Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that he is deeply concerned about the possibility of manipulative pre-election polling practices being carried out in the County Tipperary constituency. Deputy McGrath was speaking after he became aware that RED C Research who had been privately commissioned to carry out a poll of General Election candidates in the county excluded his name from the list:
“I have been in direct contact with RED C Research as part of my efforts to clarify what exactly was the intention in carrying out this clearly mischievous poll. RED C have responded by telling me that the parameters for the poll were drawn up by a private individual or company and that this “is not a public interest exercise poll as the poll is not being published.”
This is a tenuous response at best.
I remain convinced however that the research activity which excluded me was carried out with a clear intent to undermine my position by removing any possibility of recording the preferences that may have been assigned to me.
This sorry episode raises serious questions around the translation of research findings into credible polling outcomes.
It escapes me how any possible value can be attached to a poll of General Election candidates that does not offer a full list of names.
In light of that it ought to be patently clear that although the client initiating the research can set the parameters; this also creates a potential for manipulation.
I will be seeking to find out what safeguards if any are in place to prevent this type of outcome from occurring,” concluded Deputy McGrath.