The Irish Times view on the opinion poll: Sinn Féin takes pole position

A mood for change has gripped the electorate and Sinn Féin is the main beneficiary

A mood for change has clearly gripped the electorate and Sinn Fein is the main beneficiary. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

A mood for change has clearly gripped the electorate and Sinn Fein is the main beneficiary. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Irish politics will be reshaped if the continuing surge in support for Sinn Féin, as revealed in the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll, is repeated in the general election this weekend. Sinn Féin is now the most popular party in the country and unless there is a dramatic change in the final days of the campaign the party is on course to gain seats. Fianna Fáil has failed to make the impact that was widely expected at the start of the campaign while Fine Gael is on course for a clear defeat.

A mood for change has gripped the electorate and Sinn Féin is the main beneficiary. The Green Party is also set for gains but not to the same degree as Sinn Féin, which has maintained momentum throughout and is managing to attract increased support across all regions and most age groups. Younger people, in particular, are attracted by the party’s house-building plans and unconcerned by the legacy of the Troubles. Some older voters seem to have been won over by the pledge to reverse the increase in the pension age.

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