Poll shows Fianna Fáil remains best supported party in State at 26%

Fine Gael and Labour each drop one point but support for Government increases slightly


Stephen Collins, Political Editor

Fianna Fáil has retained its status as the best supported party in the State while support for the Coalition has slipped, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

The survey taken on Monday and Tuesday of this week shows that Fianna Fáil has held on to exactly the same share of the vote it obtained in February when it managed to recover first place in an Irish Times poll for the first time in five years.

Fine Gael and Labour have both dropped a point since February but satisfaction with the Government is up three points.

Support for Sinn Féin is up three points while support for Independents and others has declined by two points.

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, 24 per cent (down one point); Labour, 9 per cent (down one point); Fianna Fáil, 26 per cent (no change); Sinn Féin, 21 per cent (up three points); Green Party, 2 per cent (up one point); and Independents/Others, 18 per cent (down two 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, 16 per cent (no change); Labour, 6 per cent (no change); Fianna Fáil, 18 per cent (up one point); Sinn Féin, 14 per cent (up two points); Green Party, 1 per cent (no change); Independents/others, 12 per cent (down two points) and undecided voters, 33 per cent (down one point).

At 24 per cent Fine Gael is now at its lowest point since September 2010, and significantly below the 36 per cent it achieved in the general election of February 2011.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s rating has improved marginally but more significantly the slide in satisfaction with the Government has been halted and it is up three points since February.

The drop back in Labour Party support to 9 is a continuation of a trend that set in before the general election and it is now at its average historic standing. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s rating has also dropped again to 16 per cent and he is now significantly below the other main party leaders.

Support for Sinn Féin is up over 20 per cent again after a drop in the last poll while satisfaction with party leader Gerry Adams is up six points to 33 per cent making him the most popular party leader.

While support for Independents and others is down two points they are still close to getting the backing of one fifth of the electorate despite the controversy surrounding individual Independents such as Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan and Mick Wallace.