So, this is pretty good news for Sinn Fein:
Sunday Times Poll, State of Parties: FG 32 (+2) LAB 10 (-1) FF 16 (-4) SF 25 (+4) IND (No change)
Sunday Times Poll Satisfaction: Gerry Adams 46% (-2) Ends Kenny 41% (-3) Eamon Gilmore 34% (-1) Micheál Martin 33% (-7) Eamon Ryan 25%
The last few of the ST’s Behaviour and Attitudes Poll has been out of sync with other recent polls, notably the last Red C poll a few weeks back. But it doesn’t control for likelihood to vote in the way the Red C poll does.
Coming the week before the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis, it’s yet another awkward moment for that party. The truth is that there’s not been much play for them in the wider world of politics.
There’s some sense that SF is out, and nightly, winning the battle of the opposition parties on the airwaves. However the only party taking consistent scores out of most polls is Fine Gael, with Labour scoring down near its pre FF collapse figures in that corridor of 10 to 14 per cent.
But there’s a long way to go. Two years before the 2007 election private polling was suggesting large losses for Fianna Fail and strong gains for Sinn Fein. So there’s a long way to go yet. But it must be having an energising effect on Sinn Fein activists.
My own inner sceptic points out that in last February’s general election only Fianna Fail did noticeably better than the trend of polls in the traumatic period leading up to a forced election. Labour did slightly better at the end, but the Gilmore Gale had none of the transformative effects the party hoped for prior to the election campaign itself.
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