26 October 2008

Support for Fianna Fáil plummets to all-time Low

The latest Red C opinion poll in today's Sunday Business Post shows Fianna Fáil down ten points, and thus falling seven points behind Fine Gael for the first time ever.

This massive drop in popular support for Ireland's largest and main government party is a clear and obvious reaction to the 2009 Budget and the extremely foolish and unpopular measures it contains. It comes on top of another loss of four points last month, which means that support for Fianna Fáil has plummeted by 35% over the past 60 days.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen, who will return from China later today, may find some consolation in the thought that the poll was carried out at the worst possible time for his party - last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, when the medical card controversy was raging.

But the results are devastating all the same. Fianna Fáil has dropped to just 26% support, the lowest level the party has had since the 1920s.

Fine Gael meanwhile has gained five points to 33%, a full seven points ahead of Fianna Fáil for the first time since opinion polling began.

The Labour Party, second largest political force in the opposition, has gained six points and stands now at 15%, while Sinn Féin gained one point to reach 10%.

Fianna Fáil's two junior coalition partners dropped one point each. The Green Party stands at 6% now, while the remnants of the almost extinct Progressive Democrats have just 2%.

Independents and others remain unchanged at 8%.

Also of concern to the government must be a significant drop in confidence that it can steer the public finances out of current problems.
Just 20% now believe it can, a drop of 19 points, while 59% do not believe it can, and 21% 'Don't Know'.

There was no question in the poll about the survival of the government or a possible election at an early date, but all around the country the idea that the current coalition will last the full five years it set out for is seen now as unlikely.

The Emerald Islander

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