LOCAL STRAW POLL PUTS BIG THREE OUT AHEAD
As the final push gets under way for the general election, The Avondhu again took to the streets of Mitchelstown and Fermoy over the past week to gauge the mood of the electorate in Cork East.
Based on this latest straw poll, which is, of course, limited by the nature of its geographical spread, it appears as if the three most popular candidates in this part of the constituency are neck and neck.
The mayor of Fermoy, Fine Gael councillor, Pa O’Driscoll came out on top with 17 votes closely followed by sitting TD, Sean Sherlock of Labour on 16 and Mitchelstown councillor, Kevin O’Keeffe on 15. Two of those surveyed remained undecided in Mitchelstown but the number of ‘don’t knows’ in Fermoy was very high at 10.
Polling day is just a week away now and in Mitchelstown anyway it seems as if the formidable O’Keeffe machine has mobilised behind retiring deputy Ned O’Keeffe’s son, Kevin.
However, Labour’s Deputy Sean Sherlock is once again high on the people’s choice to return to Dail Eireann while Fine Gael’s Cllr Pa O’Driscoll was also in the running with no other candidates mentioned by any of the voters asked to take part in the survey.
30 voters took part in the poll. 15 people said that they would be giving Cllr Kevin O’Keeffe their number one while 10 voters said that Deputy Sean Sherlock was their preferred candidate, three people chose Cllr Pa O’Driscoll, while two said that they had yet to make up their minds.
An interesting development in the survey saw people disassociating themselves from Fianna Fail but continuing to support the candidate on a family name basis. One voter confirmed this in her answer when she said that she would be giving her number one to the O’Keeffes, not to Fianna Fail.
It also appears that, while in many areas party policies are high on the list of questions for the candidates, in Mitchelstown the question of who gets the votes is strongly based on family name and perceived work done on an individual basis.
Another person surveyed confirmed this when he said, “I have a planning application that needs to be sorted out and I will vote for whoever can sort it out for me.”
It would seem that in Mitchelstown at least ‘all politics is local’.
Earlier this week The Avondhu also took to the streets of Fermoy undertaking a second straw poll to determine how people intend voting in the upcoming elections.
PA WELL AHEAD
As in the last random poll which was carried out two weeks ago in Fermoy, the town mayor and FG candidate, Cllr Pa O’Driscoll emerged on top with 14 votes followed by Labour’s Sean Sherlock with 6 votes.
The other candidates secured no votes, 3 people said that they will not vote this time around and a whopping 10 others still remained undecided. A large number of people approached confirmed that they definitely wouldn’t be voting for Fianna Fail.
“I am sick to death of FF, the mess they have left our country in and all the younger people moving away, ”one woman told The Avondhu.
“I had some FF brochures in my letterbox recently that said ‘sorry we missed you’ and I ran out but there was no sign of anyone. Sorry my arse, they just dropped them and ran, they didn’t have the guts to knock on the door and lucky for them they didn’t," another woman fumed.
TIME FOR CHANGE
A third added, ‘Definitely not the current government, it’s time for radical change.”
However another potential voter said that maybe Fianna Fail should be voted back in, “so they can sort out the mess they have made of the country.”
Three people approached said they weren’t going to vote at all despite having cast their ballots in previous years.
One lady said, “Despite it being my constitutional right, voting in a party would mean making a nice cosy bed for someone to lie in and I’m not having that. The others commented that they were fed up and didn’t trust any of the parties and that it was all “empty promises”.
Of the 10 people that have yet to decide, the general question being asked here was what party would inflict the least pain on the taxpayers.
“I can’t decide who to vote for, if there is no money there whoever gets in will have their work cut out for them," one gentleman told The Avondhu.
PAYING THE MORTGAGE
Another said that if Fine Gael gets into government they are going to impose savage cuts across the public sector.
“I work for the council and if my hours are cut or if I lose my job, my family will be out on the street as we won’t be able to pay the mortgage.”
One lady told The Avondhu that she wouldn’t vote for FF, FG or Labour but said she didn’t know anything about the independent candidates. Another respondent commented he hadn’t decided whom to vote for, but it definitely wouldn’t be FG or Sinn Fein.
“I can’t stand that Enda Kenny. He is a joke and he is full of talk but when it comes to the crunch, he pulls out of debates with the other leaders. What good would he be to us? And, as for Sinn Fein, we would be taxed to death if they got into power, so I really don’t know who can get us back on track.”
Thursday 17th February 5:50pm