There may well be something anomalous about the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll but even with that caveat in place the results are quite extraordinary with Sinn Féin pushing Fianna Fáil into third place and Labour recording their lowest survey rating in 25 years.
Fine Gael, 26% (+2)
Sinn Féin, 23% (+2)
Fianna Fáil, 22% (-4)
Independents/Others, 21% (+3)
Labour Party, 6% (-3)
Green Party, 2% (+/-0)
Compare these figures with the earlier Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll and the averaged-out “banding” of voter preferences becomes obvious: FG and FF on plus 20%, SF on minus 20%, the Independents on minus 20%, Labour on minus 10% (not to mention that big band of undecideds)
As always I ask the question: why is the Green Party, a political organisation without a single Teachta Dála or any national presence worth talking about, separated out from the category of Independents/Others when parties with elected members sitting in An Dáil are hidden away under a single meaningless description? Why are the polling companies maintaining the presence of the Greens in the public eye in contradiction of their actual democratic representation?