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…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty