Despite shifting money in the betting market, it looks like Fianna Fail are making a late run. World By Storm cautions about consistent under polling by Fianna Fail. That is certainly one question raised by today’s Irish Times poll, which gives Fianna Fail a five point bounce.
The core vote for the parties is: Fianna Fáil 39 per cent (up four points); Fine Gael 21 per cent (down one point); Labour 8 per cent (down two points); Sinn Féin 8 per cent (no change); Greens 5 per cent (up one point); PDs 1 per cent (down one point); Independents/ others 4 per cent (no change); and undecided voters 15 per cent (no change). When voters were asked which of the alternative coalitions they would like to see forming the next government, the Fianna Fáil-PD coalition had moved into a six-point lead over the Fine Gael-Labour alliance, with the possible support of the Greens.
This marked a significant turnaround from the previous week when the alternative alliance had a two-point lead. There was also a change in the perception about who would win the election, with a four-point lead for the Fianna Fáil-PD coalition compared to a one-point lead for the Fine Gael-led alternative in the previous poll.
On the issue of the Taoiseach’s finances, only 29 per cent of voters believe he has given the full picture, while 58 per cent think he has further questions to answer. When asked if it was a serious issue in the election campaign, 36 per cent said it was but 54 per cent said it was not. An overwhelming majority of Fianna Fáil and PD voters felt it was not an issue but a majority of all other party supporters felt it was.
The PDs are hard to read, since they punched well above their weight in 2002. If a constituency by constituency analysis from local journos on Rodney Rice’s Saturday View gave them just two seats. They may have cause to regret that velvet coup d’etat in which Mary Harney was displaced by Michael McDowell last summer. Though some may be hoping they get pulled in in the slip stream of the major government partners, it’s looking a tough call.
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