Greens moving into position to be king-makers?

The Sunday Business Post/Red C tracking poll continues to chart the long term trends in declared first preference votes ahead of the expected summer Irish General Election. Red C Managing Director Richard Colwell gives his view on the results here – and there’s a brief RTÉ report hereFrom the Sunday Business Post

When we look at the underlying trends in support, based on three months of our tracking poll data rolled together, the key insight is that the long-term downward trends for Fine Gael, and the long-term upward trend for Fianna Fail, have been brought to an end.

It will be crucial to see next month whether this is the beginning of a real closing of the gap in support between the two largest parties, or if this is where support for the parties now lies and remains relatively steady.

The two parties that should be most happy with the underlying trends at this stage are the Labour Party and the Green Party, both of whom are the only ones to see gains in underlying support over time.

and potentially of interest to our own, more local, political landscape..

Support for the Green Party in today’s poll rises again to 8 per cent, twice as high as the party obtained at the last general election, and this confirms that the party has the opportunity to do extremely well at the next one.

Green Party strategists will be working hard to try and convert that support into seats, which is the more difficult task for the party.

Sinn Fein, on the other hand, performs relatively poorly in this poll; its support has fallen off in recent months and it receives just 7 per cent of the first preference vote. This is the same as recorded last month and is back to the same level the party gained at the last election.

Having spent much of the time between elections with support hovering at about 10 per cent, this poll is very bad news, and suggests that the party has an uphill task to turn its fortunes around at the polling booths in three months’ time.