Saturday 21 October 2017

Poll shows voters would prefer Gilmore over White

Eamon Gilmore. Picture: Arthur Carron
Eamon Gilmore. Picture: Arthur Carron

Niall O'Connor and Philip Ryan

LABOUR would attract more support with leader Eamon Gilmore than it would under his potential replacement Alex White, a new opinion poll has found.

A greater number of voters say they'd prefer a Gilmore-led Labour Party than one under the leadership of the junior health minister.

The surprise finding in yesterday's Red C poll will make for dismal reading for Mr White, who faces a mammoth battle to defeat Social Protection Minister Joan Burton, left, for the leadership.

According to the poll, commissioned by bookmaker Paddy Power, 15pc of voters said they would or would likely vote for Labour under the leadership of Mr Gilmore. This increases to 21pc if Joan Burton was leader, but falls to 13pc if Mr White headed up the party.

But overall the poll places the junior coalition partner on just 4pc support, a fall of 7pc since the last Red C poll.

If replicated in a general election, Labour would be left with just a handful of TDs.

Asked about the next leader of the Labour Party, 55pc of voters said they'd prefer Ms Burton, compared to 30pc for Mr White and 15pc said they don't know.

Ms Burton's core support base is among women, while Mr White attracted his largest support among men. Speaking following the publication of the poll, Mr White said he believed he was "closing the gap" on Ms Burton in the contest.

"I think this is a leadership contest within the party that is dynamic and I look forward to the engagement we are having and continue to have for the next three weeks," he said.

"A lot of people have not decided yet who they are going to vote for," he added.

Meanwhile, the poll shows growing support for Sinn Fein and the Independents. Gerry Adams' party secured 22pc support, the same level as Fine Gael. Support for Independents has grown, placing them on 32pc. Fianna Fail is on 18pc.

Red C surveyed more than 1,000 voters between June 9-12.

Irish Independent

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