Sinn Féin support rises in latest poll

Sinn Féin seem to have ridden out the storm over the McCartney murder and the Northern job in the Irish Republic with the party’s support up two points to 11% in the latest (subs needed) opinion poll commissioned by the Irish Times.

Personal satisfaction with party leader Gerry Adams is also on the rise, up eight points to 38%. The poll also shows a big swing in support away from the Government towards the alternative Rainbow coalition.

In the TMS-MRBI survey, support for Fianna Fáil is now at 32%, down six percentage points.

Fine Gael support at 25%, is at its highest for five years while Labour is up two points at 14%. The PDs are at 4%, up one, while the Greens are unchanged at 4%.

Personal support for Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is 54%, down four points while PD leader Mary Harney’s rating is down six to 41%.

Strangely, considering his party’s rise, FG leader Enda Kenny’s rating is down four to 41% while Labour leader Pat Rabbitte is at 48%, up three.

38 thoughts on “Sinn Féin support rises in latest poll”

  1. A pretty lame increase for a protest vote party with the government’s popularity collapsing.

  2. Excellent news for Sinn Féin. Based on these figures (and I’m confident we will see a further increase in SF support between now and a Genreal Election) Sinn Féin will be well placed to at least double its representation in the next Dáil.

  3. Pollster

    People seemed to think it was fairly significant when SF support slipped by a similar percentage in the last poll!

  4. It looks as though SF will be hitting somewhere between 10-15% in the next General Election as opposed to between 5-10%. Last time out Labour got around 25 seats on 11%. Sinn Fein are looking at 12 + seats id say. The significant point is this : Sinn Fein are going to hold the balance of power in the next Dáil.

  5. One can read too much into this. The poll is consistent with all other recent evidence showing SF support stalled at around 10%. Those setting too much store by the poll may wish to ask themselves whether they seriously imagine FF in a general election polling anything remotely like 32%. Me neither.

  6. Great to see pete, pollster and Fanny scurrying on this one. One would imagine an imminent IRA statement- and the predictably negative response within unionism- will consolidate this growth north and south.

    It would appear those hoping for an end to the rise of Sinn Fein were merely indulging in a bout of wishful thinking.

  7. This poll was taken just after the Labour Party conference which agreed a pre-election deal with FG. It is no surprise that both parties have done well.

    We’ve got a long way to go to the election (probably the best part of two years away), so I wouldn’t take too much notice of mid-term polls.

    As for SF/IRA, 2% is in the margins of being completly insignificant. Anyone drawing conclusions on how Labour does on a certain vote share and correlating it to how SF/IRA, should have their head examined (just look at transfer rates and vote to seat ratios for confirmation).

    I wouldn’t be betting against FF and the PDs being back for an unprecented third term just yet.

  8. Keith M

    “As for SF, 2% is in the margins of being completly insignificant.”

    But Gerry Adams own personal rise of 8 points is very significant

  9. Jimmy,
    have to agree about FF, especially if it appears like SF will hold the balance of power. I can see them getting enough votes to stay in government if the choice is that or the chance of SF in a coalition.

    It’s sort of like the reverse of the last election when McDowell successfully scared enough people for the PDs to win 8 seats when he said FF could win an overall majority.

    Even if FG double their seat number they still won’t have enough to go into coalition with Labour, who I reckon, despite all the talk to the contrary, will go in with FF to “spare” the Irish people SF in government.

    Otherwise it’s FF back in with independents and the Greens.

    I just don’t see the PDs in power next time around unless they decide to go into coalition with FG and Labour.

  10. You gotta laugh at the mob who breyed that the drop in SF support and also the drop in the personal rating for Adams was very significant. Yet a tangible increase for both this time around is not rreally importance. Do as we say not as we do!

    Even at this early stage it is easy to predict that although FF may be back in government after the next election Mc Dowell, Harney et al will return to obscurity.

  11. Excellent news for Sinn Féin. Based on these figures (and I’m confident we will see a further increase in SF support between now and a Genreal Election) Sinn Féin will be well placed to at least double its representation in the next Dáil.

  12. Keith M

    “Anyone drawing conclusions on how Labour does on a certain vote share and correlating it to how SF/IRA, should have their head examined (just look at transfer rates and vote to seat ratios for confirmation).”

    I presume that was directed at me, but if you had read what I wrote it would have helped. I said Labour at 11% got around 25 seats, and that SF with 10- 15% of the vote could expect 12 + seats. So I factored in transfer rates and vote to seat ratio’s in my little prediction. (Its still probably completely wrong in all fairness).

    And I’m not sure how accurate all this talk about FF/LAB being the inevitable outcome is. Labour are rabidly anti0-FF and vice versa. I couldn’t see it lasting more than a year

  13. I think the PDs need to re-start their verbal attacks on the Sinn Fein-IRA terrorist group. Otherwise, people have short memories and could easily be fooled by more spin from the Sinn Fein-IRA murderers.

  14. Let’s be realistic. SF may well get a poll bounce from whatever their big announcement turns out to be. This will dissipate after the following bank job/bar brawl/whateveryourhavingyourself. FF is not going to touch them with a bargepole. If they need more votes in the Dail they will look to PDs, independents and Labour in that order.

  15. It’s interesting to see the obsession that Northern Ieland posters have with SF/IRA, but they are just not an issue in the real politik of the Republic. Neither FF or FG will go into government with them, probably not for another decade, and then only if SF/IRA have trodden the same path as the Workers Party / Democratic Left.

    One key issue that hasn’t been mentioned yet on this thread (and far far more politically significant that any rise in SF/IRA support) is the SSIAs which start to mature next year. With people having a windfall of €20k+ in their pockets, the satisfaction level of the government will jump significantly, and while I don’t think FF/PDs will have the same number of seats as they have now, they can afford to lose up to a dozen, and can still depend on friendly independents.

  16. Martin Dub “Labour are rabidly anti-FF and vice versa.” It would be more accurate to say that the party is currently “Rabbittly anti-FF”. Many Labour party people are just as anti FG as they are anti-FF, but at the moment they are saddled with a leader who has a blindspot towards FF.

    The whole concept of comparing (even after you consider lower transfer etc) Labout vote-to-seat to SF/IRA vote-to-seat is nonsense. You would be better off comparing previous “left of Labour” groupings like CnaG, WP and DL.

    Juper “But Gerry Adams own personal rise of 8 points is very significant”. Not it isn’t compare it to the other party leaders (and previous ratings for Adams).

  17. Keith M

    “C na G” , surely you mean Clann na Poblachta not Cumann na Gaedhael. I wasnt really comparing Labour and SF in any case.

    Hopefully the SSIAs won’t have too much of a positive impact on FF vote. There are going to be a lot of happy campers. Hopefully most of them will say “Screw them, I’ll take their money and vote against them”. And then there will be a lot of disgruntled jealous neighbours who didn’t get an SSIA, and will be rightly pissed off with FF. It could work both ways, you never know how things work out. But SF will hold balance of power

  18. Keith M

    If Sinn Féin poll 11% at the next election in the 26 counties, then even allowing for the fact that they suffer from lack of transfers, they will still be well placed to get 12 seats out of 166, which is only 7% of the seats.

    12 seats for SF could well leave the Dáil int he position where the only possible coalition not involved SF will be FF/Lab. If that happens, I’d be delighted as people would see that Labour’s word isn’t worth the paper it’s written on and so Sinn Féin will be able to take huge chunks of a disaffected left vote and soon overtake the Labour Party to be the third largest party in the 26 counties.

  19. Anyone with an SSIA account isn’t going to get a cent from Fianna Fáil – The money comes from the PEOPLE.Likewise the costs of all the recent money wasted by this government on half baked ideas like e-voting machines and frightening cost overruns e.g. the LUAS is borne by the taxpayers. Whether taxes will have to be raised or cutbacks introduced to pay for the SSIA scheme remains to be seen.

  20. Martin Dub “C na G , surely you mean Clann na Poblachta”. Correct, my mistake. Clann na Poblachta were the first significant “left of Labour” party with a nationalist bias. Of all parties that have trodden the same path since (WP, DL, SF/IRA etc), none has re-captured their vote and seat share at their peak.

    Your point that “Anyone with an SSIA account isn’t going to get a cent from Fianna Fáil” and ssia man’s “The money comes from the PEOPLE” can be covered as one. Yes the SSIAs are simply the taxpayer getting some of their own money back, but that is thanks to the FF/PD government. It just isn’t the SSIAs themselves, but FF and the PDs can play the “at least you get something for your money with us card”. In an economy that has grown, in no small part thanks to a low tax regime, most people will be loathe risking that, especially if tax and spend parties like Labour and the Greens are part of the alternative.

    PS, I’m not arguing with the fact that SF/IRA couldn’t double their seats (that’s still inside previous “left of Labour” territory), but even with 10-12 seats, that is unlikely to hold the balance of power. Previous history has shown that all kinds of combinations can work involving independents and the micro-parties. I still believe that both FF and the PDs will be in government in two years time with or without the support of friendly independents.

  21. its amazing we have these polls at all if it all means nothing! Waste of money and those pollsters are parasitic on society!

  22. Your all reading way to much into one opinion poll.SF will always lose out in the south. Unless they are very near thw quota on the first count they dont stand a chance, coughs, remember Meehan in S,Antrim. How red faced was he?.

    The Irish at the next election will have a clear choice, A FG/Green/Labour government or a FF/PD one. I doubt when the election comes SF will poll anywhere near 11%. Remember the election is two years away.

  23. Fianna Fail will be butchered in the next election, not least because of berties personal unpopularity, the most frequent comment i hear now is about why doesnt he put the 170,00 he spends on make-up and nail manicures every year into seatbelts for school busses. mc Dowell is in trouble also –heard a Fianna Fail councillor being roasted by callers in on a radio program last night–Mc DOWELL said the 64 million spent on prison officers overtime was ludicrous,but viewers pointed out that he wont hire more wardens,the criminals have to be guarded AND that he doesnt seem to have any problem with the 1.8 BILLION(NO MISTAKE)that is paid out by the department of juistice on Mc Dowells own profession (solicitors & barristers) through the legal aid board ,mainly on tribunal lawyers at 2,000 an hour–these tribunals costing so much to the tax-payer are mainly the result of the ruling parties corruption and incompetence and the people involved should not be intitled to legal aid—more deserving would have been the Mac BREARTYS who did not receive it.

    The Mc Breartys are also going to be a big issue in the next election—people have had enough of FF/PD.

    If the yearly budget of the prison service was gave back –it would only cover the running of the justice department for 12 days–yet some-one has to guard the most violent prisoners in the country and face threats to themselves and their families from Violent and ruthless drug gangs.

    my prediction on the next election—FF/PD in for a very rude awakening FG/Labour will make gains but nothing dramatic same with Sinn fEIN-the greens will get most of the protest vote as lot of people uncomfortable with Sinn Fein still.

  24. More from the poll this morning

    Overall 51 per cent of voters chose a coalition combination with Fianna Fáil participation, with 36 per cent choosing a combination with Fine Gael participation.

    While party support figures published on Saturday showed Fine Gael and Labour making significant gains at Fianna Fáil’s expense, these parties have yet to convince a large enough proportion of the electorate to choose them as the core of an alternative government.

    Of those who would prefer a different coalition, 34 per cent want a Fianna Fáil-led option. The other preferences of those wanting a different coalition are: Fine Gael/Labour, 27 per cent; Fine Gael/Labour/Green, 14 per cent; Fianna Fáil/Labour, 11 per cent; Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin, 11 per cent; Fine Gael/Labour/PD, 7 per cent; Fine Gael/Labour/Sinn Féin, 7 per cent; Fianna Fáil/Green, 5 per cent; Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael, 5 per cent; none of these 7 per cent; and don’t know/no opinion 6 per cent.

    Amid evidence that a number of Fianna Fáil TDs are tiring of coalition with the PDs, it emerges that some 27 per cent of Fianna Fáil voters would prefer a different coalition. Some 10 per cent want a Fianna Fáil/Labour option; 6 per cent Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin and 5 per cent Fianna Fáil/Green Party, 2 per cent Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael and 4 per cent an option involving Fine Gael and Labour but excluding Fianna Fáil.

  25. Also from todays report :

    There is also a very low tolerance for any Sinn Féin participation in government with just 11 per cent favouring it. Half of these are Sinn Féin supporters.

    Just 6 per cent of Fianna Fáil voters would prefer a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin coalition. Some 6 per cent of Labour voters and 4 per cent of Fine Gael supporters would choose a Fine Gael/Labour/Sinn Féin coalition. Among the two thirds of Sinn Féin voters who want to see the party in government, there is a two to one preference for government with Fianna Fáil.

  26. Pat,

    “Yet a tangible increase for both this time around is not really important”.

    Those who suggest there’s no significant change up or down – both this time and last time – are the only ones who have it right. It’s effectively a stasis. We’ll have to wait until October now to see if SF can move forward again.

    This will largely depend on the nature of IRA’s much heralded statement on its attitude to the future development of politics.

  27. I have heard a very strong rumour this week that there is a new group active out there called something like saoirse na eireann, I heard they are a republican setup who apparently claimed responsibility for the recent marathon bomb attack on the chief constable. They also have claimed responsibility at the start of May for the Lisburn Civic Center building bomb in April and and numerous hoaxes and firebombs before xmas at B&Q for example. The version I heard came from someone working at the irish news and a friend heard something similar at cool fm. Yet its not been mentioned publicly anywhere else. Any journos on here shed any light? Bearing in mind the Marathon bomb was a viable remote control device isnt it in our interest as members of the public to know if there is an emerging new threat from a republican terror group capable of targeting the chief constable with a remote control bomb capacity? Is this a covername for mainstream republicans? What does this say for the present political situation despite the imminent IRA announcement? I dread to think !!!

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