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With all this good news, why is Labour so low in the polls? We asked Joan Burton...

The Tánaiste answered questions about Labour’s low poll ratings today.

Joan Burton
Joan Burton
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

JOAN BURTON WAS among the ministers to come out hailing the latest positive employment figures today.

The CSO today released its Quarterly National Household survey which found that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has fallen from 11.1 per cent to 10.4 per cent in the year – the tenth successive quarter that unemployment has declined on an annual basis.

The number of people in employment has increased by nearly 30,000 in the last year and Burton declared herself “really pleased” with the latest numbers, specifically citing the fall in long-term unemployment.

In addition, we also learned today that the yield on a 10-year Irish government bond has fallen to below 1 per cent for the first time in the history of the State.

Despite all this good news for the coalition, the weekend’s Red C/Sunday Business Post poll showed how Labour has fallen two points to a low of 7 per cent.

So, four years to the day since the last general election and with all this good economic news, why is Burton’s party struggling in the polls? Here’s what she said:

Source: hughoconnellthejournal.ie/SoundCloud

Later during the same media event in Government Buildings today, Burton was asked whether Labour would be better off with her predecessor Eamon Gilmore still being leader.

“I never thought it was going be a bed of roses,” she joked, before adding: “But what I am very confident about is that the Labour party has a good very story to tell.”

She said that the coalition had addressed a number of social issues in recent years and had also dealt with the “rough hand” it was given in terms of the economy.

Burton said the judgment of some opposition parties that the restructuring of the promissory note arrangement in 2013 would be ‘a disaster’ was incorrect.

“They were so wrong,” she added. 

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Hugh O'Connell

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