Sunday 25 September 2016

Sinn Fein in crisis as voters flee to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail

Published 28/06/2015 | 02:30

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is the only party leader not to have increased in voter satisfaction
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is the only party leader not to have increased in voter satisfaction

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail are the political parties with momentum as the General Election looms into sight, according to the latest Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll.

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The two traditional parties have each surged four points, Labour has dropped support again but Sinn Fein is the only party to have fallen back for the second successive poll.

The nationwide poll has also found Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is the only party leader not to have increased in voter satisfaction.

In a further finding which indicates that Sinn Fein is facing a potential crisis, the party has shown a rise in 'toxicity' since the last poll was taken in April.

Asked which party they will not for in the election 37pc said Sinn Fein, up five points, while Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour have become less toxic in the same period.

The poll was taken between June 16 and 19 at the height of a stand-off between the EU/ECB/IMF and Greece, whose leadership Syriza has aligned with Sinn Fein here.

Read more: Labour is running out of road but Sinn Fein is losing its allure

Excluding Don't Knows, the state of the parties is: Fine Gael (29pc) up four points; Fianna Fail (23pc) up four points; Sinn Fein (21pc) down three points; Labour (6pc) down two points; the Greens (1pc) down two points and Independents/others (20pc) unchanged. The Independents include the Socialist Party (2pc), Renua Ireland (1pc), and People Before Profit (1pc). The margin of error is 3.1 pc.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail will be pleased with increased levels of support which, interestingly, leaves them the only two-party combination which could form a majority coalition government.

There will be heightened concern in Labour which has now fallen back to support levels in the local and European elections. It is evident Labour is not benefitting from the economic recovery which voters are crediting to Fine Gael.

That said, dissatisfaction with the Government has fallen significantly, down six to 63pc; satisfaction is at its highest in these polls even though just 29pc are pleased the Government.

Read more: You can do what you like when you're independent, unless the UN says no

The poll also finds a slim majority (51pc) want the Government to run its full term while a third (31pc) wants an autumn election.

Fianna Fail will be relieved the poll shows it breaking the 20pc barrier for the first time in almost a year. Micheal Martin has also registered the biggest rise in leader satisfaction and fall in dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction with the party leaders shows: Enda Kenny (32pc) up five points; Joan Burton (26pc) up one point; Micheal Martin (36pc) up six points; Gerry Adams (30pc) down two points and Lucinda Creighton (21pc) up one point.

Asked which party or political grouping they would not vote for in the election, those polled said: Fine Gael (32pc) down eight points; Labour (30pc) down two points; Fianna Fail (24pc) down six points; Sinn Fein (37pc) up five points; Socialist Party (18pc) up two points; People Before Profit (15pc) unchanged and Renua (13pc) down one point.

Sunday Independent

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