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Hayes faces defeat in European elections, poll shows



Fine Gael Junior Minister Brian Hayes is facing defeat in next month's European elections as Sinn Fein and Independents look set to capitalise on a wave of anti-Government public sentiment.

According to a new Sunday Independent/MillwardBrown opinion poll of the make or break Dublin constituency, the first comprehensive poll of its kind in this election, a decisive backlash against both Fine Gael and Labour is crystallising, with less than five weeks to polling day.

Today's poll shows Fine Gael junior finance minister Brian Hayes, the perceived early favourite to take the first seat, is lagging behind Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan (20pc) and Independent MEP Nessa Childers (19pc).

Based on the figures published today, Mr Hayes, on 15pc, is in a dogfight for the last seat with Fianna Fail's Mary Fitzpatrick (13pc), Labour's Emer Costello (12pc) and Green Party leader and former Minister Eamon Ryan (11pc).

Our poll also asked for people's second preference in terms of candidate and of greater concern for Mr Hayes, is the fact he is not as transfer friendly as Ms Costello, Mr Ryan or even Ms Fitzpatrick.

On this basis, Mr Hayes is facing an uphill battle to take one of the three Dublin seats.  Any failure by Fine Gael to win a seat in Dublin would have serious internal ramifications for Mr Kenny within a party who are furious about the mishandling of the Shatter crisis.

Nationally, taking both yesterday’s Irish Independent poll and today’s poll together, Sinn Fein look set to take three seats in the European Parliament, one in each constituency, which would represent a remarkable surge in their fortunes. Fine Gael and Fianna Fail look set to take two seats each, while Labour are only in contention for one seat.

According to today’s Dublin poll, which was taken last Tuesday and Wednesday, Ms Childers is the most transfer friendly of all of the candidates, with18 per cent saying they would give her their number two preference.

Sitting unelected Socialist MEP Paul Murphy, who replaced Joe Higgins after he was elected to the Dail in 2011, is polling at just 4pc and at this stage looks unlikely to retain his seat.

Mr Murphy is sitting one point behind the People Before Profit candidate, Brid Smith, while Direct Democracy Ireland's Tom Darcy is at 1pc.

For full Coverage of the Sunday Independent/MillwardBrown opinion poll, see tomorrow’s Sunday Independent or Independent.ie

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