Sinn Fein surge taking ground from Labour in a volatile electorate…

I’m hoping we’ll have more detailed comment on the Irish Times poll. So treat this as a short preamble to other’s contributions. First, this is the Irish Times catching up with the last Red C poll. It confirms the Sinn Fein surge as the major political dynamic at the moment. It’s not an all time high, but it is way above where the party has been punching for the last few years.

The consensus on Morning Ireland this morning is that this is bad news for Fianna Fail. But 17 per cent it is probably a more realistic rating than the Red C’s poll for the Sun which gave them a mere 13%. As Stephen Collins notes too, it is the older generation who are sticking with them because they are “largely insulated from cuts.”

They are also the demographic who get out and vote.

Although it’s not been popular to say it on Slugger, Fine Gael are playing it very much steady as she goes,and reaping the reward of a stable rating in the polls. Michael Noonan’s response to the budget may not have been as ‘commanding’ as the Irish Independent suggests, but it had the virtue of being calm when others were losing their nerve.

What happens on the left will be interesting, with Labour seemingly losing support to Sinn Fein. Interestingly all leaders seem to be dropping capital regardless of their parties’ fortunes, although in Gerry Adams’ case its more steady as she goes than a drop as such.

Last word to the Times’ own leader which wraps the current dynamic within the country as neatly as any I’ve seen today:

The anger and volatility of the electorate has been revealed in the latest Irish Time /Ipsos MRBI opinion poll that also shows an unprecedented shift of support between the Opposition parties as uncertainty grows about the composition and policies of the next government.

It concludes by noting that “one-third of voters say they may change their voting intentions by election day”.

See also:

Michael White in the Guardian

Sinn Fein and the Labour Party

The (unmissable) Adrian Kavanagh

Keep an eye on Dotksi

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