error. While on the face of it, it’s not good news for Fine Gael (down 1 to 30%) and Labour (down 2 to 8%) it’s not that significant a shift for either.

The position remains, based on the long-term poll trend, that if the government is going to get back into office it will probably need the support of independent parties. Alternatively, the grand coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil remains very much on from a seat numbers point of view. Fianna Fáil faced more questions about that prospect today.

screenshot.1455132035.70823 Source: www.thejournal.ie

But there have been no gamechangers in this election so far, partly because it’s been very boring. There’s still plenty of time for all the parties’ prospects to change dramatically. The reality is, as Joan Burton said on RTÉ this morning, that a lot of voters won’t make up their minds until the final few days of the campaign.

With over two weeks to go, we’re still a long way off that point. Only in the last few days of the campaign will the polls really take on relevance.

Slap Down of the Day

Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Niall Collins gave this robust assessment of Sinn Féin:

To me, and to most people, Sinn Féin are a cult, they’re not a political party.

FactCheck of the Day

factcheck log

As part of our general election coverage, we’re testing the truth of claims made by candidates and parties on the campaign trail. Tonight, we’ve looked at whether Ireland really does have the fastest-growing economy in Europe.

Row of the Day

Our latest High Table Election Debate between SocDem Gary Gannon and Labour’s Derek Nolan has been doing the rounds on Twitter today. This row over Alan Kelly was particularly entertaining.

Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

 WTF Moment of the Day

Gerry Adams dancing with Sinn Féin candidate Rose Conway Walsh in Mayo was a sight to behold – as was the man in the red jumper on the left.

It was a good day for

screenshot.1455131299.54899 Source: www.thejournal.ie

It was a bad day for

  • Labour and Joan Burton as we revealed their previous opposition to extending the powers of the Special Criminal Court.
  • The Social Democrats’ admission that they won’t raise the minimum wage puts it at odds with other parties they’re in competition for votes with. 
  • The Greens took us on a tour of Dublin city centre, but the bus was a bit late.

green bus

Tomorrow’s news today: What’s happening on the campaign trail

  • Fine Gael: James Reilly is launching the party’s early years strategy in Dublin. The Taoiseach will submit his nomination papers in Mayo and will visit Galway East later in the day. 
  • Labour: Alan Kelly and Jan O’Sullivan will launch the party’s housing plan in Limerick. Joan Burton will be canvassing in Blanchardstown.
  • Fianna Fáil: The party is launching its manifesto in Dublin.
  • Sinn Féin: Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh will launch the party’s disability inclusion document. Gerry Adams is canvassing in Longford-Westmeath.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

Read next: