Fianna Fáil ahead in country as Fine Gael tops Dublin

Nationwide support for Fine Gael slips outside the capital

Fine Gael’s support outside Dublin is falling behind that of Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael’s support outside Dublin is falling behind that of Fianna Fáil

Fri, Apr 4, 2014, 01:01

An intriguing feature of today’s Irish Times /Ipsos MRBI is that while Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael are tied nationally there is a wide divergence in their level of support in Dublin.

While Fianna Fáil is now the biggest party in the country outside Dublin where it is recovering traditional support, Fine Gael is attracting almost twice the support of its rival in the capital.

Fine Gael is the biggest party in Dublin, where it gets 26 per cent.

By contrast, it is on just 20 per cent in the rest of Leinster and 24 per cent in Munster.

It does better in Connacht- Ulster, the home base of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, were it gets 32 per cent, but it has now fallen behind Fianna Fáil in the region where it did so well in the last election.

In class terms Fine Gael does best among the best-off AB voters, where it gets 37 per cent. The party gets a healthy 30 per cent among lower middle-class C1 voters, while it is on 25 per cent among skilled working-class C2 voters.

Where the party does really badly is among the poorest DE voters, but it is still on a healthy 33 per cent among farmers.

In age terms there is no great variation in support except for the 60- to 64-year-old category, where it drops to 21 per cent.

The decline in support for Fine Gael puts the party back to where it was for most of last year in Irish Times polls before a surge of support in the wake of the exit from the bailout.

The party can take heart from the fact that its voters are disciplined in the sense that they are the only group to express satisfaction with the way the Government is running the country and 76 per cent of them are supportive of Kenny as leader.

Fianna Fáil is also moving back to the level of support it had in the first half of last year but in its case the news is positive.

The party is on 33 per cent in Connacht-Ulster, 29 per cent in Munster, and 27 per cent in the rest of Leinster.

What will worry Fianna Fáil, however, is that it is only on 14 per cent in Dublin. It will need to do better than that to have any chance of winning a seat in the capital in the European elections next month.

In class terms the party is well behind Fine Gael among middle-class voters, winning 19 per cent in the AB and C1 social category. It does considerably better among C2 voters, where it is on 27 per cent, and gets most support among DE voters, where it is on 32 per cent. The party gets 25 per cent among farmers.

In age terms Fianna Fáil does best among the over-65s and among the youngest 18- to 24-year-old category.