Whatever the lobby thinks poll suggests Micheal Martin is preferred to Enda as Taoiseach

For those in the southern press who think a grand coalition is just grand, and imminent, I’m just putting this here

…more people favoured a Fianna Fail-led minority government (14pc), rising to 37pc of Fianna Fail supporters ahead, of a Fine Gael-led one (8pc), rising to 19pc of Fine Gael supporters.

The poll also found that 70pc of people would vote the same way if a new election was called, rising to 82pc of Fianna Fail supporters, 83pc of Sinn Fein voters but just 75pc of Fine Gael supporters.
It also found 10pc would change the way they voted, highest among well-off AB voters (17pc) and Dublin residents (16pc), while 5pc said it depended and 6pc did not know or expressed no opinion.

When preferences for the next Taoiseach were broken down by parties, a massive 84pc of Fianna Fail supporters said Micheal Martin, but just 54pc of Fine Gael supporters said Enda Kenny. 75pc of Fine Gael supporters.

It also found 10pc would change the way they voted, highest among well-off AB voters (17pc) and Dublin residents (16pc), while 5pc said it depended and 6pc did not know or expressed no opinion.

When preferences for the next Taoiseach were broken down by parties, a massive 84pc of Fianna Fail supporters said Micheal Martin, but just 54pc of Fine Gael supporters said Enda Kenny.

Given the recent record of polling I’d not put too much literal store by this survey. And at 14%, there’s  hardly an acclaimation in the offing for the FF man.

But it’s a more subtle read of the delicate politics of coalition formation in the most distributed Dail in history than the crude arithmetic of a pure seat count. 

Those Dublin figures will be of particular interest to both FF and FG, where the former will be eyeing further gains in any future elections. No party has ruled in the Republic with the sort of tiny beachhead of TDs FF gained for itself in February.

Growing positive sentiment there even at this early stage (when the party has barely said anything in public since February’s election) may further encourage FF to be bold in its short and medium term strategies. Especially with regard to the real parliamentary choices that will face those parties and individuals other than FG and FF when it comes to choosing the Taoiseach.

One thing the press do seem to have right is that prolonged procrastination will not go down well with the southern electorate. But nor, I suspect, will any undue messing or grandstanding from whomever winds up on the opposition benches.

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  • Jag

    The very idea that FF or FG would contemplate supporting the other in a minority government for more than 6 months, WITHOUT any ministerial perks, is simply bonkers.

    There will be a grand coalition, but it might take another couple of months.

    What we’re currently witnessing is FF’s “Passion of the Christ” strategy named after the Mel Gibson film which featured the graphic depiction of Christ being tortured and crucified by the Italians. Towards the end of the film, the audience was relieved Christ was “dead” and the torment had ended. Who at the start of that film would have been rooting for Christ to be put out of his misery?

    And so, by June, the electorate will be so fed up with all the play-acting about “talking to Independents” and forgive FF for breaking its election promises about going into Coalition.

  • Ernekid

    What I find fascinating is that Ireland hasn’t had a government for over a month now and it hasn’t made any real discernible difference. Nobody really seems to care what sort of government is going to be formed either. This infighting between FG and FF before they decide to do the inevitable and make a deal is actually rather dull.

  • Zig70

    What everyone isn’t saying and the electorate know is that a re-election will return largely the same result and result in more apathy. A FF FG coalition is the only show. In good ole Irish style they need their mummies to tell them what to do.

  • aquifer

    When big capital has downsized democracy the civil service can run the place quite well. In fact it was ignoring civil service advice that wrecked the joint in the first place. Only the left and the gaelic fringe offer imaginary alternatives.

  • Gopher

    It seems to me there will be another election and as it stands FF will improve on their result.So it pays for them not to form a government. FG need to find an issue a big emotive issue and run with it something that will make FF sound irrational problem is there are not many in Irish politics, Its not as if you can wheel out the anti EU referendum like the UK, none of the social issues left resonate enough.

  • Gingray

    Seems FF are aiming for a Grand Coalition but with them as the largest party. I see the talk is of a second election 20th May.

  • Discuscutter

    This poll shows that there will be an arrangement between FG and FF in the near future. Neither party has anything but derisory support for their leading a minority Govt.

    Most voters say they will not be changing their mind in the next election.

    One will support the other before the end of next year or there will ne no stable Govt for years.

  • Discuscutter

    The regional Govts in Belgium have real and important powers, they can manage their parts fine and many of them would prefer if there was never a Belgian Govt. again.

    One could argue that the Belgian Govt is only a showpiece for state unity.