Opinion poll: Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael regain ground against Sinn Féin

Extended period of decline for FG in polls since formation of Coalition has abated

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have regained some ground against Sinn Féin since last year but remain well adrift of the main Opposition party, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos opinion poll.

Both larger Government parties show gains since December, cutting Sinn Féin’s lead over its nearest challenger to 10 points, down from 15 in the most recent poll late last year.

As well as seeing Fianna Fáil gain by three points to 23 per cent, Taoiseach Micheál Martin enjoys an eight-point jump in his satisfaction ratings to 51 per cent. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s personal rating also increases, while Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald sees her rating, and that of her party, drop marginally.

But there is a sharp drop for Green leader Eamon Ryan, who also sees his party's numbers fall.


The state of the parties, when undecided voters and those unlikely to vote are excluded, is as follows: Sinn Féin, 33 per cent (down two); Fianna Fáil, 23 per cent (up three); Fine Gael, 22 per cent (up two); Green Party, 3 per cent (down two); Labour, 4 per cent (no change); and Independents/others, 15 per cent (no change).

Among the Independents and smaller parties, the results are as follows: Social Democrats, 2 per cent (no change); Solidarity-People Before Profit, 1 per cent (down one); Aontú, 1 per cent (no change); and Independents, 10 per cent (down one). Rounding affects the totals.

The poll suggests that the long period of decline for Fine Gael in polls since the formation of this Government in June 2020 has – at least for now – abated. And this will come as a relief for that party, especially when taken with the rise in Mr Varadkar’s personal rating.

Sinn Féin slips

By contrast, it marks the end of a period of steady gains for Sinn Féin, although it remains by some distance the most popular party in the State.

The smallest Government party, the Greens, see their ratings fall for the second Irish Times/Ipsos poll in a row and now register at just 3 per cent, down from 7 per cent last autumn.

The Labour Party, which has changed its leader since the last poll, sees no change in its rating. The Social Democrats are also unchanged, while Solidarity-People Before Profit slip by a point to 1 per cent. Aontú remains at 1 per cent, while the Independents decline by one point to 10 per cent – bigger than all the small Opposition parties combined.

Mr Martin heads the list of party leaders with a 51 per cent satisfaction rating, up from 43 per cent in December. Mr Varadkar’s personal rating rises by three points to 48 per cent, while Ms McDonald’s rating slips by two points to 42 per cent. Mr Ryan’s rating slumps by six points to 19 per cent.

Satisfaction with the Government is steady on 43 per cent.

The poll was conducted among 1,200 adults at 120 sampling points across all constituencies on April 11th and 12th. Respondents were interviewed at their own homes. The accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times