Polls-How have Irish political parties done throughout 2013 ?

It has been an eventful year in Irish politics as the country emerged from the bailout programme, held a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad and introduction of legislation on abortion rights. So, how have the parties been performing over the past year? I took a look at the various RedC polls that have been conducted throughout the year.

In terms of overall party support here is how each party has been performing since 2012.

FG-28.1% (-3.6%)

FF-23.4% (+5.8%)

SF-16.1% (-1%)

Lab-11% (-3.5%)

Others-21% (+2.2%)

During the first half of the year FG and Labour polled very poorly in the aftermath of anorther austerity budget and the fallout from a commitment to legislate for the X-Case. However, this fall in support did not last for FG as they managed to gain back some support towards the end of the year. Labour on the other hand have continued to suffer low levels of support throughout the year and are on track of lose around half of their seats at the next election.

In the opposition, Fianna Fail have had the best year establishing a clear lead over Sinn Fein (last year they were averaging just a 0.6% lead that has now grown to 7%) although the party’s support has been coming down a bit towards the year of the year as they sit around 22-23%.

For Sinn Fein, the party has actually went down a little bit in terms of support as it stays still around 15-17%. I think the party will be happy with this result as it has had a tough year, particularly in the last two months.

Overall, FG/SF largely stable with FF establishing its position as the second place party.Labour continue to decline while smaller parties and independents continue to garner a large amount of support.



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  • I think I may have come this way, via a very different road-map already.

    Conservative Home (i.e. Westminster Tories in theory, but infested by UKIPpers) invited its readership to Vote in ConservativeHome’s End of Year Awards!.

    You should find the second posting in that thread, by a certain Malcolm Redfellow, and voted +8 by the assembled window-lickers, goes in this manner (thoughtfully, but with aplomb — as Rambling Sid didn’t quite say):

    For “Minister of the Year”, how about Enda Kenny?

    The Taoiseach has run a decent right-of-centre administration (with minority Labour support — to the great distress of many Irish Labour supporters). His party, Fine Gael, now sits seven points ahead of Fianna Fáil; and even Labour seems to be recovering from the doldrums. Since the only credible alternative looks like FF+SF (heaven help us!), the coalition looks sound.

    Kenny and his Finance Minister, Brian Noonan, had to pick up the pieces of the disastrous Fianna Fáil boom-and-bust (and how must George Osborne not want us to recall his enthusiasm for that road-crash-about-to-happen). Three years on, Ireland has escaped the EU-IMF “bail-out”. ESRI are foreseeing the end of austerity. Property prices have stabilised across the nation and, especially in Dublin, seem on the up. Unemployment is heading down — and it seems to be quality high-tech employment, especially in the West , that is leading the way: job-increases of 2½% p.a. are anticipated by IBEC. Now even the effects of emigration are being positively reassessed.

    Yes: I know that wasn’t quite what you meant by “Minister of the Year”, but credit where it is due.

    Indeed (despite three critical and supportive hot-links which have gone missing), I think I’d stand by that.

  • FuturePhysicist

    No SDLP?

  • Charles_Gould


    SDLP had a mixed year. On the plus point an increase in vote share in Mid Ulster. On the minus the loss of inspirational figure Conal McDevitt.

  • Republic of Connaught

    “On the minus the loss of inspirational figure Conal McDevitt.”

    Inspirational? I think not.

    But the SDLP were definitely better with an objective Leinsterman trying to speak some rare sense in Stormont than they are without him.

  • Charles_Gould

    Also, the Lucid Talk tracking polls have had SDLP on a rising trend over several polls last year. Looking forward to the next one in a couple of weeks.

  • Republic of Connaught

    “Also, the Lucid Talk tracking polls have had SDLP on a rising trend over several polls last year. Looking forward to the next one in a couple of weeks.”

    Ireland needs a strong SDLP. They’re a respected party north and south with ordinary, decent Irishmen and woman who didn’t involve themselves in bombs and bullets during the troubles.

    But they need to be stronger and more aggressive in their pursuit of all Ireland strategies. That doesn’t mean attacking unionism, it means pushing the case for all Ireland politics in Ulster and in Leinster House.

    Sinn Fein now have a heavy presence in Leinster House while the SDLP are still a ‘northern’ party. They need a strategy to become an all Ireland party and be actively involved in the affairs of the whole nation.

    The amount of independents currently in the Dail should prove to them the opportunities are there in the south to win seats. Indeed there are many of those independents who might even be tempted to join an new All Ireland SDLP if an ambitious case was put to them.