Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.29 3 Feb 2020


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The co-leader of the Social Democrats has said national opinion poll figures "aren't that relevant" for smaller parties.

Roisin Shortall was responding to a new poll, which put the party on some 3% support.

The survey on Sunday was the second in as many days, with a survey released on Saturday showing the Social Democrats on 5%.

Both polls showed Fianna Fáil as the most popular party ahead of Sinn Féin.

Speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk, Ms Shortall said she is not worried.

"The thing to bear in mind for smaller parties is that the national figures aren't that relevant.

"We are running 20 candidates and we're certainly very competitive in about six or seven constituencies - so they're the important ones".

She went on to outline the constituencies of Dublin Bay-North, Wicklow, Dublin Central, Galway and Cork South-West.

"It's quite clear there's a lot of movement in Irish politics at the moment.

"What we're finding on the doorsteps, which is a first I think that I've come across anyway, where people are saying they're fed up with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil".

On any coalition government after the election, she said: "Our influence, or potential influence on any future government, will depend on the number of seats that we have.

"We're not taking the view, as some other parties are, that we're ruling out or vetoing any party".

"This isn't about personalities in any way - this is about the policies and it's about us being in a position to implement the kind of policies that we believe are important to people".

Citing policies on housing, health and a quality of life with a lower cost of living, she said: "The biggest driver of cost in housing is land costs - and we do have a huge problem with land hording.

"Let's learn from the experience here... We know from the example in the Ó Cualann co-op... the build cost of a decent, three-bedroom, energy efficient house is about 200,000 - it's actually just less than that.

"There is no reason why we cannot be building houses at that price to scale on public land and making those houses available on the open market to people to buy at 200,000".


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Coalition Dublin Bay-North Dublin Central GE2020 Galway Health Housing National Poll Opinion Poll Pat Kenny Roisin Shortall Social Democrats Wicklow Ó Cualann Co-op.

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