Poll boost for SF just as FG and FF have a major row over water charges…

Interesting movement in the southern polls, and confirmation that SF’s rise in other polls (B&A and Red C) has some real substance. These are the core figures before Don’t Knows are divvied up:

The core vote for the parties, before undecideds were excluded, compared with the last Irish Times poll in December, was: Fine Gael, 21 per cent (no change); Fianna Fáil, 23 per cent (down one); Labour, 3 per cent (down one); Sinn Féin, 18 per cent (up four); Independents/Others, 15 per cent (down one); and undecided voters, 20 per cent (down one).

And these are the headlines: 


Looks like SF’s early call for an election (and FF’s refusal to play) may have drawn some folks back to Sinn Fein. It may have also emboldened Simon Coveney (one of two of the most likely successors to Enda Kenny) to pick another fight with Fianna Fáil, this time over Water Charges. 

With both lead parties on a percentage bonus from last time, this could escalate very, very quickly…

  • WindowLean

    Mick, isn’t the problem for SF in the South that while the polls look healthy you can knock about 4%-5% off that on an election day!

  • Obelisk

    Have to agree. These polls always overstate SF strength.

  • Jag

    16% of the vote for SF on election day would translate into around 30 seats, up from 23 today (from 14%). FF and FG would probably be on around 50 apiece on those numbers. 80 is needed for majority in 158-seat Dail.

    Govt seems to be slipping into a morass of individual scandals and challenges. FF should be benefitting, but their u-turns and failure to act like traditional opposition in holding FG to account (probably the fault of the 3-year confidence and supply arrangement and the secret deal which gave FF two Seanad seats and what in return) is holding them back. Labour is drifting.

    Socialists, some Independents and SF should benefit from this deterioration in governance and events.

  • Nordie Northsider

    All recent polls have been dreadful for Labour. Howlin had a lot of exposure as regards the Garda McCabe affair; they must have hoping for some kind of a bounce. It’s hard to see a way out this for Labour. Even a pact or amalgamation with the now rather rudderless Social Democrats wouldn’t bring them into double figures. They must be praying that an election isn’t called any time soon. If the Government stays until after the Local Elections they might have a chance of developing some new councillors as Dáil candidates.

  • Katyusha

    The bigger problem is that no-one will go into coalition with them; at least not in the near future. Even if the polls were accurate, they can’t form a government.

  • burnboilerburn

    The main problem for Labour is that they have refused to change their tune on their time in government despite almost being wiped out. They insist the austerity measures although harsh were justified and they still stubbornly support water charges. The bulk of their support for decades was always based in the Dublin working class heartlenads, but those voters have fled to either SF or PBP. They also have the fledgling Social Democrats offering former middle class Labour supports an alternative home. While all parties have had their bad periods, FF and FG could always rely on mutual competition and civil war politics to drive their voters back into their arms at some point because of the lack of similar alternatives. Labour, traditionally was the referee and on that basis could often capitalize. Sinn Fein are without doubt the new ‘spare wheel’ of Irish Politics. Continued growth means that the traditional parties can only ignore their voters and their mandate for so long. Ironically, the best thing that could happen Labour is for SF to have a spell in government and hope that they mess up enough to send those voters back to Labour.

  • Mirrorballman

    Maybe not while Adams is leader but that will change very, very soon. Both FF and FG will be banging on the door then…Expect SF in Government in the south by end of this year.

  • burnboilerburn

    That worked at the last election but the next one? I wouldn’t be too sure.

  • burnboilerburn

    Yes, normally. But this is the first time that MRBI have shown a significant increase for SF, following a trend on other polls. RED C and B&A are not the most accurate. But MRBI in every election gets their polling bang on. The Shinners will be very happy today.

  • burnboilerburn

    In every single election SF usually end up a good 3 to 5 points below predictions due to poor turnout in working class areas and amongst the younger age cohorts where the bulk of their support sits. Also, Independent News and Media spend the three weeks up to an election hammering the Shinners. Just before the last election, in one day, the Sunday Independent had 13 anti shiner artices in it. Watch carefully the Sindo this weekend after these polls have been published.

  • Nordie Northsider

    I agree. They also have more basic organizational problems. When you look at their existing Dáil team (the not so magnificent seven), you can only conclude that most of them are coming to the end of their careers. The likes of Willie Penrose and Kathleen Lynch aren’t likely to be standing again. Rather like the SDLP, the Labour Party always had its local fiefdoms and personal votes. When the likes of Penrose retire, that seat is gone.

  • Obelisk

    Should but never do. Burnboilerburn has presented reasons why the Sinn Fein vote total never exceeds their polls and I find them a credible explanation. It’s up to Sinn Fein to find away around this.

  • burnboilerburn

    Exactly. The party cannot do anything about INM’s hatchet attacks but it can try and appeal to the over 50 age group where the party has just single digit support. The problem is trying to break into that age cohorts traditional voter habits, which are essentially based on what side of the civil war their grandfather fought or supported, it really is that simple.

  • JOHN TURLEY

    The Shinners should hold on to Adams while he is gaining seats,even his own
    popularity ratings is up today while other leaders are down.

  • JOHN TURLEY

    That is true, however, if they got 17% on the day they would have a good election.once again

  • JOHN TURLEY

    The electorate will not forget the way Labour supported Fine Gael in the attacks on the disabled, mentally ill. handicapped etc.

  • Polly Weston

    While Willie is indeed pretty much on his last lap (it’s no secret he barely wanted to run this time around) I’d be keeping an eye on his daughter Aisling to take up his mantle yet. She went and did the barrister route academically, does loads of community and charity work. If she isn’t gearing up for some form of public office I’ll eat my hat.

  • JOHN TURLEY

    You are correct,the water charges and the McCabe scandal should be solved 3 years ago.

  • Acrobat_747

    Good on those newspapers. Hopefully they can be proud Irish Men, do their national duty and up the anti shinner article count even more.

  • Neil

    There’s a law of diminishing returns at play there. When the newspaper’s agenda is so obvious people are making jokes about it the attacks are not working as intended.

  • Acrobat_747

    SFs main message prior to every election is that RTE is bias, all the papers are bias, BBC is bias.

    In fact, I’m really scared that if SF had power they would remove the freedom of the press altogether and just allow SF friendly papers to operate.

    This is why I do not view SF as a republican party. They are the opposite of republicanism.

  • cornelu mc grath

    Labour will be delighted if they do. SF will be every bit the establishment party then and the placard brigade will have to put away the signs.
    No longer a party of protest, but serious responsibly for once, while would mean unpopular decisions.

  • Hugh Davison

    I don’t remember that main message you write about. I do know that INM gets hysterically anti-SF approaching an election. As for me, I look at their manifesto as I do with the other parties and vote accordingly.

  • Hugh Davison

    In other words, they are not a populist party.