FF set for new election low


There has been no swing back to Fianna Fáil in the course of the European and local election campaign, according to the latest Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll which shows the party slipping to a new record low.

Fine Gael has also seen a dip in support since the last poll two weeks ago but the Labour Party has had a significant increase in the same period.

The poll suggests that the momentum remains with Fine Gael and Labour in the run up to the June 5th elections and Fianna Fáil is set for its worst ever election performance.

The one crumb of comfort for Fianna Fáil is an increase in the satisfaction rating of the Government and the Taoiseach, following record lows for both in the last poll.

When people were asked who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow the adjusted figures for party support, compared with the last Irish Timespoll in February were: Fianna Fáil, 20 per cent (down 1 point); Fine Gael, 36 per cent (down 2 points); Labour, 23 per cent (up 3 points); Sinn Féin, 8 per cent (down 1 point); Green Party, 3 per cent (no change); and Independents/others, 10 per cent (up 1 point).

The poll was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday of this week among a representative sample of 2,000 voters in face-to-face interviews at 200 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. The margin of error is 2 per cent.

There is some consolation for the coalition in the fact that the satisfaction rating for the Government and the Taoiseach has risen a little over the past two weeks after plummeting to record lows in the last poll.

The Government's rating is up 2 points to 12 per cent while Mr Cowen's is up 3 points to 21 per cent. Green Party leader, John Gormley is also up 2 points to 27 per cent.

Still, a massive 84 per cent of the voters are dissatisfied with the performance of the Government with almost every category of voters equally unhappy.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny sees his rating drop by 2 points to 31 per cent. Labour leader Eamon Gilmore remains the most popular political figure although he has dropped 2 points to 49 per cent while Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is down 1 point to 33 per cent.