Ipsos- MRBI Poll: Fine Gael and Fianna Fail leveling out…

Just a quick one, the Irish Times poll figures have some interesting if minor changes in the party fortunes in the south…

…when undecided voters are excluded – compared with the last Irish Times poll was: Fine Gael, 25 per cent (down five points); Labour, 8 per cent (down one point); Fianna Fáil, 25 per cent (up three points); Sinn Féin, 21 per cent (no change); and Independents/Others, 21 per cent (up three points). The core vote for the parties compared with the last poll was: Fine Gael, 18 per cent (down two points); Labour, 5 per cent (down one); Fianna Fáil, 18 per cent (up three); Sinn Féin, 15 per cent (up one); Independents/Others, 15 per cent (up three) and undecided voters, 29 per cent (down four).

Note how the second set of figures show the 30% undecided. That could be where the bonus prize money is. Overall confirmation of SF’s strong position (x2 the #GE11 showing) and FF activists will be heartened to see that magic 25% (= their 2009 result) showing again.

But none of these figures are that dissimilar to what the polls have been showing over the last 2 or 3 months. Indeed, perhaps longer… Have a look at this polling figure from June last year for instance…

Regional detail..

Here’s Stephen Collins with a round up of the details

Fine Gael is the biggest party in Dublin, where it gets 26 per cent. By contrast, it is on just 20 per cent in the rest of Leinster and 24 per cent in Munster.

It does better in Connacht- Ulster, the home base of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, were it gets 32 per cent, but it has now fallen behind Fianna Fáil in the region where it did so well in the last election.

In class terms Fine Gael does best among the best-off AB voters, where it gets 37 per cent. The party gets a healthy 30 per cent among lower middle-class C1 voters, while it is on 25 per cent among skilled working-class C2 voters.

Where the party does really badly is among the poorest DE voters, but it is still on a healthy 33 per cent among farmers.

In age terms there is no great variation in support except for the 60- to 64-year-old category, where it drops to 21 per cent.

And Fianna Fáil…

The party is on 33 per cent in Connacht-Ulster, 29 per cent in Munster, and 27 per cent in the rest of Leinster.

What will worry Fianna Fáil, however, is that it is only on 14 per cent in Dublin. It will need to do better than that to have any chance of winning a seat in the capital in the European elections next month.

In class terms the party is well behind Fine Gael among middle-class voters, winning 19 per cent in the AB and C1 social category. It does considerably better among C2 voters, where it is on 27 per cent, and gets most support among DE voters, where it is on 32 per cent. The party gets 25 per cent among farmers.

In age terms Fianna Fáil does best among the over-65s and among the youngest 18- to 24-year-old category.

Sinn Féin…

In regional terms the party is second to Fine Gael in Dublin, where it gets 20 per cent. Its best region is the rest of Leinster, where it is on 25 per cent, followed by Connacht-Ulster on 20 per cent, and Munster on 18 per cent.

There is a wide variation in class support from 12 per cent among AB voters to 29 per cent among the DE category.

There is not a big variation in support across the age groups, but the party is significantly more attractive to men than women.

Satisfaction with the leadership of Gerry Adams has increased, and this is helped by the fact that the overwhelming majority of 86 per cent of Sinn Féin supporters believe he is doing a good job.


…particularly strong in Dublin, where the figure goes up to 28 per cent, followed by Munster at 22 per cent, the rest of Leinster at 20 per cent, down to 11 per cent in Connacht-Ulster.

A breakdown of the vote for Independent/Others does not provide a clear indication of any ideological trend. Support for the group is highest among the best-off AB and C1 voters and weakest in the poorest DE category.


Dublin is the best region for the party, where it is on 11 per cent, but it will also need to do better than that if it is to elect an MEP in the capital.

There is no great variation across the age groups, although the 50- to 64-year-olds are its best category, and there is very little variation in terms of class.

The party’s difficulties in getting credit for the achievements of the Government is illustrated by the fact that 49 per cent of Labour voters are dissatisfied with the Coalition’s performance, compared to 46 per cent who are satisfied.

Eamon Gilmore’s satisfaction rating is still the lowest of all leaders at 20 per cent, and this is not helped by the fact that only 40 per cent of his own party’s supporters are satisfied with his performance, compared to 34 per cent who are dissatisfied.

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  • Charles_Gould

    In the same poll Gerry Adams is the party leader that people in the Republic of Ireland are most “satisfied” with.

  • Mick Fealty

    No harm Charles, but that measure is the eternal bane of this poll… They are not measured against each other but as leaders of their individual respective parties…

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    Shhhh, don’t tell Robinson the Shinners are consistently polling in the low 20s: he’ll flip out.

  • Mick Fealty

    I think he knows… (He does occasionally read Slugger, or so I am told… ;-))

  • mac tire

    I know Gerry Adams may not be everyone’s cup of tea – but Charles, why did you put satisfy in quotation marks?

    What insight do you have which merits such quotations?

    Ah yes, just not your cup of tea? No need for quote marks then. Otherwise you are suggesting that the question or answers are “rigged”.

  • aquifer

    So the generous Irish have forgiven the guys who crashed the bus?

  • Charles_Gould

    mac tire

    I put satisfy in quotes because it is what the poll asks about – i.e. it indicates that it is their terminology.

  • Charles_Gould

    i.e. the reported speech reason for using quotation marks.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I suppose we should expect some FF revival if only because they are the ones landing most of the punches on Shatter. The Garda controversy isn’t just one of these procedural ‘who knew what when’ scandals – people are really angry about it and I think that there really is political capital to be made here. The great irony being that such a situation should unfold under the watch of Fine Gael, who pride themselves as custodians of law and order.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s the key. Shatter is competent, probably so much so that he held the views of others in contempt. The result has been misstep after misstep. He’s had to make his way into this crisis. It hasn’t just befallen him.

    That said FF progress in Dublin (where the neg equity burns are still raw) is still *very* poor. There’s going to be an almighty scramble for that last seat. I fancy Eamon Ryan as an outsider.

  • The Canadian Conservatives “came back”.
    The British Labour Party did the same.
    The British Conservative Party did the same.

    New parties come and go..SDP, Progressive Democrats, UPNI..but ultimately they dont last. They are merely a catalyst for minor re-allignment.
    I dont see how Republic of Ireland is any different. If Fianna Fail has rid itself of Haughey, Burke, Lawlor and the rest….seems reasonable that it can make progress again. Whether or not, it has rid itself of the cute hoor mentality, ia a different question.
    Whether the media friendly Labour Party can break the cycle of talking big in opposition and not saying anything at all in government is unlikely. They will pay a price for being wingman to Fine gael.

    Whether Fine Gael can reap the rewards of economic recovery without being hammered for the years of austerity…not easy either.

    And Sinn Fein will never be fully respectable. The Establish in the Civil Service, Garda, Media, RTE….wont ever warm to them and SF dont help by talking out of both sides of their mouths. Like labour they wont actually do well in government.

    And nobody can form a government around NIMBYs….not least because they are too diverse.

    Reasonable I suppose to say that most people enter politics for the best of reasons and that the politicians theselves deserve the benefit of the doubt…and that sooner or later the next government is formed around a centre-right party and a left-wing party.
    Labour…sadly (like Lib Dems in England) deserve the slapping that the Elecorate will hand out. And in the horse trading that will happen, SF are bound to be in a strong position.

  • “New parties come and go..SDP, Progressive Democrats, UPNI..but ultimately they dont last. They are merely a catalyst for minor re-allignment.”


    The PDs lasted for a good two decades and became a regular part of the coalition system as the preferred coalition partner for FF just as Labour was the normal coalition partner for FG. The SDP also managed to transform the Liberal Party by eventually merging with it to form the Lib Dems and giving it enough strength to become a solid third party after decades of decreasing in strength.

  • fordprefect


    “The SDP also managed to transform the Liberal Party by eventually merging with it to form the Lib Dems and giving it enough strength to become a solid third party after decades of decreasing in strength.”
    Yes, and at the next British General Election in 2015, the Lib Dems will be lucky if they get a vote like the Monster Raving Loony Party after what they did to voters.