Sinn Féin support decreases after McGuigan murder

‘Irish Times’ poll shows one-third of voters are less likely to vote for party in election

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

A third of voters say they are less likely to support Sinn Féin as a result of allegations about the involvement of the Provisional IRA in the killing of Kevin McGuigan, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

Asked if the incident would make them more or less likely to vote for Sinn Féin, 34 per cent said less likely, 63 per cent said no change and 3 per cent said more likely.

There is a big divide on the question between Sinn Féin voters and supporters of other parties and Independents.

Some 87 per cent of Sinn Féin supporters say the incident will make no difference but supporters of other parties take a different view.

Among Labour voters, 45 per cent say they are less likely to vote Sinn Féin, while the figure is 43 per cent among Fine Gael voters, 39 per cent among Fianna Fáil voters and 31 per cent among those who say they will vote for Independents and smaller parties.

There is a difference across the regions with the incident having a greater impact on Sinn Féin among people in Connacht-Ulster than in Dublin.

Poll responses

This may account for the fact that Sinn Féin is strongest in Dublin in the poll and weakest in Connacht-Ulster, where it has traditionally attracted the greatest support.

Fennelly report

The poll also asked people about their view of the Fennelly report which dealt with the resignation of former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan.

Asked if they believed Taoiseach Enda Kenny had sent a senior official to Mr Callinan’s home with the intention that the commissioner would resign, 58 per cent said Yes, 12 per cent said No and 30 per cent had no opinion.

A majority of supporters of all political parties backed the view that Mr Kenny had intended the commissioner to resign although he has said consistently that it was not his intention.

Fine Gael voters were the least inclined to believe the Taoiseach intended Mr Callinan to resign, with 48 per cent of them saying he did and 25 per cent he did not.

Labour and Sinn Féin supporters were stronger in the view that Mr Kenny had intended the commissioner to resign, although a significant number of both had no opinion.

Supporters of Fianna Fáil and Independents/others were strongest in the view that Mr Kenny had intended Mr Callinan to go, with more than 70 per cent expressing that opinion.

Despite the widely held view that Mr Kenny had intended the commissioner to resign, it appears to have had little or no impact on the standing of Mr Kenny or Fine Gael.

Both Mr Kenny and Attorney General Máire Whelan came in for criticism over the events leading up to the departure of Mr Callinan when the Dáil resumed on Tuesday after the summer recess.

The Government won a Dáil vote on a motion of confidence in Mr Kenny after a three-hour debate during which the Opposition strongly criticised him.