FF enjoys remarkable turnaround in fortunes
Labour has dropped back to 10 per cent in national terms but it does considerably better in Dublin, where it is on 18 per cent. In the rest of Leinster the party is on 9 per cent, in Munster it gets just 6 per cent and it is on 5 per cent in Connacht-Ulster.
In class terms it does best among C2 skilled working-class voters and is weakest among the best-off AB and the worst-off DE categories.
Across the age spectrum the party does best among younger voters but is very weak among the over-65s.
Sinn Féin has slipped back two points to 18 per cent. Its vote is evenly spread across the State but well above the average among younger and working-class voters.
The long-standing pronounced gender difference in opinion polls, which showed the party appealing much more strongly to men than women, is no longer in evidence. In the latest poll Sinn Féin is equally attractive to both sexes.
At just 1 per cent, it appears that the Green Party is making no recovery with the voters and the prospect of any kind of recovery in next year’s local elections is beginning to look remote.
Boost for small parties
However, the appeal of other small parties and Independents has grown considerably since the last Irish Times poll, with a fifth of all voters now supporting this category.
The level of support for this group is particularly pronounced in Dublin, where 32 per cent of voters say they would support this category.
This is a far higher level of support than any of the political parties managed to attract and indicates that there could be many more Independents and representatives of small parties in the Dáil after the next election.
This survey in the Republic of Ireland was conducted exclusively on behalf of The Irish Times by Ipsos MRBI, among a national quota sample of 1,000 representative of the circa 3.4 million adults aged 18 upwards, covering 100 sampling points throughout all constituencies in the Republic. Personal in-home interviewing took place on February 4th and 5th and the accuracy level is estimated to be about plus or minus 3 per cent. The survey was conducted within the guidelines laid down by the Marketing Society of Ireland and Esomar.