‘Irish Times’ poll: Majority think Trump presidency is bad for Ireland

Two-thirds of voters believe the Taoiseach should visit White House on St Patrick’s Day

A majority of voters believe the election of Donald Trump will be bad for Ireland but they still want Taoiseach Enda Kenny to meet the new US president on St Patrick's Day, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

In a phone call shortly after the US election, Mr Trump invited Mr Kenny to continue the practice of the Taoiseach visiting the White House on St Patrick's Day.

When asked if Mr Kenny should go ahead with that meeting next March, 67 per cent of voters said he should, 28 per cent said he should not and 5 per cent had no opinion.

Fine Gael voters were the most enthusiastic about the meeting, with 83 per cent of them saying it should take place, by comparison with 72 per cent of Labour voters, 69 per cent of Fianna Fáil supporters, 64 per cent of Independent voters and 52 per cent of Sinn Féin voters.


Better off voters were much more inclined than the less well off to think that Mr Kenny should go ahead with the meeting, but there was majority support for it across all social categories.

Middle aged and older voters were more enthusiastic than younger voters about the meeting, but again there was majority support in all age groups and across all regions.

However, there was a striking difference between the attitudes of men and women, with male voters much more strongly of the opinion that Mr Kenny should meet the new president, while women were distinctly less enthusiastic.

Ripples across the pond

Voters were clearly of the opinion that Mr Trump’s presidency will be bad for this country, although a significant percentage thought it would make no difference or had no opinion.

Just 12 per cent said the election of Mr Trump would be good for Ireland; 49 per cent said it would be bad for this country; 24 per cent thought it would make no difference and 15 per cent had no opinion.

There was near unanimity across supporters of all political parties that his election would be bad for Ireland and there was a similar pattern across social classes and age groups.

Women were more inclined than men to think his victory would be bad for Ireland, but a majority of men shared that opinion.

The survey was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a representative sample of 1,200 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 2.8 per cent.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times