Furious teachers turn their backs on Fianna Fail
THE Government is facing a major backlash from angry teachers at the next General Election.
Just 8pc of primary teachers say they will vote for Fianna Fail in the next election, while two-thirds will vote for Fine Gael or Labour, a new opinion poll reveals.
The survey of a representative sample of 349 teachers was carried out by the INTO during the week of March 22.
Included in the sample were principals, deputy principals, assistant principals, special duties teachers and unpromoted teachers from all 26 counties.
When asked who they would vote for if an election were held tomorrow, 96 skipped the question and, of the remaining 253, only 8.7pc said they would vote Fianna Fail, with 5.9pc saying they would vote for the Greens.
Labour commanded the biggest support at 37.2pc, followed by Fine Gael at 29.2pc.
Independents secured 17.8pc of teachers' support, with Sinn Fein down at 1.2pc.
Incoming INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said the poll reflected the depth of anger among teachers at the Government's handling of the economy and the "unfair" way in which public servants had been treated.
Teachers and other public servants had their pay cut twice last year, but they were paying the same increased taxes as everybody else.
The poll also showed that teachers had concerns about the resourcing of primary education and predicted that it would be an issue in the next election.
One of the teachers polled said: "My three adult children are highly educated (university degrees) and qualified but are currently unemployed -- largely because of the mess this present Government has got us into. Needless to say, I will not be voting back FF."
Another teacher said: "Undecided between Labour and Fine Gael. If latter gets its act together before next election, they may get my vote."
One of those polled insisted: "Fianna Fail is our best opportunity," despite the pay cut controversy.
But another of the teachers polled said: "The only thing that will influence me is the fear that Fianna Fail will retain power."
EDITORIAL COMMENT: PAGE 22