Category: Archive

Poll suggests Ahern would lose election

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

According to the Red C poll, published in the Dublin-based Sunday Business Post newspaper, only 32 percent of people would now vote for the party — a 10-point drop on Fianna Fail’s showing in the 2002 Dail general election and five points down on a previous poll in March.
Worryingly for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, three out of four of those surveyed blamed his government for a “rip-off” culture.
The poll was carried out in the wake of the “Rip-Off Republic” television series hosted by Cork financial advisor Eddie Hobbs. The series, which ended last week, accused the government of presiding over a stealth tax economy and rising prices right across the board.
Ahern has said that some of the conclusions arrived at in the program were inaccurate while government sources have sought to pour scorn on Hobbs’s claims.
The same poll brought good news for Fine Gael and Labor. Fewer than half of respondents said they would favor a continuation of the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat coalition government while 62 percent said they would be happy with Fine Gael and Labor.
The prospective coalition last week launched its first united policy document while Fianna Fail members attended the party’s annual think-tank in County Cavan.
The Progressive Democrats meanwhile set out their stall Tuesday. The minority coalition partners held a think-tank in Dublin’s Merrion Hotel. Justice minister and PD president Michael McDowell launched a broadside against all the major parties claiming that, at one time or another, they had been responsible for poor economic management.
His ire extended to the Fianna Fail and Labor coalition in the early 1990s which, he said, stalled on tax reform and increased public expenditure.
As for Fine Gael and Labor, he was unreserved in his analysis.
“Let’s get real folks, we’re talking about our jobs and our kid’s jobs,” said McDowell. “What’s clearly on offer from the ‘coalition of slump’ is a return to high unemployment, to get the cranes off the skyline, to ban the motorway projects as the Green Party would do and to argue for higher taxes.
“The periods during which incomes have actually fallen have been periods when the rainbow parties have held power,” he said.
Labor leader Pat Rabbitte was not long in getting in some retaliation saying: “The PDs are not in a position to lecture anyone about economic competence as they have been key part of a government that has proven to be the most profligate and wasteful administration in the history of the state.
“Minister McDowell has, himself, been a major culprit when it comes to the waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said.

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