Latest polling: Fine Gael pocket most of the benefit of the Troika farewell?

So, the latest poll in the south. Just four things worth considering:

33% of those asked do not have a clear preference. This is an indication of the wider state of mind of the electorate. It probably poses the greatest challenge to Fianna Fail since it represents a large tranche of voters who appear to have turned their back on politics in Ireland since the party’s defenestration in February 2011.

Independents have dropped five percentage points. This is an downturn for a block that seems to have been benefitting most consistently from dissatisfaction with government. And it seems to be the government that has benefitted most from their loss. It should be noted that the independent block is now augmented with a bunch of ex government TDs, so the maverick individual brand may be as pristine in the public mind as it was before.

Fine Gael is up four points. The lead government party have come through a sticky time for them in the run up to the budget, and serial problems with costs in the HSE. The current controversy over top up payments has probably benefitted them more than any other parliamentary grouping. They will hope the going home of the Troika (in a few days time) marks a decisive break with the lost sovereignty narrative so long as the US recovery continues to filter in and the EU continues to ‘stumble forward’.

Labour’s recovery is not a recovery as such. The last Irish Times survey had the Labour Party at a meagre 6%, which has to be treated as something of an outlier. Despite the lift to Fine Gael they are losing the battle for the working class with Sinn Fein, and to some extent even Fianna Fail. If the recovery continues even at the moderate pace, it’s hard to see what Labour can do to rise above the tidy managerialism of the Fine Gael big ship. Horrendously rising debt is the country’s biggest ongoing problem. Some kind of deal on residual debt with the ECB might just release some cash for a functional stimulus. Short of that, it’s hard to see where their room for manoeuvre is.

Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein remain pretty much as they were…

Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.