Fianna Fáil Senator claims poll ‘damaging’ before byelections

Terry Leyden has been campaigning for colleague in Roscommon-South Leitrim

A Fianna Fáil Senator has criticised The Irish Times for publishing a political opinion poll so close to the two byelections taking place in Roscommon-South Leitrim and Dublin South West tomorrow.

Senator Terry Leyden from Roscommon has been campaigning for Ivan Connaughton, his party's candidate in Roscommon-South Leitrim. The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll did not analyse the two constituencies but recorded a five-point drop in support for Fianna Fáil nationally.

“The timing is unfortunate, most unhelpful and I would say damaging at this point in time because it could influence the outcome of the byelection,” Mr Leyden said.

He said Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin had been working hard in the constituency and had been very well received. The publication of the opinion poll today had “reignited” party canvassers’ efforts, he added.


“Hopefully we’ll prove the Irish Times/Ipsos poll inaccurate as far as Roscommon-South Leitrim is concerned,” Mr Leyden said.

Another Fianna Fáil Senator, Jim Walsh from Wexford, said the party needed to have a "serious" discussion about the poll findings.

“It’s disappointing and a little bit inexplicable. The party has been working hard. We had a good result in the local elections but support appears to have declined since then,” Mr Walsh said. “We have to take a serious look at that.”

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan

Mary Minihan is Features Editor of The Irish Times