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Irish Times poll: Support for Fine Gael at lowest level since 1994 as Sinn Féin hits record high

Support for Coalition slumps as the cost-of-living crisis squeezes voters

Opinion poll, party support July 2022

Support for the Coalition has slumped in recent months as the rising cost of living has squeezed voters, the latest Irish Times/Ipsos poll shows.

Fianna Fáil drops by three points to 20 per cent since the last poll in April, while the four-point fall in support for Fine Gael leaves that party with its lowest rating in the Ipsos series (previously MRBI) since 1994.

Satisfaction with the Government and its leaders has also nosedived. The Government’s rating has fallen by 12 points, from 43 per cent in April to 31 per cent today, the lowest rating since the Government was formed two years ago.

Opinion poll, satisfaction, July 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin also sees his satisfaction rating drop by 11 points to 40 per cent, while Tánaiste Leo Varadkar sees his approval slump by 12 points, from 48 per cent to 36 per cent today. Green leader Eamon Ryan’s rating falls from 19 per cent to 15 per cent.


The biggest winner in today’s numbers is Sinn Féin, which sees its support grow by three points to 36 per cent, its highest level in this series. Support for the party is now at more than 40 per cent among those under 34, while party leader Mary Lou McDonald sees her approval rating rise marginally to 44 per cent. Some of the smaller Opposition parties and Independents also see their support grow today.

The state of the parties, when undecided voters and those unlikely to vote are excluded, is as follows: Sinn Féin 36 per cent (up three); Fianna Fáil 20 per cent (down three); Fine Gael 18 per cent (down four); Green Party 3 per cent (no change); Labour 4 per cent (no change); and Independents/others 20 per cent (up five).

Among the Independents and smaller parties, the results are as follows: Social Democrats 2 per cent (no change); Solidarity-People Before Profit 3 per cent (up two); Aontú 1 per cent (no change); and Independents 14 per cent (up four). Rounding may affect the totals.

The poll results suggest the mood in the country is growing more negative and politically restive as cost of living pressures deteriorate. Asked if the country is “generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction”, twice as many voters give a negative answer — 60 per cent say the country is going in the wrong direction, with just 30 per cent saying the country was going in the right direction.

Seven out of 10 voters (70 per cent) say they expect the economic situation to get worse in the next 12 months.

Party support since general election

Asked how rising costs had affected their lives, almost half of all voters (49 per cent) said it had made it “a lot more difficult to manage financially”, while a further 41 per cent said it had made it “a little more difficult”. Ten per cent said they were “not having any difficulties”.

The poll also suggests there is a strong desire for political change. Asked about their “attitude to change in the way the country is run”, 38 per cent said that favoured “radical change”, while 47 per cent said they were in favour of “moderate change”. Just 11 per cent said they were “wary of change”.

The results will come as a blow to the Coalition after a resounding win on a confidence vote in the Dáil on Tuesday night. Moreover, the poll numbers will sow fears about the autumn, when most people in Government expect the cost of living crisis to deteriorate.

The poll was conducted among 1,200 adults at 120 sampling points across all constituencies between 10-12 July. Respondents were interviewed at their own homes. The accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

Poll methodology

This survey in the Republic of Ireland was conducted exclusively on behalf of The Irish Times by Ipsos, among a national quota sample of 1,200 representative of the c.3.6m adults aged 18 upwards, covering 120 sampling points throughout all constituencies in the Republic of Ireland.

Personal in-home interviewing took place between July 10th and 12th, 2022. The accuracy level is estimated to be approximately plus or minus 2.8 per cent. In all respects, the survey was conducted within the guidelines laid down by AIMRO, and by ESOMAR.

Since February 2016, a question on voting importance has been included. All respondents are asked how much their vote counts on a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 means it “makes no difference” and 10 means it “makes all the difference”. Those answering 1 to this question are treated as non-voters and are excluded from our party preference calculation, along with those who don’t know how they will vote or say they will not vote. Extracts from the report may be quoted or published on condition that due acknowledgement is given to: The Irish Times and Ipsos.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times