Support for Nama has fallen since Dáil debate on issue


SUPPORT FOR the Government’s plan to establish the National Asset Management Agency (Nama) has declined since the Dáil debate on the issue began, according to latest Irish Times /TNS mrbi poll.

The poll also reveals a substantial majority of people believe the State has paid too much to the banks.

Asked if they supported the Government’s Nama proposal as a way of removing bad loans from the banking system, 29 per cent of voters said they were for it, up three points since the last Irish Times poll three weeks ago.

But 48 per cent were against, up eight points. The number of people with no opinion declined 11 points to 23 per cent.

Fianna Fáil supporters are the most strongly supportive of Nama, with a clear majority of 54 per cent to 22 per cent in favour of the Government’s plan.

Fine Gael and Green Party voters are the next most supportive, although a majority in each camp is opposed to the measure. This still represents a significant turnaround among Green supporters who were the most strongly against the plan three weeks ago.

Labour voters remain unenthusiastic while Sinn Féin voters are the most hostile with just 14 per cent of them backing the plan while 63 per cent oppose it.

In terms of social class, the strongest support for Nama comes from the best-off AB social group, with 43 per cent for it and 38 per cent against. Strongest opposition comes from DE voters, just 19 per cent in favour and 52 per cent against.

In age terms there is no great variation except that the strongest support for the Government’s plan comes from the over 65s.

On the question of whether the Government is paying too much for the loans being taken off the books of the banks, there is overwhelming support for the view that too much is being paid.

A total of 65 per cent of voters said too much was being paid while just 2 per cent felt it was too little and only 7 per cent about right; 25 per cent had no opinion on the matter.

Even among Fianna Fáil supporters 50 per cent felt the banks were getting too much while 20 per cent felt it was about right. Green voters were the next most supportive with 51 per cent saying too much and 14 per cent about right.

Among supporters of all other parties and Independents the view that the banks were getting too much was held by between 72 per cent and 81 per cent with almost no support for the view that the sum was about right.

In terms of social class and age there was also a consistent view across all groups that the banks had been paid too much, with only a small percentage of voters accepting the price was about right.

On the issue of whether the Greens should vote to remain in Government at its convention planned for October 10th, there are key differences between various categories on what the party should do.

Critically, 75 per cent of Green voters want to remain in coalition and a majority of FF voters share that view. While supporters of the Opposition parties say the Greens should pull out, a quarter of them want the coalition to continue.

In class terms 44 per cent of AB voters want the Greens to stay in while just 29 per cent of DE voters want the coalition to continue.