When people were asked who they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, party support – when undecided voters are excluded – compared with the last Irish Times poll was: Fine Gael, 25 per cent (down six points); Labour, 10 per cent (down two points); Fianna Fáil, 26 per cent (up five points); Sinn Féin, 18 per cent (down two points); Green Party, 1 per cent (down one point); and Independents/Others, 20 per cent (up six points).
The survey was undertaken among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies.
The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.
The "men in the mohair suits"regularly socialised with cabinet colleagues such as Donogh O'Malley and Brian Lenihan.
By day he impressed the Dáil. By night he basked in the admiration of a fashionable audience in the Russell Hotel. There, or in Dublin's more expensive restaurants, the company included artists, musicians and entertainers, professionals, builders and business people. His companions, Lenihan and O'Malley, took mischievous delight in entertaining the Russell with tales of the Old Guard. O'Malley in turn entertained the company in Limerick's Brazen Head or Cruise's Hotel with accounts of the crowd in the Russell. On the wings of such tales Haughey's reputation spread.
As Minister for Finance, Haughey on two occasions arranged foreign currency loans for the government which he then arranged to be left on deposit in foreign countries (Germany and the United States), in the local currency - instead of immediately changing the loans to the Irish currency and depositing in the Exchequer - these actions were unconstitutional, because it effectively meant that the Minister for Finance was making a currency speculation against his own currency. When this was challenged by the Comptroller and Auditor General Eugene Francis Suttle, Haughey introduced a law to retrospectively legalise his actions. The debate was very short and the record shows no understanding of the issue by the opposition finance spokesmen, O'Higgins for Fine Gael and Tully for Labour. The legislation was passed on 26 November 1969.
One of his first functions as Taoiseach was a televised address to the nation – only the third such address in the Republic's history – in which he outlined the bleak economic picture:
|“||I wish to talk to you this evening about the state of the nation's affairs and the picture I have to paint is not, unfortunately, a very cheerful one. The figures which are just now becoming available to us show one thing very clearly. As a community we are living away beyond our means. I don't mean that everyone in the community is living too well, clearly many are not and have barely enough to get by, but taking us all together we have been living at a rate which is simply not justified by the amount of goods and services we are producing. To make up the difference we have been borrowing enormous amounts of money, borrowing at a rate which just cannot continue. A few simple figures will make this very clear...we will just have to reorganise government spending so that we can only undertake those things we can afford...||”|
—Charles Haughey, 9 January 1980