Satisfaction with Coalition rises ahead of bailout exit
Taoiseach and Tánaiste also improve popularity over last ‘Irish Times’/Ipsos MRBI poll
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Taoiseach Enda Kenny after the Christmas tree lights were turned on at Leinster House yesterday. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
The Coalition parties have benefited from a significant bounce in the run up to the exit from the EU-IMF bailout, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.
Satisfaction with the Government has also increased sharply, while Taoiseach Enda Kenny has the highest rating of any of the party leaders.
All of the publicity surrounding the country’s exit from the bailout on Sunday has clearly helped the Coalition parties, both of which have recovered from a dip in support just before the Seanad referendum and the budget.
Support for Fianna Fáil has remained steady while Sinn Féin is down marginally since the last poll.
When people were asked who they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, party support – when undecided voters are excluded – compared with the last Irish Times poll was: Fine Gael, 30 per cent (up four points); Labour, 9 per cent (up three); Fianna Fáil, 22 per cent (no change); Sinn Féin, 21 per cent (down two); and Independents/Others, 18 per cent (down five).
The survey was undertaken on Monday and Tuesday of this week among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies.
The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.
The core vote for the parties compared with the last poll was: Fine Gael, 20 per cent (up one point); Labour, 6 per cent (up one); Fianna Fáil, 15 per cent (down one); Sinn Féin, 14 per cent (down three); Independents/others, 12 per cent (down five) and undecided voters, 33 per cent (up seven).
At 30 per cent, Fine Gael is now at its highest in more than a year and it is the second successive Irish Times poll in which it has increased support. The party will be very happy to have hit the 30 per cent mark so soon after the budget.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s rating has improved and he now has the highest rating of any of the party leaders. More significantly, a six-point jump in the Government’s satisfaction rating means that it is now at a level not seen since the middle of last year.
There is also good news for the other Coalition party with Labour getting a strong boost in support from 6 per cent to 9 per cent this time around.
While this is still far below Labour’s general election performance, party TDs will be relieved that the trend is now going in the right direction.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is still getting the lowest rating of the party leaders but at 19 per cent he has received a boost of four points since the past poll.
Fianna Fáil has remained steady at 22 per cent, while Micheál Martin’s satisfaction rating is up two points to 29 per cent.