News Politics

Thursday 18 September 2014

Support for Labour party at all time low

DANIEL McCONNELL, Political Correspondent

Published 19/04/2014 | 18:01

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Labour party leader Eamon Gilmore
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore wants greater assistance in paying the bills for those on low incomes
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore

Support for the Labour Party has slumped to an all time low of 6 per cent, a new Sunday Independent/MillwardBrown opinion poll reveals.

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The poll also shows that a strong majority of people want Justice Minister Alan Shatter to resign or be fired from Cabinet over his handling of various Garda controversies in recent weeks.

Of further concern for Mr Gilmore is that almost one in three identified Labour supporters, 31 per cent, also say they are unhappy with his leadership.

In stark contrast, and somewhat surprisingly, support for Fine Gael has actually increased by 2 points to 29 per cent. 

This is despite the series of Garda related controversies which involved Justice Minister Alan Shatter.

A strong majority of those polled, 70 per cent believe Alan Shatter should either resign as minister or be fired because of his handling of the secret Garda taping affair, once don't knows are excluded. A similar majority feel he should also resign because of his treatment of the Garda whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is also the country's most popular leader with 27 per cent of those polled saying he is doing a good job.

Fianna Fáil now lies seven points behind Fine Gael on 22 per cent. While the party has increased its support marginally by one per cent, its failure to capitalise on the Shatter controversies is becoming the subject of much internal angst and today's finding will further the pressure on party leader Micheal Martin.

Despite a drop of two points, the poll still shows Sinn Fein polling strongly at 20 per cent, double the vote they received at the last General Election.  Support for Independent candidates has increased slightly to 21 per cent.

Despite the good news for Fine Gael, of concern would be the proportion of voters who failed to express a preference for any of the current political options. The level of 'don't knows' remains very high at 34 per cent, reflecting a widespread disenchantment with the overall political system.

Full details and analysis of the poll will feature in tomorrow’s Sunday Independent.

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