Differing results for larger parties in three election polls

Fine Gael up to 30% in some polls while undecided voters range from 9% to 17%

Do we have too many opinion polls, or not enough? And can the experts even understand what they mean? Top political commentators give their view. Report: Hugh Linehan


Three election polls published this weekend by Sunday newspapers have provided different results for the country’s largest parties.

They also show a significant proportion of the electorate remains undecided with just days to go until polling on February 26th.

The size of the undecided vote ranged from 9 to 17 per cent in the three polls.

According to the Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post, Fine Gael has gained two points to 30 per cent, Fianna Fáil is unchanged on 18 per cent while Sinn Féin support has fallen by four points to 16 per cent.

Labour’s support stands at 8 per cent, unchanged, according to Red C. This poll places support for Independents and smaller parties at 28 per cent, a gain of 2 per cent.

In the Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll support for Fine Gael was at 27 per cent, support for Fianna Fáil at 23 per cent and the Labour Party is on 6 per cent.

According to Millward Brown, Sinn Féin support stands at 19 per cent, unaligned Independents are on 13 per cent, AAA/PBP are on 5 per cent, Social Democrats stand at 4 per cent, the Greens on 2 per cent and Renua on 2 per cent.

The Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll, commissioned for The Sunday Times, the results of which leaked on Friday, showed the Labour Party facing a a sharp fall in support.

According to this poll, Labour’s support was at 4 per cent, a level which the party dismissed as an “outlier”.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said: “The one thing I’m certain of is that we are not on 4 per cent or anything even in the ballpark of 4 per cent.

“I’m absolutely sure of that. If you ask me what figure we’re on I don’t know,” he said on Saturday.

The Behaviour & Attitudes poll puts the AAA/People Before Profit grouping on 5 per cent, ahead of Labour for the first time.

In this poll Fine Gael saw its support up two points to 30 per cent, having fallen three points in the previous poll published on February 7th.

Fianna Fáil support in this poll was at a two-year high of 22 per cent, a gain of 2 per cent on the previous poll.

Sinn Féin support declined by two points to 15 per cent compared with the pervious poll.

The Independents and Others grouping saw its support rise again, gaining 4 points to 30 per cent.

This group includes the AAA/PBP and the Independent Alliance both on 5 per cent support.

The Green party has 3 per cent support, the Social Democrats 3 per cent ( a fall of 1 per cent) and Renua 3 per cent, a gain of 1 per cent. Unaligned Independents attract 10 per cent support.

The Sunday Times said it was investigating the cause of the leak.All three polls have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 per cent.