So, that Irish Times Poll. The core vote for the parties when the undecided voters are included is: Fianna Fáil 35 per cent (down three points); Fine Gael 19 per cent (down one point); Labour 8 per cent (no change); Sinn Féin 7 per cent (up two points); Green Party 6 per cent (up three points); PDs 1 per cent (down one point); Independents/others 6 per cent (down one point); undecided 18 per cent (up one point). From a Sinn Fein perspective it is a much needed relief in nearly two years of slide (though a two per cent rise is not exactly a swallow, never mind an early summer). The last time the party picked up decent core vote figures was June 2005, when, despite a hammering in the press over the Northern Bank robbery and the murder of Robert McCartney, they turned in a robust performance:
The core support for the parties is Fianna Fáil 31 per cent, down 5; Fine Gael 19 per cent, up 2; Labour 10 per cent, up 1; Sinn Féin 9 per cent, up 2; Progressive Democrats 3 per cent, unchanged; Green Party 4 per cent, up 1; Others 8 per cent, down 2.
It remains to be seen whether the party can actually move forwards. Despite understandable temptations to spin this as a bounce, it won’t be clear until the election itself whether SF’s fortunes are back on track.
If there is a bounce, it is in today’s leadership figures which gives Gerry Adams a significant bounce of 7% in his personal rating. However, it would hard to push that line too far since in the same poll Michael McDowell, who’s party, according to the poll, appears to be sinking beneath his feet, has risen by some 6%. It is a notoriously fickle measure of mood, rather than long term attitudes.
Over the same period the Greens appear to have consolidated their base up better than most. Indeed Adam Maguire notes could put them in an important position when it come to the horse trading to form the next government.
For a decent tracking poll, check out Guth an Phobail (Voice of the People). It’s written in Irish, but the stats are readable in any language!
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