Michael Staines
Michael Staines

12.27 10 Jun 2021


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It was ‘wrong and improper’ for Fianna Fáil party members to pose as pollsters to get people's voter information, the Taoiseach has told Newstalk Breakfast.

Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party have now all admitted to posing as market researchers to get people to reveal their opinions on candidates and political issues.

It comes after it was revealed Sinn Féin gave its members fake IDs and told them to pretend to be from a fake polling company while knocking on doors around the country.

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On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Micheál Martin said he does not know if the practice was against the law.

Fianna Fáil's use of fake pollsters was 'wrong and improper' - Micheál Martin

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

He said his party has been using professional polling companies since he became leader and has not instructed members to pretend to be pollsters since before 2007.

“That was a wrong practice in my view and it shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

“When you go to a door and you don’t say who you are that is not right and it is not proper and it shouldn’t have happened.”

Fake ID

He said Fianna Fáil never gave its members fake IDs.

“That is not my understanding,” he said. “From what I have learned from party headquarters, there wouldn’t have been fake IDs or anything like that.

“The party members were used alongside polling companies at the time in terms of a lot of polling that was done prior to 2007.

“Since I have been leader, we have been using professional polling companies.”

Illegal

He said he does not know whether it was illegal.

“I don’t know whether it broke the law or not,” he said. “There was no data recorded. I have been assured of that. No personal data in relation to the people at the door was taken or recorded – but it is not good practice at all.”

He said his party is looking into what happened but there is no “comprehensive investigation” ongoing.

“The practice happened. It was wrong; it shouldn’t have happened and it has been dispensed with a long time ago,” he said.

“We certainly haven’t been doing much polling even professionally in recent times because of COVID but certainly in the last ten years it is all professional polling companies.”

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry arriving at Leinster House, 26-03-2020 Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry arriving at Leinster House, 26-03-2020. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

On the show yesterday, Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry called on the Gardaí to investigate Sinn Féin over the reports.

After it emerged later in the day that his own party was involved, he said he was “disgusted in the extreme.”

On The Pat Kenny Show meanwhile, Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin said there was nothing ‘untoward or deceptive’ about the practice.

The Taoiseach touched on wide range of issues in his Newstalk Breakfast interview including his pledge to fully vaccinate 70% of people by the end of July.

You can listen back here:

Fianna Fáil's use of fake pollsters was 'wrong and improper' - Micheál Martin

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   


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Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Green Party Marc Macsharry Polling Company Pollster Sinn Fein Voter Information

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