“the gulf between the views held by supporters of the three main political parties and Sinn Féin”

Inside the Irish Times Stephen Collins drills down into the data from the survey Brian noted to pick up on an interesting point.  From the Irish Times article

When asked if it was better to be part of the European Union the same pattern emerged.

Among Fianna Fáil voters 87 per cent said it was better to be in the EU with just 9 per cent saying it was not. Fine Gael and Labour voters gave identical responses, with 77 per cent of both sets of party supporters in favour and 17 per cent against in each case.

Sinn Féin supporters presented a different picture, with 53 per cent saying it was better not to be part of the EU and 36 per cent in favour. [added emphasis]

Green voters were for the EU by 50 per cent to 34 per cent while Ind/Others were for by a much more substantial 75 per cent to 19 per cent.

The attitudes to the bailout, sovereignty and Europe reflect the gulf between the views held by supporters of the three main political parties and Sinn Féin.

And, as Stephen Collins says, that should send a message to the more excitable commenters out there

The poll reveals that the attitude of Fine Gael and Labour supporters on these important issues is close. Significantly, there is a wide difference between the views of Labour Party supporters and those of Sinn Féin.

It puts the commentary about a united left front involving Labour, Sinn Féin and far-left groups into perspective as the poll shows Labour supporters have much more in common with Fine Gael voters than Sinn Féin voters. Fine Gael and Labour voters have almost identical views on the Budget with 69 per cent of Labour voters and 70 per cent of Fine Gael saying it was unfair. [added emphasis]

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  • The Word

    This tends to back the position that Sinn Fein have taken votes from the far right of Fianna Fail rather than from Labour in recent opinion polls.

    Fianna Fail has seemingly lost its Eurosceptic vote in this poll, scoring a very high pro-Eurpean vote, much higher than FG and Labour.

    That would seem to indicate that Sinn Fein are appealing to the right and not the left. All that roaring and shouting by Pearse Doherty must impress the right. Talk of bank loan “default” can hardly have impressed those on benefits and on state and other pensions who might see it as against their interests if it leads to a collapse of the nation’s finances and they’re left unable to survive any other way.

  • grandimarkey

    I don’t think it would be in Sinn Fein’s best interests to enter into a coalition, even if the option was open from another party.

    Best thing (assuming they do well in the next election of course) is to form a coherent, strong opposition and try for more seats and possibly a position in government next time around…

  • pippakin

    This election is different there is currently more reason to dislike Europe but we also now know it would be impossible to be completely independent. The electorate will have to decide which is the lesser of the evils.

    I suspect SF will soften some aspects of their anti Europe rhetoric and Labour will harden some of theirs. An alliance of the left is still almost impossible. The difference now is the ‘almost’.

  • Dixie

    grandimarkey, I think that SF getting into a coalition would be akin to winning a ticket for the Titanic.

    When they repeat the mess they are making up here of government they’ll sink like a stone and no amount of Peace Processing will save them.

  • The Word


    The stronger SF and Labour try to align themselves the more that former FF SF votes will go elsewhere leaving SF back to where they were.

    They’ve probably taken all the FF right support they can as it stands. They could make big effort to shaft Labour, lose half their support and, it has to be said, why should anyone believe that they’re really on the left when, as Dixie points out, they haven’t exactly shone in that direction in the North, and their senior personnel just haven’t got that left sheen.

    It will be interesting. The one man band seems now to be so because Pearse Doherty is the main man. It won’t be the first time that their party’s fortunes will depend on someone who seems left in policy but right in nature.

  • Nunoftheabove

    It also tells us – if anything very much – that SF supporters or potential voters are in significant disgreement about European policy.

  • pippakin

    The Word

    Pearse Doherty is Sfs main asset but he is not greater than their past and there could be difficulties especially about Europe. SF are anti EU, that’s fine but they are also anti British, normally fine but this is not a time for any kind of isolationism: it just wont work.

    I completely agree about SFs lack of socialist cred and the real possibility that the further left they move the more FF they will lose. Ireland is not very socialist its mostly centrist, leaning left or right as situations require, so Labour are not particularly left either.

    The next few months are going to be interesting.

    A left alliance would be new and untarnished the odds on it happening are remote but the idea appeals to me.

  • The Word


    “A left alliance would be new and untarnished the odds on it happening are remote but the idea appeals to me.”

    A left alliance involving SF? Where are their intellectuals, so prevalent in the European left? There’s no Micheal D Higgins in SF? They’re a good old boy populist party owing more to US republicanism than to European leftism.

    Don’t be fooled by their policies. They’re just a product of the direction they took to try to do down the SDLP in the North. This is a party who define a fascist introduction to communism in the south. Comsistent? No. Confused? Yes. And the Irish voters will see through their lack of substance.

  • Neville Bagnall

    @ The word said:

    “This tends to back the position that Sinn Fein have taken votes from the far right of Fianna Fail rather than from Labour in recent opinion polls.”

    Yep, that’s my analysis. The nationalist faction. I also predicted that FF would win some of it back. Tomorrows RedC:

    FF +4%, FG +2%, LP -1%, SF -3%.


  • An unexcitable Reuters shows no interest in a ‘resurgent’ Sinn Fein and the electorate, according to the Irish Times, is not really looking forward to a FG/Lab coalition:

    A worrying finding for the Opposition parties was that only 38 per cent of those questioned believe an alternative Fine Gael/Labour Party government would have done any better.

  • Neville Bagnall

    Err, that should be todays RedC poll apparently…

    I think if this election is about economics, Labour and SF will suffer as always when its about economics. They are both to the left of the electorate on economics.

    Strangely given the circumstances, I think this election is the first in a good while which might not be about economics, simply because the electorate is already expecting pain and more pain.

    A vote for SF will be a vote for opposition. A presumption that isolationism will work. I don’t think that will wash in the south, particularly in the long term. Euro-skepticism will help, but its a minority interest.

    Labour and Gilmore need to convince the left electorate that there is more to be achieved than angry speeches from the opposition and back benches and at street rallies.

    And they need to convince the mainstream that they won’t be any worse than FG at running the country, but will change the way its run for the long run, so that when FF or FG have the upper hand again, golden circles will be harder to create or cover up.

    I don’t think Labour has done the work to convince the electorate they are better economists than FG. But I do think they have the track record to convince them that if they promise reform, they will follow through. FG is on much shakier ground there, not least because Enda seems to make it up as he goes along, and can’t even convince his own party.

    To have a left-alliance government, the far left needs to accept that coalition and compromise is acceptable. SF might be there already. The ULA isn’t. But the bigger issue is that the broad left needs to move the overton window further left than it is now. That doesn’t happen during an election campaign.

  • Alias

    “SF are anti EU” – Pippakin

    Actually, they’re pro-EU but eurosceptic. Their policy is that the EU should be reformed by returning more powers from the central bureaucracy to the regions, thereby counterbalancing the so-called democratic deficit. Like others of their naive ilk, they fail to understand the europhile mentality and agenda and mistakenly believe that the EU can be reformed.

    The downside for the Shinners is that they can’t present to their NI supporters any increase in support for them in Ireland that comes by virtue of being Ireland’s only eurosceptic party as being support for their UI agenda since the two dynamics are not interchangeable.

    Given that the real government of Ireland is the EU, the Shinners now have the opportunity to present their party as the real opposition and to grow their support in Ireland on that basis. The other parties all implement a policy at the executive level of only selecting Europhiles as candidates for public office, thereby ensuring that no opposition occurs in the Irish parliament to EU rule. There is simply no debate in public life about the merits of the EU because this debate is carefully censored from public life.

    That failure of the state to promote the national interest was recently condemned by the Master of the High Court, Edmund Honohan, who pointed out that the Irish parliament failed in its duty to scrutinise EU regulation and all simply delegated its parliamentary responsibility to civil servants who simply rubberstamped it. Naturally, that condemnation of the quisling Europhile political class was ignored by the Europhile media.

  • pippakin


    I’m sorry I should have said Euro sceptic.

  • Mark McGregor


    Your +/- is all wrong you have to compare with the last poll using same methodology (the monthly SBP/Red C):

    FG +1
    LAB -4
    FF nc
    SF +3
    Creen -1
    Others +2

  • Mark

    Mark Mc ,

    Well well , you can take the boy out of Sinn Fein but you ……

  • Mark McGregor


    My first love is the numbers. We do not treat them with disrespect.

    If people go to the trouble of actually gathering the data, it’s only fair that they aren’t needlessly spun.

  • 241934 john brennan

    We should all support Sinn Fein. If Gerry Adams can afford 3 houses on one industial wage – without worrying about negative equity or mortages etc – then surely the whole financial crisis is just a government con trick. Forget the IMF and the EU, just ask the Sinn Fein president how it is done.
    Good advice costs nothing and Gerry always gives an honest answer

  • Mark

    Mark Mc ,

    It’s freshing . With the site becoming more and more influential as the southern election beckons , it’s good to see people can’t just post numbers willy nilly .

  • Mark

    Typo – It’s refreshing .

  • JeanMeslier

    Ho ho ho. It’s not just Stephen Collins. They’re all at it this weekend in the Dublin press. Deaglan de Breadun, Harry McGee and Eanna O Caollai Started the web of spin in the Irish Times.
    Eamon Keane leads the charge in the Sindo with an excellent blue-shirt revision of “contemporary SF” as scribed by his talented hand. His reference to SF members as “goons” gives a nice Punch like atmosphere. Yes Eamo it’s a well used tactic and it’s over 150 years old.
    Aengus Fanning, finishes his piece of SF bashing with the word “achtung” obviously hoping for connotations towards the great unwashed, otherwise known as voters.
    But, as always, it’s left to old faithful Eoghan (Harris) To forewarn us with reference to the SF “rocket”.

    I wonder does anybody else find it satisfying to watch the squeeky-bum rantings of this entire shower of incestuous, ivory towered, non-electable, status quo scribes as they slowly realise their actual lack of influence with the “post bailout” electorate.

    Last week Gerry Adams said in Cork : “Sinn Féin now offers the only real alternative to the failed conservative consensus.”

    More and more people are now identifying with this analysis

  • Mark

    Eoghan Harris – The ” thinking man’s ” George Hook !

  • Mark McGregor


    As noted on Cedar Lounge, the Sindo saved it’s shrillest rantings this week for the Unions.

    Of course we all know the Unions and the shinners are the biggest risk to the integrity of the state since it acutually collapsed under FF and the Green’s stewardship

    A now non-existant state (financially) that will need to be rebuilt after a government, bankers and capitalism totally destroyed it – something shinners and unions never got close to doing!

    As soon as the state is rebuilt, those shinners and Unions could really jeopardise it!

  • Mark

    And do you see any room for republicans in your new state Mark ?

  • pippakin

    “If people go to the trouble of actually gathering the data, it’s only fair that they aren’t needlessly spun.”

    The whole point of gathering the data is to spin it. Read into it what you will and take what comfort you can. I doubt many people believe or are impressed by opinion polls.

  • Mark McGregor


    You again miss the point again, assuming I’m making an anti-SF comment.

    I’m pointing out that while the Sindo rants about shinners and Unions, it was the people they’ve always supported – FF, bankers, speculators, capitalists, gombeenists etc. that caused the very real collapse of the southern state.

    It makes their rants about anything, be it Unions or shinners seem high farce.

  • Mark McGregor


    I think that comment amply demonstrates just where your political understanding lies.

    Dismissing a longstanding poll like the SBP/Red C and the value its consistency brings to political analysis indicates just how superficial your understanding is – as if there is any doubt given your bombardment of this site with inane wittering at a huge frequency over an extended period.

    See, like the Red C even Slugger reveals trends.

  • pippakin

    Mark McGregor

    My political understanding does not rely on opinion polls. Fool!

    For the rest – ok

  • Mark

    What does high farce ?

  • Mark

    Mispost , apologies

  • Mark

    Mark Mc ,

    Mark , if I have missed your point , I’m sorry . When you are waiting for an ambush you become defensive . Sometimes I find your musings ambiguous . There comes a time when you have to stop being contrary ( your profile ) and start being constructive . Being a ” celebrity dissident ” carries responsibilities .

  • Alias

    “My political understanding does not rely on opinion polls. Fool!”

    That’s a pity because at least that way it would be tentatively connected to reality. 😉

  • Mark

    That’s funny and very accurate .

  • Pete Baker


    Play the ball.

  • pippakin


    “that’s a pity because at least that way it would be tentatively connected to reality”

    I just spotted your poisonous little offering. One sentence! is that a first. Don’t bother to answer I know it was.

    I don’t believe opinion polls have a purpose beyond chip wrapping and cheap ‘news’. Its a bit like reality tv shows, they have nothing to do with reality but they are cheap. On slow news days the polls have even been known to make the front pages.

    The FF vote has not collapsed as far as even the so called respectable polls suggest, I could produce a list of the number of times OPs have been wrong but what would be the point. The anoraks will still pore over the next poll like a miser looking for gold.

    Of course SF can rely upon your vote this time, that’s nice.

  • Cynic2

    Doh! Their motto is ‘ourselves alone’ and at heart they are little Irelanders who believe in a cult of Celtic racial purity and Aran sweaters.

    Anywhere else they would be benevolently patted on the head but here they rob banks and murder people if they don’t get their own way, so we pay more attention

  • JeanMeslier

    “..Of course SF can rely upon your vote this time, that’s nice…”


    Don’t forget your 2nd preference to SF, as mentioned on a previous thread.

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier

    I haven’t forgotten anything. But,I have to ask myself do i want to vote for any party Alias would vote for, then again I think of Mark McGregor, only a relatively short drive away, and I wonder if I could move north in time to vote unionist at the Assembly elections…

  • Mark

    Pippakin ,

    Whichever election you eventually decide to vote in , I am sure the party in question will consider it a privilege to have your blessing and your vote .

  • pippakin

    And then again there are the sheep, Not so much baying at the moon as bahhing at it. Would any rational person want to be associated with such.

  • JeanMeslier


    I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be associated with sheep worrying

  • pippakin


    LOL but with SF there is always the ‘but’. This is Ireland elections are not just local they are personal. Don’t worry I will always put the prospect of socialism first.

  • Alias

    Is there any party that has a policy that is supportive of the eradication of cats? I’d consider voting for it.

  • JeanMeslier

    Tipp eradicated the cats last September

  • JeanMeslier

    “..This is Ireland..’

    Ah pippakin .

    If The O’Neill had said such a spake in 1601, instead of going to the aid of Kinsale I’m sure we would still be partitioned, but perhaps in reverse to the present situation.

    However it too would also be an illegal abomination.

    So please, my socialist friend, don’t patronise our Irishness which is of as equal a claim and allegiance as anyone else who asserts this nobel birthright or ethnicity

  • pippakin

    Jean Meslier

    What are you talking about? I don’t patronise anyone, thing or ideal. Ireland will be united and that unification will happen all the more quickly if people are allowed to choose in peace because it is a choice.

    I have not changed my mind but I have made the decision to vote for whichever socialist party/s have the best chance of being elected in my constituency. If that is patronising, perhaps all voting is patronising of a kind.’

  • 241934 john brennan

    Why not change the subject? Ben Dunne now backs Sinn Fein. Would that be good enough reason to boycott Dunne’s Stores? After all we boycotted South African sportsmen and oranges, as a protest against apartheid. A mere trifle compared to the injustice of gross human rights abuse against the Disappeared, which is still a cause of untold suffering by their families.
    If we put pressure on Dunne and if, as a result, he puts pressure on the Sinn Fein leadership, the truth might emerge. Victims need to know who gave the hate filled and fatal orders. Who fired the fatal shots? Who commissioned and carried out the gruesome jobs as secret undertakers?
    Why are these shameful Irish secrets still kept secret? Can Ben Dunne, or anyone else bring pressure to bear on secret IRA ‘bankers’? – Thus help remove this horrendous stain from all believers in the true idealism of Irish Republicans