Tuesday 25 July 2017

The rise of Independents continues

Mick Wallace
Mick Wallace
John Downing

John Downing

Almost one in three voters would back an Independent candidate in the next election, a new opinion poll has revealed.

The survey also showed Fine Gael's popularity is down three points but it is still the most popular political party. The Red C 'Sunday Business Post' poll shows Independents and Others are up 4pc to 31pc.

The survey comes as the Cabinet is on a break until September 2, and the Dáil and Seanad are closed until late September. It confirms a series of other surveys in recent times and suggests that all the main parties will struggle with voter disenchantment with traditional politics.

Fine Gael, down 3pc to 25pc, and Fianna Fáil, down two points on 18pc, appear to be the losers. Sinn Féin is unchanged at 18pc and the Labour Party is up one point to 8pc.

The poll result will revive speculation about a strong government role for Independent TDs after the general election. It will also promote talk of an eventual coalition between the two traditional parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, something both parties consistently rule out.

The survey found a limited impact so far for newcomers the Social Democrats, launched by Independent TDs Catherine Murphy, Róisín Shortall and Stephen Donnelly. They are put on 2pc after their launch a fortnight ago.

The other new party, Renua Ireland which launched in March, is put on 1pc while the Green Party is on 2pc and People Before Profit is on 1pc. The rest of the non-aligned "Independents and Others" are on 25pc.

A separate survey for the 'Sunday Times' showed 70pc of voters support abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, down from 76pc.

Irish Independent

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