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Trust me, I’m a politician! We reveal the most trustworthy party in General Election 2016

Ever wondered which Irish politician is the most trustworthy? 'Are any of them?' you're probably responding right about, but quell your cyncism because we did some research to find out the answer

by Aidan Elder | February 19, 2016

If you’ve noticed more people dressed like they’ve just looted Marks And Spencers coming up your driveway or people with suspiciously well-groomed hair and white teeth hanging around train stations looking to shake hands with you, don’t worry, apparently there’s a General Election happening and that’s what politicians need to do. Apparently. That and put three foot tall posters of their faces everywhere to cover up the sheer visual horror that is nature.

With the General Election around a week away, Paddy Power have conducted scientific research to see uncover Ireland’s most trustworthy politicians. Now when we say ‘scientific’ think less ‘crashing particles together to find the Higgs Boson in CERN’ and ‘survey scribbled on the back of a beermat’.

The survey involved asking 2,000 Americans, who have no knowledge of Irish politics and therefore no bias, to rate candidates on how trustworthy they deem them to be based only on their election photo.

And according to the research, [crappy drum roll please] …

Fine Gael’s Dublin Bay North candidate Stephanie Regan won out. She’s considered the most trustworthy-looking politician in the land, while Fianna Fáil’s John Lahart and Sinn Féin’s Anne Marie Roche could be in line to receive plenty of spare house keys having finished second and third respectively.

And when informed of the decision of 1,000 Americans that she’ll never meet, Stephanie spoke about her joy being considered the most trustworthy politician in Ireland before taking advantage of the platform afforded to her to make a political appeal that will resonate will literally all seven of our readers who live in her constituency:

“Delighted. I am asking the voters of Dublin Bay North to place their trust in me in the same way that those who responded to the Paddy Power survey chose me as their most trusted candidate. Trust is hard won and needs to be nurtured for it to build into something that is good for all of us – we need to ensure no-one if left behind as the recovery builds and the nation decides.”

That’s great. Shame she’s to win a sit and has about as much chance of being seen in the next Dail as the ghost of Oliver Cromwell. Elsewhere in the poll, Sinn Féin leader and definitely not a member or former member of the IRA ,Gerry Adams finished in a surprisingly high 18th place with Fine Gael’s Michael W. D’Arcy rounding off the top 20. Here’s a snapshot of some of the results in a lovely graphic.

The results of a poll by Paddy Power to discover who is Ireland's most trust-worthy politician

So, as you can probably tell, looking trustworthy is obviously very similar to ‘looking like a kindly grandparent or a cheerful young person who looks unlikely to mug you’. Here’s a sortable table of the top 50 for your to fiddle around with:


Rank Name Gender Party Constituency Score
1Stephanie Regan FemaleFine GaelDublin Bay North 7.55
2John LahartMaleFianna FáilDublin South West7.41
3Annemarie Roche FemaleSinn Fein Galway East 7.30
4Pat the Cope GallagherMaleFianna FáilDonegal7.30
5Ted TynanMaleWorkers' PartyCork North Central7.29
6Deirdre O'DonovanFemaleIndependentDublin South West 7.16
7Niall CollinsMaleFianna FáilLimerick County 7.15
8James LawlessMaleFianna FáilKildare North 7.11
9Kathryn ReillyFemaleSinn Fein Cavan Monaghan7.08
10Thomasina ConnellFemaleFine GaelLaois7.07
11Joanne PenderFemaleIndependentKildare South 7.06
12Diarmuid O CadhlaMaleIndependentCork South Central7.05
13Catherine MartinFemaleGreen PartyDublin Rathdown7.05
14Frances FitzgeraldFemaleFine GaelDublin Mid West7.03
15Rachel McCarthyFemaleSinn Fein Cork South West 7.02
16Robert TroyMaleFianna FáilLongford Westmeath7.01
17Jan O'SullivanFemaleLabour PartyLimerick City 6.99
18Gerry AdamsMaleSinn Fein Louth6.98
19Katherine ZapponeFemaleIndependentDublin South West 6.97
20Michael W. D'ArcyMaleFine GaelWexford6.96
21Andrew KeeganMaleAAA-PBPDublin North West6.93
22Michelle MulherinFemaleFine GaelMayo6.92
23Seán CroweMaleSinn Fein Dublin South West6.91
24Malcom Noonan MaleGreen PartyCarlow Kilkenny 6.90
25Roderic O'GormanMaleGreen PartyDublin West 6.89
26Ossian SmythMaleGreen PartyDun Laoghaire 6.88
27Marc MacSharryMaleFianna FáilSligo-Leitrim6.85
28Imelda MunsterFemaleSinn Fein Louth6.83
29Fergus O'DowdMaleFine GaelLouth6.82
30Eamon O CuivMaleFianna FáilGalway West 6.81
31Tim JacksonMaleIndependentDonegal6.79
32Charlie KeddyMaleIndependentWicklow6.78
33Martin FerrisMaleSinn Fein Kerry6.77
34Paul BradfordMaleRenua IrelandCork East 6.74
35Catherine ConnollyFemaleIndependentGalway West 6.73
36Emmet StaggMaleLabour PartyKildare North 6.72
37Des GuckianMaleIndependentSligo-Leitrim6.70
38Brendan HowlinMaleLabour PartyWexford6.67
39Sarah Jane HennellyFemaleSocial DemocratsLimerick City 6.66
40John BradyMaleSinn Fein Wicklow6.66
41Chris AndrewsMaleSinn Fein Dublin Bay South6.65
42Donnchadh O LaoghaireMaleSinn Fein Cork South Central6.64
43Eamon Ryan MaleGreen PartyDublin Bay South6.63
44Margaret SheehanFemaleGreen PartyMayo6.62
45Paudie CoffeyMaleFine GaelWaterford6.62
46Lucinda Creighton FemaleRenua IrelandDublin Bay South 6.61
47Terry KelleherMaleAAA-PBPDublin Fingal6.61
48Lisa ChambersFemaleFianna FáilMayo6.57
49Catherine ArdaghFemaleFianna FáilDublin South Central6.55
50Barbara AhernFemaleFianna FáilCork East 6.55

When it comes to looking at the trustworthiness of parties as a whole, despite the Americans being famously conservative and wary of our European tree-hugging and kitten-kissing, it’s the leftist parties which fair best with Sinn Féin, The Workers’ Party and The Social Democrats making up the top three.

However, on the other side of the table it would appear that Direct Democracy Ireland and the Independent candidates are the least likely to get your Netflix password having finished 10th and 11th respectively.

As for constituencies, Dublin Bay South’s candidates topped the poll while Cork North West constituents would be well advised not to divulge their pin numbers to any of their candidates.


The election happens on Friday February 26 and regardless of who you support, please use your vote so you can feel part of the process of deciding who gets to run the country with total incompetence and knee-jerk populism for the next five years. Or just have a look through some of quirkier stats our research uncovered:

Most trustworthy politicians graphic

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