Fianna Fáil senator denies claiming party’s poor poll showing due to Sinn Féin infiltrating polling company


Fianna Fáil senator Ned O’Sullivan has denied suggesting at a private meeting that his party’s poor performance in the polls was due to a polling company being infiltrated by Sinn Féin.

ianna Fáil’s performance in recent polls was scrutinised by the party’s general secretary Seán Dorgan, who gave a presentation on Wednesday evening to TDs and senators on why there have been vast differences in poll results for the party between different polling companies.

Sources said Roscommon senator Eugene Murphy queried why some poll companies, like Red C, had the party on 15pc or 16pc and others ranked it in the 20s.

Dublin Bay South TD Jim O’Callaghan then said that while the party may rank lower in Business Post/Red C polls, they were accurate at the time of the general election.

Four politicians who attended the meeting told that Kerry senator Ned O’Sullivan then told colleagues of how he knows of an individual who carries out polls and described him as being a Sinn Féin supporter.

However, when asked to comment on his remark, he denied the alleged claim and said he accepts the “bona fides” of all polls. He declined to comment further.

Tonight, Red C chief executive Richard Colwell said: “RED C would like to reassure the public that we are very confident that our polling has not been infiltrated by any party or individual.

“Our polls, alongside all the survey work we conduct for businesses across Ireland and worldwide, is conducted to the very highest standards. We are renowned for our quality controls, and accuracy of sampling, that are put in place to ensure that our surveys are representative of all the people of Ireland from all walks of life.”

Kilkenny TD John McGuinness told colleagues that independent political analysis and polling companies like Red C should be asked to explain poll results and what they mean for the party.

Mr Dorgan explained to TDs and senators why the party varies in percentage points between different polls by different polling companies.

The most recent Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks poll put the party on 17pc, while the most recent Business Post/Red C poll put it on 15pc.

The Taoiseach did not attend the meeting as he is away on a series of engagements in Cork.

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