I texted a friend of mine who works for one of the opposition parties.
"Totally grim" was his terse response.
That sums up the poll. 41% for Fianna Fail is... well let's think... something along the lines of hurtling to earth after your parachute doesn't open. And then when all looks doomed, you fall into a massive hay stack.
FFers were jubilant last night. They pointed out that TNS mrbi adjust for overstated support for FF. They think the election is now in the bag - that the party will coast home...
But not so quick. The findings could be aberrant or rogue - it goes against the SB Post and Sunday Indo polls from the previous day. Granted, neither of those fully capture the TV showdown on Thursday. But surely, that in itself couldn't account for a five per cent jump. If people felt sorry for Bertie or if it reflected his Westminster speech on Tuesday, that would have been picked up in the Sunday polls.
It's curious. It has stunned everybody. Gerald Barry on This Week described the FF campaign as insipid for the first few weeks. How right he was, though Bertie quibbled with him over it. But since Thursday (and what he himself saw as him wiping the floor with Enda Kenny) Ahern has been a Born-Again Anorak, with a newly-found spring in the step.
I'm accompanying his canvass to Sligo tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how much he plays it up or down.