El Blogador has some interesting figures from the Hearts and Minds poll that show the overall nationalist support going down. His own party, the SDLP is currently holding its own, but it shows Sinn Fein down by about 4 points.
The figures overall from 2005 were thus:
Sinn Féin: 24.32%
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP): 17.51%.
This reveals that there has been a drop in the overall nationalist vote, with SF falling by four percentage points and the SDLP by roughly three-quarters of a percentage point. While the SF drop is of course good news for the SDLP (and possibly due to republican disillusionment with SF’s semi-commitment to policing), the SDLP is still not recapturing the votes it lost to Sinn Féin. However, the potential of SF suffering from ‘Stay At Home Syndrome’ similar to that endured by the SDLP, may indeed benefit the latter.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty