News Politics

Thursday 18 September 2014

Burton twice as likely as White to attract Labour voters: poll

But voters believe Labour should pull out of coalition if austerity not relaxed, Sunday Independent poll

John Drennan, Philip Ryan and Fionnan Sheahan

Published 07/06/2014 | 20:42

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Joan Burton and Alex White
Joan Burton and Alex White

Joan Burton is more than twice as likely to attract voters to the Labour Party than her leadership rival Alex White, a Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll has found.

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However, more than half of voters believe Labour should pull out of the Coalition if austerity is not relaxed.

The Labour leadership debate is hotting up with the first debate between the candidates in the next 48 hours.

When asked which of the leadership candidates would be more likely to attract their vote, 35pc say Ms Burton and 16pc say Mr White.

But between them, the Labour leadership contenders appeal only half the electorate.

Ms Burton receives the backing of 71pc of Labour supporters back Ms Burton for the leadership, while Mr White fares better among Sinn Fein supporter with 24pc saying they would consider voting for the party with him as leader.

However, almost half of voters say the Labour leadership will make no difference to their views on the party.

Of those polled, 22pc say neither of the candidates would entice them to vote for Labour, 8pc say somebody else, 7pc don’t know and 12pc say they wouldn’t vote for Labour anyway.

The opinion poll was taken among a sample of 1,019 people at 93 locations across the country on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Interviews were conducted face-to-face in people’s homes. The data was weighted to reflect the adult population aged over 18 and margin of error is +/- 3.1pc.

The opinion poll was conducted on June 3-4 last among 1,000 voters at 93 locations across the country.

The poll also shows Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s Coalition has hit new levels of dissatisfaction with the public, rivaling even the dying days of Brian Cowen’s government, as it struggles to respond to the local elections drubbing, an Irish Independent Millward Brown opinion poll shows.

The resignation of Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, a commitment to resolve the medical card crisis and the expectation of changes in the reshuffle have done nothing to drag the Coalition out its slump.

Worryingly for the Government parties, the low support levels achieved in the local and European election continue – with no sign the voters have got the anger out of their system and would view a general election in a different light.

Sinn Fein and the Independents would potentially get a majority of seats if there was a snap general elections.

Sinn Fein, in particular, has continued to build on the momentum gained in the local and European elections, with the party’s support levels rising further.

Although the party’s vote in the local elections was still well short of its opinion poll showing, Sinn Fein would still make substantial gains in its number of TDs.

Fianna Fail’s recovery is still steady but unspectacular.

Fine Gael and the Labour Party continue to languish in low levels of support.

Worse yet is the status of the Government’s performance.

Satisfaction with the Government has fallen back to its lowest level so far.

Just one in six people are happy with the Coalition’s performance.

Nearly four in five are unhappy with the way the Government is running the country. This is the highest level of dissatisfaction seen in these polls for well over three years – stretching back to the dying days of the previous government.

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