New Poll numbers make grim reading for Irish Government

The new MRBI poll numbers to be reported in tomorrow’s Irish times make for truly awful reading for the government and An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen. After the summer period when traditionally FF numbers have tended to go up with the Oireachtas not sitting and the absence of real new, this makes the drop which goes so much against the seasonal trend look even worse.

Fianna Fáil, 17 per cent (down 3 points); Fine Gael, 34 per cent (down 2 points); Labour, 24 per cent (up 1 point); Sinn Féin, 10 per cent (up 2 points); Green Party, 3 per cent (no change); and Independents/others, 12 per cent (up 2 points).

While there is some greater legitimacy in my view to question the alteration of the core numbers and the allocation of the undecideds to get the headline figures, the fact that Labour are 2% ahead of FF when it comes to the core numbers is sign of how much FF have collapsed in Dublin and urban areas.

“In Dublin Labour is in first place with 25 per cent, one point ahead of Fine Gael on 24 per cent with Fianna Fail trailing back in fourth place in the capital on 11 per cent, a point behind Sinn Fein.”

I wonder what their numbers in the commuter belt around Dublin are these days. SF can be reasonably content with their party position though the drop in satisfaction with Gerry Adams might be just the sort of nod that’s as good as wink to a blind man to move things one way or the other in the internal discussion about the medium term leadership changes the party may be contemplating.

You can get more comment on them here, but the more immediate question is – can a government with only the support of 1 in 5 voters get them to pass a referendum that at least some will see as a chance to give them a kicking? Would you buy a used treaty from them?

Core numbers Fianna Fáil, 16 per cent (down 3 points); Fine Gael, 26 per cent (down 2 points); Labour, 18 per cent (up 1 point); Sinn Féin, 9 per cent (up 1 point); Green Party, 2 per cent (no change); Independents/ others, 9 per cent (up 2 points); and undecided voters 20 per cent (up 1 point).

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    These figures confirm that rumours of the death of FF are only slightly exaggerated. The underserving FG, who shared the same crazy, mad-dog economic ideology as FF ie what goes up must continue to go up, are the main beneficaries with a leader who makes John Major seem like Mr Charisma. But to be fair, they were less corrupt than FF and they will have the Labour Party to keep tabs on them. SF may well benefit from Labour doing a stint with the underdogs of Irish capitalism during a period of inevitable chronic social problems as spending cuts take their toll.

    Really interesting election with Paddy Power making 2009 favourite year for an lection at 11/8 (but thses odds having lengthened from evens over last few days) and FG/Labour hot favourites at 1/2. Bring it on.

  • Scaramoosh

    So the propsect of a Sinn Féin/Labour coalition remains real.

  • Mack

    Scaramoosh –

    So the propsect of a Sinn Féin/Labour coalition remains real.

    With a combined 34%?

    FF complete meltdown…

  • alan56

    Bad news for SF ref Party leader numbers. Gerry Adams down 2 points

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    the nearest to your Lab/SF option offered by my trusty pal Patrick Power esquire is FG/Lab/SF at 20/1. Though you can have FF/SF/Green at 12/1.

  • Pete Baker


    Margin of error?


    The ‘satisfaction with party leaders’ figures are also available.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    This is not a good (in the longer term) election for a left wing party to win or to co-win as part of a coalition which will has to force feed the plain people of Ireland the horrible medicine of austerity and also present them with the bill for the years of gorging and over indulgence.

  • Logo

    Erm slugger is primarily an NI blog. So who gives a shit about this poll…?

  • Pete, normally mrbi is +/- 3%

  • dunreavynomore

    Erm, Logo, I do.

  • villager

    I think you might mean grim reading Dan?

  • Logo,

    Don’t be such a facetious idiot, this is one of the most serious and important political crises the Republic of Ireland has ever faced and anyone interested in politics of any sort is interested in it.

    Great news that Fianna Fail are doing so badly but the depressing thing is that many of their losses are Blue Shirt gains, leaving the right-wing Civil War duopoly largely intact. Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit is right; if the left wish to make progress then they need to avoid the traps of a ‘national government’ with the right-wing parties and force the latter to align themselves together in order to unleash their austerity. Hopefully then the true nature of the party system will be exposed and a realignment will occur. For Labour to prop up the Blue Shirts would be suicide.

  • cabbage and ham

    to be fair to Eamon Gilmore, anytime i have heard him answer that question, he has refused point blank and has only talked about a “labour government”

    considering that Gilmore was originally Workers Party, i cant see them going into coalition with the blueshirts.

    its left wing government or nothing.

    but thats just my own interpretation.

  • Henry94

    Once the election is over Gilmore will talk to the other left wing parties, including Sinn Fein first.

    The SP and the SWP front PBP may well take seats.

    If he can put together a left-alliance with more TDs than FG then he will insist on being Taoiseach in the new government. If FG don’t like it they can make a deal with what’s left of Fianna Fail.

  • slug

    Reality check: No election needed until 2012; economic situation looks very different then.

  • RepublicanStones

    I wouldn’t be feathering me nest if I was a shinner or Gilmore goon just yet. Polls are good for stirring debate, but not much else.

    Logo do you think if we looked back through Pete Bakers star gazing threads we’d see such a childish comment?

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    Slug, I think you could be right about 2012 but there will still probably be a change in govt (definitely if FG get rid of Kenny). FF have now their lowest ever base to work from, particularly in the sense that their local council numbers were severely weakened earlier this year (and that was from a relatively low base after their poor show in the 04 locals).

    But hey, I suppose we must never underestimate the short memory of the electorate.

  • Henry94


    If Lisbon goes down again (I assume the Irish Times will have a poll on that in the morning) then the government will fall. They could not carry on in that situation.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    there may not be an election until 2012 but the Green party need to stay on side and as Blackadder might have remarked they are as wobbly as a wobbly thing that has gone to study wobbliness at Queens university.

    And see Paddy Power – ‘they’ called the Norn Iron Euro elections very, very well. This year is still favourite.

  • slug

    “If Lisbon goes down again (I assume the Irish Times will have a poll on that in the morning) then the government will fall. They could not carry on in that situation.”

    I disagree. They could so! Its a mid term referendum on Europe in a recession so easily explained. As for Ireland’s positive reputation in Europe, that of course could not carry on in that situation.

  • slug


    Greens, I believe, will calculate that staying in and holding out for economic recovery will be better than bailing out and facing the election.

    Why would an unpopular govt parties face the elctorate now when things will turn up in 12 months and they can face them after then, with possible credit for the upturn.

  • Nordie Northsider

    Slug: ‘Reality check: No election needed until 2012; economic situation looks very different then.’

    Don’t rule out an early election. The Greens are having real problems with NAMA. Green chairman Dan Boyle said in a radio interview that getting to January was going to be a struggle and put the chances of a snap election at 40/60.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit


    I agree it is a real problem for them – but if they effectively ‘bring the government down’ they will be able to claim some credit and although they will suffer – perhaps they might calculate they will suffer even more if they run the duration. I think the damage to the government but partiuculalry FF will last some time – just like in Britian – people want to condemn the Labour party to opposition and even if there is some recovery in Britian the Tories will still look like a safe bet.

  • Villager, I did mean grim but somehow once I’d made the mistake it seemed appropriate.

    Also, regarding a Green pull out, if they did it over something that it is plainly unpopular like NAMA they could still hold most of their seats.