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.
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.
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs