Joan Burton says Labour ‘up for a fight’ after poor poll result
Leaked B&A poll sees Labour support at 4%, Sunday Times ‘bitterly disappointed’ at leak
Labour Party leader Joan Burton (centre) and Senator Lorraine Higgins (right) meet three-year-old Clodagh Ward at the Rainbow Crèche, Athenry during her campaign tour in Coy Galway last week. Photograph: Hany Marzouk
Tánaiste and Labour party leader Joan Burton says her party “are up for a fight” after a leaked opinion poll revealed a huge drop in Labour support.
She was speaking on Saturday after a leaked Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll, commissioned for The Sunday Times, showed the Labour Party is facing a collapse in support.
Details of the poll were leaked online last night and were published in the Times (Ireland edition) epaper on Saturday morning.
It shows Labour’s support at 4 per cent, down from 8 per cent and the party’s lowest level in a B&A poll.
Speaking in Waterford today Ms Burton told RTE news she does not normally comment on polls but said the Labour Party would rebound.
“I’m a fighter and I’m up for a fight. I’ve never stood back from a fight.That’s what the Labour Party is about and we’re about making people and families lives better,” she said.
thetimes.ie has the correct top line poll numbers from leaked ST poll— Frank Fitzgibbon (@FrankSunTimes) February 20, 2016
#AAAPBP gone ahead of Labour in latest poll. We're at 5% and they're at 4%. First time in national poll, socialist left surpasses labour.— Paul Murphy (@paulmurphyAAA) February 19, 2016
Her Cabinet colleague Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin dismissed the poll finding, saying he had knocked on thousands of doors and found there was very little movement in public opinion.
“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.
If the party received this level of support in Friday’s vote Labour would secure only a handful of seats.
The poll puts the AAA/People Before Profit grouping on 5 per cent, ahead of Labour.
Fine Gael saw its support up two points to 30 per cent, having fallen three points in the previous poll published on February 7th.
According to the poll, Fianna Fáil support is at a two-year high in the B&A series on 22 per cent, a gain of 2 per cent on the previous poll.
The survey was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, following the leaders’ debate on RTÉ on Monday. Sinn Féin has seen its support decline by two points to 15 per cent.
The Independents and Others grouping saw its support rise again, up 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.
“I am bitterly disappointed that this survey has been leaked in advance of publication. There will be a thorough investigation into this matter,” Frank Fitzgibbon, the newspaper’s editor in Ireland, said.