Saturday 14 December 2019

Majority of constituents would favour McGrath as FF leader

Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath Photo: Tom Burke
Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Fianna Fáil's finance spokesman would make a better leader of the party than Micheál Martin, a slim majority of their constituents believes.

While Mr Martin has the backing of most Fianna Fáil supporters in Cork South-Central, some 38pc of all voters in the constituency favour Michael McGrath as party leader.

This compares with 37pc who opted for Mr Martin, while 9pc said neither of them.

The result is backed up by a finding that more than one in four constituents described Mr McGrath as the most effective TD for the constituency over the past five years.

This put him well ahead of Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney (16pc), Mr Martin (12pc), Fine Gael's Jerry Buttimer (10pc) and the Labour Party's Ciarán Lynch (5pc).

Even 10pc of Fine Gael supporters backed Mr McGrath as the best local representative.

Mr Lynch, who has been a TD since 2007, is likely to put part of his poor showing down to the national trend away from the Labour Party - but also the fact that he has spent much of the past year working on the Banking Inquiry.

Twice as many Fianna Fáil supporters cited Mr McGrath as the best performer, compared with Mr Martin.

However, on the issue of leadership, 53pc of Fianna Fáil voters believe Mr Martin should continue at the helm of the party, compared to 38pc who would like to see their other sitting TD take over.

One in five people described Mr Martin as the least effective TD for Cork South-Central, followed by Mr Buttimer and Mr Coveney on 13pc each.

Constituents clearly have a mostly positive view of the Fianna Fáil duo, with just 9pc believing that Mr Martin was the worst performer and just 2pc saying Mr McGrath.

The Millward Brown poll for the Irish Independent also asked 497 adults who they would like to see as the next leader of Fine Gael.

More than one in three backed their local representative, Simon Coveney, but the Health Minister Leo Varadkar also made a strong showing on 21pc. Just 5pc named Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who is seen as the other frontrunner for the job.

Half of Fine Gael voters went for Mr Coveney, compared with 31pc for Mr Varadkar.

Irish Independent

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