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MRBI push polling

Originally posted on Facebook
In yesterday’s Irish Times, the opinion poll included two questions which have little precedent, one comparing the current Taoiseach to his predecessor and another comparing the Fine Gael leader to his Deputy. In both cases, The Irish Times got the result they were hoping for, from both newsworthy and editorial viewpoint perspectives. Between Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen, the former Taoiseach scored 50% to the incumbent’s 24%, and Richard Bruton scored 46% to Enda Kenny’s 28%.

This is not the first time recently that The Irish Times/MRBI poll has a political edge in the questions asked. Last year they asked for approval ratings for Brian Cowen as Tánaiste. This was at the time an attempt to undermine Bertie Ahern’s standing, under the pretence that they had asked for approval ratings of Tánaistí since 1993, but they just happened to be party leaders as well. In that case, why did they not ask for approval ratings for the current Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan, in this weekend’s poll?

That’s not to say that if they do succeed in undermining Enda Kenny, I wont be a little pleased with the outcome. Had Fine Gael done not quite as well last year, there’s a good chance that Kenny would have been ousted in Richard Bruton’s favour, but as they went from 31 seats to 51, there was little grounds for a criticism of his leadership. But if there’s to be a change of government, I would far rather Bruton became Taoiseach than Kenny, as it seems does The Irish Times.

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