Fine Gael support declines as Fianna Fáil recovers ground
Poll shows Opposition parties gain while Government hit by ongoing controversy over the administration of justice
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has seen an increase in his personal satisfaction rating. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
The ongoing controversy over the administration of justice has clearly had a damaging impact on the level of support for the Government parties with Fine Gael suffering most.
The poll was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week when the motion of no confidence in Minister for Justice Alan Shatter was being debated in the Dáil.
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, 25 per cent (down five points); Labour, 8 per cent (down one point); Fianna Fáil, 25 per cent (up three points); Sinn Féin, 21 per cent (no change); and Independents/Others, 21 per cent (up three points).
The survey was undertaken 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, 18 per cent (down two points); Labour, 5 per cent (down one); Fianna Fáil, 18 per cent (up three); Sinn Féin, 15 per cent (up one); Independents/Others, 15 per cent (up three) and undecided voters, 29 per cent (down four).
The big gainer in the poll is Fianna Fáil with the party moving up again after remaining becalmed in the polls since last summer.
Mr Martin has also seen an increase in his personal satisfaction rating.
Sinn Féin retains a significant level of support at 21 per cent which is the same as the last poll in December.
Party leader Gerry Adams has seen a big increase in his satisfaction rating to 33 per cent which is up six points since the last poll and gives him the highest rating of any party leader.
Satisfaction with the Government has dropped four points to 22 per cent but despite all of the controversies of recent months that is still higher than it achieved for the 18 months prior to the bailout.
Satisfaction with Enda Kenny is down three points to 30 per cent while satisfaction with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore is up one point to 20 per cent, the highest rating he has achieved since the autumn of 2012.