“There were far fewer undecided voters in Dublin..”

As P O’Neill points out at Irish Election, it’s not as if there is an election in the offing, but perhaps the most interesting figure from the Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll is the apparent confirmation of a collapse in support for Sinn Féin in Dublin. Some detail from today’s Irish Times [subs req]

The baseline figures for the core vote of the parties show that the worst region for Fianna Fáil is Dublin, where the party has lost a third of its support since the last poll in May. There has been a corresponding increase in support for Fine Gael and Labour in the capital. In Dublin, Fianna Fáil is now at 26 per cent (down 12 points), while Fine Gael is running at 23 per cent (up 10 points) and Labour at 14 per cent (up 4 points). Apart from Fianna Fáil, the other big loser in the capital is Sinn Féin, which has seen its support more than halved to 5 per cent since May, while the Greens have suffered a significant drop to 6 per cent. There were far fewer undecided voters in Dublin than in any other region of the country.

Also from the poll

The adjusted figures for party support compared with the election outcome are: Fianna Fáil, 33 per cent (down nine points); Fine Gael, 31 per cent (up four points); Labour, 15 per cent (up five points); Sinn Féin, 7 per cent (no change); Green Party, 5 per cent (no change); PDs, 2 per cent (down one point); and Independents/others, 7 per cent (no change).

The silver lining for the Government is that the Green Party has held on to the support it achieved in the election and its new leader and Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, has a solid satisfaction rating.

The poll was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a representative sample of 1,000 voters in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. It was taken after a succession of difficulties for the Government ranging from the Taoiseach’s evidence at the Mahon tribunal to problems in the health service, the row over Shannon airport, the pay rise for Ministers and the provisional licence debacle.

The core vote for the parties compared with the last Irish Times poll just before the election in May is: Fianna Fáil, 30 per cent (down nine points); Fine Gael, 22 per cent (up one point); Labour, 10 per cent (up two points); Sinn Féin, 6 per cent (down two points); Greens, 4 per cent (down one point); PDs, 2 per cent (up one point); Independents/ others, 5 per cent (up one point); and undecided voters 20 per cent ( up five points).

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  • Wee slabber

    The whole “demise of Sinn Fein” commentary reminds me of Brain Faulkner’s weekly announcements in the early 1970’s, that the IRA were on the verge of defeat. Next day half of Belfast would go up in smoke. Point made.

    Politics is a game of ups and downs – SF are down in some areas at present, but only a Faulknerite would announce their demise at this point.

  • Cromwell

    Yes ya Wee Slabber, those days were just great werent they?
    Except if you were a person, or friend/relative of a person who went “up in smoke” along with Belfast.

    Dont see demise mentioned anywhere, so are you implying that half of Dublin will go up in smoke if it is?

  • Wee slabber

    Such aggression Cromwell! My point – perhaps insentively made – is that oft times wishful thinking sems to take the place of logical analysis when it comes to Sinn Fein. My point was no more, or no less.

  • Cromwell

    I bid you good day, it does look more aggressive onscreen than I possibly meant, I’m in cantankerous Friday mode, apologies.

  • harry

    well in a face to face interview, who would admit voting for SF??

    around here many people will not admit to be being SF voter, but when come to the ballot boxes being open , well there is alot of people voting SF.

    and an Irish Times poll??? well i’d wouldnt put alot of faith in the fucking irish times. (lets dream up some news)

  • Cromwell

    I’m looking forward to the day when instead of just saying they dont vote Sinn Fein, they just dont vote Sinn Fein.

  • Sir Herbert Mercer

    A group of falls road thickos throwing stones at a bus is hardly what I’d call newsworthy.

    Surely that’s the norm?

  • Cromwell

    Hitting the sherry a bit early today Sir Herbert?

  • joeCanuck

    Polls are just a snapshot in time.
    I wouldn’t think they mean very much in a non-election period.

  • dewi

    That provisional licence thing a total shambles. Inquiry also damaging in a drip drop fashion. Enda seems a capable bloke also. Dublin so vibrant and flourishing FF should be ok for a decade or so. The concern must be in the West.

  • Sean Og

    Too early to say. A non story in my opinion. As HW once famously said – A week is a long time in politics! Let’s wait and see.

  • Frank Sinistra

    Without getting all CTN, Dublin is interesting. éirígí have been very active in Dublin offering a genuine and credible Socialist Republican alternative in areas that were SF heartlands.

    As SF continues with a PFI/Centre Right agenda and as demonstrated recently by their supporters on p.ie a willingness to consider coalition with FG, even a possible internal debate on qualified acceptance of the EU treaty, there seems to be a bigger and bigger gap for those that base their politics on Connolly’s foundations.

  • kensei

    “As SF continues with a PFI/Centre Right agenda and as demonstrated recently by their supporters on p.ie a willingness to consider coalition with FG, even a possible internal debate on qualified acceptance of the EU treaty, there seems to be a bigger and bigger gap for those that base their politics on Connolly’s foundations.”

    Unless you get a set of extraordinary election results, the options are FG coalition or FF coalition. Ruling out one of two options is madness on a broad scale – it totally blows your negotiating position and your ability to get as much as your platform as you can, which the whole thing should be about. And, as has been demonstrated, there is an electoral cost to being seen as FF Lite.

    It’s tough for SF. I think they are doing the right thing by moving away from Socialism in the Marxist sense. However, they need to move firmly to Social Democracy, somewhere a little to the Left to Labour. They need to pull in some modest but credible policies that deal with some of the inequalities in Ireland and start from there.

    But to be honest, I haven’t seen any evidence of anything much since the election. It’s a lingering hangover. They can probably console themselves that despite the bad press and the set backs they are still roughly as you were nationally.

    On a point of order – did they poll 10% in Dublin at the election or is this comparing the previous opinion poll?

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    The statistical robustness of the Dublin results is weak and it should be disregarded. Long term Dublin is one of Sinn Féins growth opportunities. Eirigi are not a credible force.

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    For the purposes of clarity yes, SF does not rule out coalition with any party. A left based coalition involving SF and Labour, but not involving FF, looks an attractive option, if we are actually concerned to have a government that wants to generate a more equitable society with better public services aimed at those struggling on the lowest incomes.

  • harry

    dublinsinnfeinsupporter,

    how is SF in dublin helping those struggling on the lowest incomes by supporting the privatisation of the bin collection???

  • Comrade Stalin

    Frank:

    Without getting all CTN, Dublin is interesting. éirígí have been very active in Dublin offering a genuine and credible Socialist Republican alternative in areas that were SF heartlands.

    Yeah, but the Berlin Wall came down years ago, and when you use words like “socialist” people get really scared that you’re going to mess the country up, reasonable enough given the record of other people who have used the same word around the globe. And if you think the word “socialist” is going to get through to the Irish people, I’d suggest you strongly think again lest you end up disappointed.

    Wee slabber, of course the other side of the coin is that every rise is followed by a fall. Now that the IRA have disarmed and Sinn Fein are taking unpopular decisions on behalf of the British, the reasons for voting for them – a kind of uber protest vote – are beginning to diminish. It’s similar for the DUP.

    dublinsfsupporter:

    For the purposes of clarity yes, SF does not rule out coalition with any party. A left based coalition involving SF and Labour, but not involving FF, looks an attractive option, if we are actually concerned to have a government that wants to generate a more equitable society with better public services aimed at those struggling on the lowest incomes.

    You have to answer the fundamental question, though. Why did those people not turn out to vote for you ?

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    CS in reply to your question Sinn Féin actually increased its number of votes in the general election.

  • Danny D

    Things change quickly in Ireland. Predict rioting follwing a banned Orange Order march in 2010, and Sinn Fein’s polling will go right back up

  • Comrade Stalin

    dublinsfsupporter, they lost a seat, but the gain was 0.4%. You can stick your head in the sand if you want to, but the SF project in the Republic is dead.

    You didn’t answer harry’s question. Why are SF supporting the bin tax ?

  • DK

    Frank – aren’t eirigi just a pressure group to try and get dissident (real IRA) republicans out of jail?

  • dublinsinnfeinsupporter

    “dublinsfsupporter, they lost a seat, but the gain was 0.4%. You can stick your head in the sand if you want to, but the SF project in the Republic is dead.”

    Arrant nonsense.

    Sinn Féin is on the verge of getting two extremely able TDs in Donegall and SF’s share of the vote has increased in this general election just as it has done in each since the 1980s.

    Sinn Féin will wield power as kingmakers in the next election as we expect to do a lot better in Dublin with the addition of two or more more seats there next time, taking Sinn Féin to the sort of numbers that make us impossible to ignore when coalitions are being formed for government.

    Sinn Féin’s growth terrifies 26 county conservatives but then they have an interest in the status quo.

    Sinn Féin’s pice for government is the roll out of left wing policies aimed at making things better for the vulnerable and deprived in 26 county society in a setting that does not damage or threaten vibrant wealth creation by business sector.

  • sammaguire

    SF were actually up 18% this year on their 2002 performance. Nobody seems to have told them though.

    “Sinn Féin’s growth terrifies 26 county conservatives but then they have an interest in the status quo.”

    Heard this rubbish before time and time again from Labour, Workers Party, Democratic Left etc etc when they’re out of office.

    Sinn Fein will eventually form part of an Irish Government and will probabably have a positive and responsible contribution to make (like the Greens at present). But I’m pretty certain there’ll be nitwits (Workers Revolutionary Party, People Before Profit etc and that sort of studenty nonsense) knocking them as being conservatives, reactionaries and right wing. Seen it all before and will see it again in the future.

  • CTN

    DSF’s fortunes could turn around from the bad election result and subsequent internal recalibrations if SF continue to draw hardliners like Bobby Storey into their apparatus as this could lead to more hardline members upping their work load and some who left returning- if the likes of Storey are appropriately deployed to Dublin for the rallying of their faithfull.

    SF certainly have weaknesses in Dublin but have been written of too many times before only to come back.

    We can criticise them from now until Doomsday but they do have that Northern stockpile of activists in reserve….

  • CTN

    Think this threads kinda finitoed people- toodle pip.

  • Frank Sinistra

    DK,

    Frank – aren’t eirigi just a pressure group to try and get dissident (real IRA) republicans out of jail?

    No. Whoever is spreading that crap isn’t even a very good liar.

    http://www.eirigi.org

  • Brian Boru

    Almost the same happened after the 2002 election and it continued for nearly 5 yrs but there was a late swing to FF.