With election canvassing campaigns now drawing to a close nationwide as Friday, May 24th looms large, The Avondhu gauged this week how voters were shaping up their first preference votes, through an on-street vox pop in Mitchelstown, reaction to candidates on the doorsteps in Fermoy and an online poll.
The ‘old chestnuts’, issues such roads, potholes, housing are still to the fore, and with some merit, but there are also some localised issues of concern.
The ongoing issue of the deterioration of the Fermoy Weir has been the source of heated debates on many doorsteps, especially from those with an affiliation to the very successful rowing club in the town, who now fear for the future of their sport on the Blackwater.
As Fermoy is steeped in military history and with Kilworth Camp nearby, it is no surprise that the issue of defence forces’ pay and working conditions has also been a bone of contention for locals.
There are also calls for the Fermoy Town Council to be re-established.
"The urban council was the link to the county, but now with the Municipal District it’s too large an area for six councillors to cover. There are lots of small issues in the town at the moment which would be sorted if the town council had not been abolished,” said one likely voter.
“Fermoy was the centre hub in the area and the councillors were able to fight hard to benefit the town."
In West Waterford, concerns about Ireland’s response to climate change have been expressed by young voters and the issues related to the broadband rollout is a source of frustration for many, who feel they cannot run their businesses from home as a result of poor broadband speed.
Street Vox Pop
Vox pops are not scientific tests of public opinion but they often tell us something important about what is bubbling away below the surface. Our reporter took to the streets in Mitchelstown this week to get their view about Friday’s local elections.
All the usual complaints were heard, no homes being built, high rates for business owners, footpaths are a health hazard, no summer jobs for students and a lack of vision for the future of Mitchelstown.
So, who best then to change all of that? Well of the people we interviewed, four said they wouldn’t vote for any of the candidates! However, the majority felt that it would be best for Mitchelstown if all four local candidates were successful.
Meanwhile, an online poll conducted by The Avondhu through its website since last week, showed that 66% of readers will vote come polling day, while 33% were undecided as to whether or not they would vote at all.
One thing’s for certain, if you wish to get the best result for an issue that concerns you, exercise your vote on Friday 24th and give your candidate the best opportunity to press your cause for change.