Second poll shows Fine Gael ahead by twice the margin of any other southern party…

Usual caveats and health warnings attach to’s poll for political preferences in today’s Sunday Times. It’s the youngest of all three polls and probably the most erratic. It was first to show a bounce for Sinn Fein and now shows a significant drop in sentiment for that party just days after the more established Irish Times poll showed a significant leap.

What it does demonstrate is the party with most consistent support (despite some seriously dropped ball) is Fine Gael. For some reason, the Greens (who have no TDs in this Dail) get a 5% rating. Labour are on 14%, which like the Irish Times poll means they are close to their traditional pre Gale support (and where they’ve been in most polls since last October).

Fianna Fail remain steady as do the Independents.

The only big move is a drop for Sinn Fein to 16% from 25% (see Paul’s correction in the comments below) in a similar poll in February. The analysis being offered for this is that it’s a big drop in their rating. Hard to see that there’s not some outlier effect on both these polls (unless someone else can proffer an explanation.

Otherwise, it seems that SF is experiencing huge mood swings in public opinion, maybe because it is not easy to ascertain what the party is actually standing for, other than arguing against almost anything the government proposes. One of the reasons Labour is suffering now is that it’s surge in the polls was based on promises made to the public that found it could not keep in coalition with FG.

The good news for them is that they remain bundled with two parties that were formerly much bigger than them in the Dail. The bad news is that the people are as volatile as hell…


  • lamhdearg2

    Do i get a star for guessing that, those that rubbished the times poll believe this one, and the reverse.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mick, going by a certain other site Red C seems to be the most reliable poll, would you agree?

    I’m going for the usual cop out and believe the truth is probably somewhere in the middle 🙂

  • Mick Fealty

    Yep. By some margin. None of them approach an actual poll though.

  • PaulT

    DR, RedC are considered the Gold Standard, however, the reason for the differences in this and the MRBI poll a few days ago is that MRBI (unlike RedC and these guys) assumes everyone will vote, so the raw data is probably pretty much the same, but the 6% drop for SF is due to their support being in areas with low turnout, so the votes are actually there, just need to get them into the polling booth on the day.

    Great to see Gerry Adam’s personal approval rate so consistant, guess its a good thing SF don’t take any advice offered by Slugger!

  • FuturePhysicist

    Paul T the approval dropped under the same conditions that the Red C poll usually take. This may correlate in the next MRBI as the public on both sides of the Treaty debate lash out Sinn Féin’s really watery attack on what they call the Austerity Treaty, losing votes to far better opposition from the United Left, Éamon Ó Cuív and several independents.

    For what its worth the Green Party under Ryan’s leadership are still pro-Fiscal.

  • FuturePhysicist

    @Paul … what do Sinn Féin actually stand for by the way?

  • andnowwhat


    Which Sinn Féin?

  • Mick Fealty


    Absolutely right Paul, on the adjustment of the figures at least. I should have made room for that in the original post. This is the first time BandA have used adjusted figures, so in effect, there is no big fall back for the SF vote. The MRBI is consistent with the unrefined BandA figure which is 20%.

    Here’s the relevant technical note from BandA’s report:

    Most polling companies in Britain and Ireland publish their raw survey results as an index of fluctuations in the emotional mood of voters. They also build in an adjustment based on a number of factors. Where we have reports of how people voted in the last general election as well as how they intend to vote in the next one we can use these data to model the likely level of swing from the last election results.
     We then add back in the forecasts of voters who have not voted last time or do not answer that particular question.
     Finally we take into account each individuals stated likelihood of voting in a forthcoming General Election.

    As for your point about Adams, I’m not quite sure what precisely you’re referring to there?