Voters have little enthusiasm for the proposed new coalition - but Green voters say the party should enter government to take action on climate change, according to the results of the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll.
The first such poll since the general election also shows how Fine Gael's fortunes have been revived by the pandemic crisis, with the Government and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar enjoying record approval ratings and support for Fine Gael surging since the election.
Given a choice between the proposed coalition, a different coalition or a general election, the Fine Gael-Fianna Fáil-Green government was the favoured option with the support of 36 per cent of voters. However, 27 per cent favoured a different (unspecified) combination while a third of voters (33 per cent) said they would prefer another general election.
Among Green voters, however, support for the proposed three-party coalition was considerably higher, at 48 per cent.
When voters were asked what the Green Party should do, 48 per cent said they should “make the best deal it can and form a government with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil”, while a further 18 per cent said the party should form a coalition if its demands on climate action were met and 28 per cent of voters said the party should never form a government with the bigger parties.
However, when Green voters were asked what the party should do, they were strongly in favour of entering government, with 31 per cent saying they should do the best deal they could, and a further 61 per cent saying they should enter government if their demands on climate action were met.
Green leader Eamon Ryan needs a two thirds (67 per cent) majority among his members if the party is to join the coalition. The final draft of the programme for government was agreed by the three party leaders on Monday and will go to members for ratification.
On party support, the numbers show strong growth in support for Fine Gael since the general election and a surge in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s personal approval rating to 75 per cent. The satisfaction rating for the government is 72 per cent, though governments and leaders everywhere are seeing an increase in their ratings during the pandemic.
The party support figures are as follows: Fine Gael 37 per cent (up 17); Fianna Fáil 14 per cent (down nine); Sinn Féin 25 per cent (no change); the Greens 12 per cent (up 4); Labour two per cent (down two); Independents and others, including smaller parties, 10 per cent (down 10).
In each case the comparison is with the final Ipsos MRBI poll of the general election campaign, though the results are not entirely comparable and today’s poll was conducted by telephone, owning to coronavirus restrictions. Previous polls have been conducted through face-to-face interviews.
The poll was conducted among over 1,200 respondents between June 11th and 14th. The accuracy level is estimated to be approximately plus or minus 2.8 per cent.