29 May 2009

Latest Poll shows Labour Party gaining Support

With just one week to go to the European and local elections, the latest national opinion poll indicates that Fianna Fáil is still on course for disastrous results on June 5th.

The TNS/MRBI poll, published in today's edition of The Irish Times, shows that the Labour Party is the only party with significant improvements since the last poll a fortnight ago.

If Fianna Fáil were hoping for a late surge in support as this election campaign enters its final week, there is no sign of it so far.
The poll shows the party's support at just 20%, down one point since the last poll two weeks ago. (see my entry of May 15th)

Fine Gael are down two points, to now 36% support. But they are still by far the biggest party, and 16 points ahead of their arch rivals.

As mentioned above, Labour are the only point gainers in this poll. They are up three points to 23%, which puts them nationally in second place, after Fine Gael and ahead of Fianna Fáil.

The Green Party, which is now not much more than the outdoors and gardening department of FF, stands unchanged at 3%. This indicates that their core support still exists, but that no-one else will touch them with a barge pole.

Sinn Féin have dropped one point and stand on 8%, while Independents 'and others' (which includes Libertas) are up one point to now 10%.

However, with separate questioning - focused only on the local elections - Independents 'and others' are getting 19%, almost twice their average national support.

This is no surprise, as the amount of independent candidates or smaller parties and groups (such as the Socialist Party, the Workers' Party, the Socialist Workers' Party and 'People before Profit') is very different from one constituency to the next.*
And it is of course in the nature of independent candidates that each one of them has a different personality and thus will appeal to the electorate in a different way.

Overall satisfaction with the Irish government is - surprisingly - up slightly, but by only two points to a still disastrous 12%. The vast majority of the Irish electorate - now 84% - remains dissatisfied with the government's shambolic performance.

Satisfaction with the Taoiseach is also up - by three points - but at 21% he still has the lowest satisfaction rating of all party leaders. (He is even beaten into last place by his coalition partner, as the Greens' leader John Gormley comes in on 25% support.)

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore retains the nation's highest satisfaction rating, with now 49%, which is two points lower than his amazing 51% a fortnight ago.

The Emerald Islander

* For example: The Socialist Party and the Workers' Party are both nominally parties with a nation-wide attitude and ambition. And they both have members in different parts of the country.
However, regarding actual strong support and thus any chances for electoral success, the Socialist Party is limited to the northern half of Dublin (city and county), while the last - and currently only - Irish constituency with elected representatives from the Workers' Party (which was founded as a break-away group from the old Sinn Féin) is Waterford City.

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