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.
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:
|1||Stephanie Regan||Female||Fine Gael||Dublin Bay North||7.55|
|2||John Lahart||Male||Fianna Fáil||Dublin South West||7.41|
|3||Annemarie Roche||Female||Sinn Fein||Galway East||7.30|
|4||Pat the Cope Gallagher||Male||Fianna Fáil||Donegal||7.30|
|5||Ted Tynan||Male||Workers' Party||Cork North Central||7.29|
|6||Deirdre O'Donovan||Female||Independent||Dublin South West||7.16|
|7||Niall Collins||Male||Fianna Fáil||Limerick County||7.15|
|8||James Lawless||Male||Fianna Fáil||Kildare North||7.11|
|9||Kathryn Reilly||Female||Sinn Fein||Cavan Monaghan||7.08|
|10||Thomasina Connell||Female||Fine Gael||Laois||7.07|
|11||Joanne Pender||Female||Independent||Kildare South||7.06|
|12||Diarmuid O Cadhla||Male||Independent||Cork South Central||7.05|
|13||Catherine Martin||Female||Green Party||Dublin Rathdown||7.05|
|14||Frances Fitzgerald||Female||Fine Gael||Dublin Mid West||7.03|
|15||Rachel McCarthy||Female||Sinn Fein||Cork South West||7.02|
|16||Robert Troy||Male||Fianna Fáil||Longford Westmeath||7.01|
|17||Jan O'Sullivan||Female||Labour Party||Limerick City||6.99|
|18||Gerry Adams||Male||Sinn Fein||Louth||6.98|
|19||Katherine Zappone||Female||Independent||Dublin South West||6.97|
|20||Michael W. D'Arcy||Male||Fine Gael||Wexford||6.96|
|21||Andrew Keegan||Male||AAA-PBP||Dublin North West||6.93|
|22||Michelle Mulherin||Female||Fine Gael||Mayo||6.92|
|23||Seán Crowe||Male||Sinn Fein||Dublin South West||6.91|
|24||Malcom Noonan||Male||Green Party||Carlow Kilkenny||6.90|
|25||Roderic O'Gorman||Male||Green Party||Dublin West||6.89|
|26||Ossian Smyth||Male||Green Party||Dun Laoghaire||6.88|
|27||Marc MacSharry||Male||Fianna Fáil||Sligo-Leitrim||6.85|
|28||Imelda Munster||Female||Sinn Fein||Louth||6.83|
|29||Fergus O'Dowd||Male||Fine Gael||Louth||6.82|
|30||Eamon O Cuiv||Male||Fianna Fáil||Galway West||6.81|
|33||Martin Ferris||Male||Sinn Fein||Kerry||6.77|
|34||Paul Bradford||Male||Renua Ireland||Cork East||6.74|
|35||Catherine Connolly||Female||Independent||Galway West||6.73|
|36||Emmet Stagg||Male||Labour Party||Kildare North||6.72|
|38||Brendan Howlin||Male||Labour Party||Wexford||6.67|
|39||Sarah Jane Hennelly||Female||Social Democrats||Limerick City||6.66|
|40||John Brady||Male||Sinn Fein||Wicklow||6.66|
|41||Chris Andrews||Male||Sinn Fein||Dublin Bay South||6.65|
|42||Donnchadh O Laoghaire||Male||Sinn Fein||Cork South Central||6.64|
|43||Eamon Ryan||Male||Green Party||Dublin Bay South||6.63|
|44||Margaret Sheehan||Female||Green Party||Mayo||6.62|
|45||Paudie Coffey||Male||Fine Gael||Waterford||6.62|
|46||Lucinda Creighton||Female||Renua Ireland||Dublin Bay South||6.61|
|47||Terry Kelleher||Male||AAA-PBP||Dublin Fingal||6.61|
|48||Lisa Chambers||Female||Fianna Fáil||Mayo||6.57|
|49||Catherine Ardagh||Female||Fianna Fáil||Dublin South Central||6.55|
|50||Barbara Ahern||Female||Fianna Fáil||Cork 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: