After a turbulent start to ‘new politics’, Republic’s polling returns to February’s level

We don’t touch on every poll that comes out (and I’m not sure we even blogged Fianna Fail on 33%). [Hold on, Declan says you did! – Ed]. But this one is interesting if only in that it confirms that the loose political peloton formation that was such a feature of polls during the last government hasn’t gone away:

Fine Gael, 26 per cent (up two points); Fianna Fáil, 26 per cent (down seven points); Labour, 5 per cent (no change); Sinn Féin, 19 per cent (up three) and Independents/ Others, 24 per cent (up two).

Seven points is a big drop in anyone’s language, but I’d view the last result as an outlier for Fianna Fail. And yet the detail in the poll is interesting, particularly with regard to the two traditionally bigger parties:

At 26 per cent, support for Fine Gael is only up marginally on the election but it will be some relief to the party that it has drawn level with Fianna Fáil after falling well behind its rival in the last poll.

Fine Gael will also be encouraged by the fact that at 28 per cent it is well ahead of other parties in Dublin with twice the level of support obtained by Fianna Fáil in the capital.

It does not fare as well in the rest of Leinster and Munster where it is well behind Fianna Fáil but the two parties are neck and neck in Connacht-Ulster.

As for the others…

Sinn Féin is up three points since the last poll and is now well ahead of its general election performance of last February. However, this is a repeat of the pattern that applied after the 2011 general election.

Support for Independents and smaller parties has increased since July but is down on their general election performance.

In truth, this poll represents (with the exception of SF, who tend to under-poll, as FF over-polls, in actual elections) a calm return to the results of February. But with the stock of all four major political leaders dropping:


Note these aren’t comparative figures (a common mistake amongst commentators), it’s more how each correspondent rates in their own performance as leader. As such they are much more volatile than say the core figures for each party.

But interesting that they are all falling after the Summer. That may reverse once the Dail season is fully under way.

Long term, Fianna Fail is doing better, by five or six points, than last term, but 26% is exactly where it fell to in the very immediate aftermath of the bank bailout. They have a long way to go: particularly amongst the C1s and C2s in Dublin burned in the crash.


, , ,

  • chrisjones2

    Plus ca change

  • Declan Doyle

    You certainly did blog on FF’s 33% score in the polls a few weeks back and it was a very giddy and exciteable blog indeed matched with an enthusiastic Slugger Report alongside if memory serves.

    However, you are correct today in the sense that the 33% was an outlier. FF have tumbled in every poll since probably due to the fact that they are no longer succeeding in staying upright on two horses at the same time.

    Its clear that people have cottoned on to the reality of this FF/FG hybrid coalitiin’s inability to actually get anything done. FF are also grappling with an alleged child sex abuse scandal despite the issue being censored in the mainstream press. In debatesThe left are wiping the floor with them on most current affairs programmes.

    Sinn Fein will be wary of getting excited by their continued climb in all recent polls for the very reasons you outline yourself. However, digging into the numbers the party is streets ahead of FF and FG in the 18 to 34 age groups. This seems to be the norm now and bodes well for the future.

    Labour are trapped between the coalition parties and the combined left mish mash. Its unlikely their fortunes will restore until such time as SF are voted into and out of government. In the younger age categories they barely even show, its going to be a long hard road back despite FFs overt courting.

  • Gingray

    Makes another election much less likely anytime soon!

  • Declan Doyle

    it really depends on how FG and FF manage the public sector pay demands

  • mickfealty

    Ah, yer right. Here it is: It was a 9% rise at the time.

  • Declan Doyle

    Pretty stunning and similar to SF leap to 26% last year. Genuinely, i wonder what causes these rogues, is it faulty polling or just timing?

  • mickfealty

    Bit of both. Martin had pulled his masterly playing both ends off the middle by early summer. But the fact it only affected two reading suggests there’s was some bias in the sampling.

    Three times the margin of error probably should have signalled something of an outlier effect. I definitely read it far too literally at the time.

  • chrisjones2

    The problem is 18 to 34 year olds grow up and realise that they are being sold horse s***.

  • Declan Doyle

    You cant’t be perfect 😉

  • Croiteir

    FF is really soaking up the farmers support, I suppose that is part due to Eamon O’Cuiv but it is a nice juxtaposition to the encroachment of SF into rural constituencies. I wonder who much of that is attributable to the border effect.

    I still do not see SF achieving much more than they have for a couple more cycles, they have replaced Labour and have only the more extremists on the left wing to deal with.

    The real battle for me remains between FG and FF.

    I foresee a future when there are two big parties and a few others, SF on the left, FG or FF on the right and the rest making up numbers.

    To me the question is will it be FG or FF that will win the tussle for the non lefty vote? On this poll it seems we are a long way before one or the other delivers a knock out punch.