Martin warns Fianna Fáil could spring election surprise

Party leader says poll predictions have proved to be off in recent times

Micheal Martin, Fianna Fail, Sinn Fein, general election, polls, coalition, Republican party

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin talks to the media at its parliamentary party think-in | Image: RollingNews.ie

Micheal Martin is predicting Fianna Fail has a strong chance of leading the next government.

Despite ruling out coalitions with Fine Gael and Sinn Fein, Mr Martin says he does not want to continue in opposition.

Speaking with The Last Word on Today FM, he claimed that he hasn't been hearing criticism of Fianna Fail's record in government from voters.

Fianna Fáil look likely to be the second largest party, based on recent opinion polls, but Mr Martin said he was wary of relying too heavily on the predictions of polls, with both Fianna Fáil’s own experience in the most recent local elections and the dramatic misreading of voter sentiment by pollsters during the British general election still fresh in his mind.

Mr Martin believes he has a realistic chance of being the next Taoiseach, believing hsi party can go beyond what the polls currently suggest.

“In the last local elections we were third in the opinion polls ad we ended up first in the actual election – no one saw it coming.

“We saw in Britain where the opinion polls were out – all 11 opinion polls in Britain were out by six and a half to seven percent – all opinion polls. Now surely that’s a wake-up call for media here and for pollsters here,” he added.

Live from @ElectionNT