RED C Poll gives FF a five point bounce…

Red C had a poll out yesterday (albeit on a half size sample) which will undoubtedly underwrite the political instincts of Bertie Ahern to cut whilst he’s ahead. It gives FF a five point rise from 35% to 40%. Fine Gael drops to 22% 28% from 30% (not so ouch!). Also 15% of previous Fine Gael voters would be more likely to vote Fianna Fáil, as would nearly 20% of independent voters. Pat Leahy on the others:

Support for the smaller parties is largely unchanged since last week, with the exception of a three-point drop for Sinn Fein. The Green Party gains a point to 9 per cent, its highest rating of late and almost twice what the party achieved in the general election. Labour remains at 11 per cent. The PDs are rooted at 1 per cent, well inside the polling margin of error.

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  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    That’s an error on FG, they are down 2% to 28%.

  • Jer

    The margin of error was +/- 4% on this. Thats pretty hefty. Real grain of salt territory but considering 63% plum for Cowen against 24% for Enda as an Taoiseach then Enda has a real issue to face up to. His debate with Cowen made me wince. He was ruthlessly exposed and I am afraid he has to go as well if there is to be any building up of the party. As a super clean image guy he was a good foil to the signer of Charles J Haughey’s checks but now that the game is in the second half its time for a substituition. I dont see how they will fight another election (locals/EU) with him.

  • Mick Fealty

    Thanks Mark. Doh!

    I think it’s indicative of a confusion found more broadly within the opposition though Jer. What do any of them stand for (other than not being FF)?

  • Jer

    Generally they are hard to distinguish from FF -who, like John Cusack in Grosse Point Blank, have a certain moral flexibility. I dont think the whole we’re not FF strategy would be so bad if it was delpoyed correctly. Would it not have been better to hammer home on the economy and various other issues and end every speech witha Cato like statement ” but bertie wouldn’t know about that he cant even manage his finance” or something to that effect. Instead it was isolated into an attack on Bertie only.He certainly deserved everything they threw at him but they need to get hungry. Dont they realise power must be earned and then taken, not earned and handed on a plate.

  • Mick Fealty

    Lack of coherence (and a vague sense that they’d be no better) may be a greater problem. Politics in a post ideological space like the Republic is territorial and tough.

    Fine Gael’s innate liberalism may be it’s biggest problem. It had a sense of purpose and direction in the eighties, when it won big with FitzGerald. But it’s overly generous (for it, rather than the country) deal at Tallaght, effectively sold it’s own ideas to the government, insulated them politically from the inevitable backlash and left FF free to trade intelligently in coalition partners, in order to suit the needs of the day ever since.

    I’m not sure what they do to change that. Other than get more serious about understanding the nuances of the business of government. And learning its intricacies better than the government ministers themselves. In other words, do what Cameron’s people have been doing in Britain.

  • Jer

    Does that lack of coherence and innate sense of not being good enough not reflect on the collective leadership which does not have the drive or leadership qualities to break through inertia and give it a purpose. The very fact that Fine Gael’s policies are so similar to FF could be a strength to them; the impression exists that they learned politics in debating societies and Fianna Fail learned it on the street.
    The Tallaght strategy was a long time ago but I think the mindset that engendered it persists. It was helpful at the time but will it require a sweep of the broom to refocus the party.
    How in FG has the edge to do that?

  • truth and justice

    Fs to win next eliction

  • Greenflag

    ‘Fine Gael’s innate liberalism may be it’s biggest problem. It had a sense of purpose and direction in the eighties, when it won big with FitzGerald.’

    Fitzer won because he represented the ‘liberal’ wing within FG . FG like FF is a broad church . Unlike FF it has apart from under Fitzer not been able to keep the right wing faction and the left liberals together as a coherent opposition. Kenny is too weak a leader to make that happen . FG could be split into three factions right /centre and left being split among PD’s , FF and Labour and they would’nt be missed .

    ‘the impression exists that they learned politics in debating societies and Fianna Fail learned it on the street.’

    It’s not just an impression it’s a fact of life . Anybody who has seen Bertie or CJ working the street as compared to Enda Kenny and his predecessor whose name I forget (that says it all ) would know that FG have a mountain to climb in street politics . Given the intense personality clashes which are endemic within and between political parties in multi seat constituencies this is where FG lose out to the stronger FF organisational structure .

    The only FG politician who struck me as having the bottle to deal with FF was Ivan Yates but alas he’s retired from politics.

    Gilmore is in a precarious position in Dun Laoghaire next time out . A drop of 2% would mean a new career for the Labour leader . One thing is certain he’ll be getting very few transfers from FF next time out .

  • sammaguire

    As U.S. pollster Frank Luntz (no vested interests presumably) said after the last general election Fine Gael did (relatively) well in spite of Kenny not because of him. FF will be hoping FG don’t dump him before the next election.