You are here: Ireland's Invisible MEP's


 

 

 

 

Ireland's Invisible MEP's

 

An exclusive Lansdowne Market Research survey, conducted one year after the high profile European Parliament elections, reveals that many of Ireland's 13 MEP's are largely invisible to the electorate, despite the high profile election campaign of 12 months ago.

In each of the 4 Euro - constituencies, the majority of MEP's appear to have been forgotten by the electorate. Lansdowne asked a sample of 1000 Irish people to name as many MEP's as they could (without any prompting).

The results are shown below by constituency.

Dublin:

MEP

% Naming MEP spontaneously

Mary Lou McDonald

19%

Proinsias De Rossa

13%

Eoin Ryan

5%

Gay Mitchell

4%

In Dublin, Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald has the highest profile, with almost 1 in 5 mentioning her spontaneously. Veteran Pronsias De Rossa garners 13% recognition to take second place on this measure. In contrast, poll-topper Gay Mitchell, who so resoundingly took the first seat in 2004, appears to have slipped out of sight, only 4% can name him as an MEP. Eoin Ryan, has also largely disappeared from view. Only 5% can name him as an MEP, despite his high profile internal battle with Royston Brady.

East:

MEP

% Naming MEP spontaneously

Avril Doyle

27%

Mairead McGuinness

23%

Liam Aylward

8%

MEPs in the East constituency fare somewhat better. The Fine Gael pairing of Avril Doyle and Mairead McGuinness both enjoy relatively high recall reflecting the high profile nature of their surprise double victory for Fine Gael. This appears to have left little room for Fianna Fail's Liam Aylward in the minds of voters: only 8% of people in Leinster can name him as an MEP.

South:

MEP

% Naming MEP spontaneously

Brian Crowley

34%

Simon Coveney

10%

Kathy Sinnott

3%

In line with his impressive electoral track record, Brian Crowley is the best known of all of Ireland's MEP's. 1 in 3 people in his constituency area can name him as an MEP. In contrast, despite achieving a similar vote to Crowley in the election, Simon Coveney is now only remembered by 1 in 10. Independent MEP Kathy Sinnott also appears to have faded from view: she manages only 3% recall, despite her dramatic unseating of Gerry Collins.

North West

MEP

% Naming MEP spontaneously

Marian Harkin

14%

Sean O'Neachtain

12%

Jim Higgins

5%

The MEPs of the diverse North West constituency fare worst of all in terms of public profile. Independent Marian Harkin is the best known, with 14% recall followed closely by Sean O'Neachtain with 12%. Fine Gael's Jim Higgins only registers 5% recall across the constituency.

Despite the increased turnout at the 2004 European election and the numerous high profile campaigns. Most of Ireland's MEPs record very low levels of awareness amongst the electorate. They appear to be largely forgotten about once they go to Strasbourg. Until their faces appear on posters again in 4 years' time, this is likely to remain the case.

Note: Lansdowne Interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1000 people nationwide, by telephone between 10 th -23 rd May 2005.

National ranking of MEP's and awareness outside of their constituencies.

MEP

National Ranking Spontaneous awareness

National Awareness %

Awarenessby constituency Dublin %

Awareness by constituency East %

Awareness by constituency South %

Awareness by constituency North/West %

Brian Crowley

1

14

7

7

34

10

Avril Doyle

2

13

8

27

9

9

Mary-Lou McDonald

3

13

19

13

8

8

Mairead McGuinness

4

11

4

23

8

8

Pronsias De Rossa

5

7

13

5

3

6

Marian Harkin

6

4

1

2

2

14

Eoin Ryan

7

3

5

3

1

4

Simon Coveney

8

3

1

1

10

2

Sean O'Neachtain

9

3

1

1

0

12

Gay Mitchell

10

3

4

3

1

2

Liam Aylward

11

2

0

8

0

1

Kathy Sinnott

12

2

1

2

3

1

Jim Higgins

13

2

1

1

0

5

Italic Figures indicate the MEP's own constituency.

The table above shows the rank order for all MEPs nationally. Only 4 have a national recall rate above 10% - Brian Crowley, Avril Doyle, Mary Lou McDonald and Mairead McGuinness. The figure in yellow shows the MEP's recall in their own constituency. The analysis also reveals to what degree MEP's are known outside of their own constituencies. It is clear that apart from the top three, few have any real profile at all outside of their own area . Even amongst the top 3, low levels of recall are recorded outside of their own areas. For example 7% of people in Dublin name Brian Crowley, 13% of people in East name Mary Lou McDonald and so on.


 

 



                                                        Overview   Published Information   Contact Us   Search   Careers   Links   Home