Wednesday 13 December 2017

Honeymoon goes on as FG, Kenny soar in poll

•FF stuck on 16pc •Labour holds steady

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny and Fine Gael are continuing to enjoy a honeymoon period in government with both leader and party enjoying record levels of support, a new Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll reveals.

After 100 days in power, Fine Gael's popularity has soared to 42pc, a rise of six points since the general election. Support for the Labour Party is also holding steady on 19pc.

But voters are in no mood to forgive Fianna Fail after its election mauling, with the party still languishing at 16pc -- and still registering in single digits in Dublin.

Fine Gael's rating has risen sharply despite a majority of voters believing no progress has been made on key economic promises made by the Coalition in the election campaign.

Just a year ago, Mr Kenny barely survived a leadership heave brought about by poor poll ratings. But now his performance gets the thumbs up from 65pc of voters, a stunning 26-point rise since he came to power.

Not since former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's heyday around the 2002 General Election, when he won a second term, has a leader of the country recorded such a substantial approval rating.

Fine Gael got 36pc of the vote in the election, winning 76 seats. If the party got 42pc in an election, Mr Kenny would easily win an overall majority.

Labour Party backbenchers need not be panicking yet about losing their seats as the junior coalition party continues to hold its gains since the election.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's standing has improved with the voters since he went into office too. His satisfaction rating has gone up by 11pc to 53pc -- his highest placing in a year.

Sinn Fein support has gone up marginally by 1pc to 11pc since the election, with party president Gerry Adams' satisfaction rating jumping eight points to 37pc.

Fianna Fail is virtually stagnant since its election savaging. The party's support level has actually dropped by one point to 16pc and in Dublin it is recording only 9pc.

After the death of former Finance Minister Brian Lenihan, the party now has no TD in Dublin. Based on these figures, it will take the party a considerable amount of time to even begin recovering lost support arising from the economic meltdown and the arrival of the EU/IMF last year.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin is also stuck in a rut and records the same 46pc satisfaction rating he got just before polling day in the general election.

Mr Martin and Fianna Fail are not getting any credit for the new Government largely following the same economic policies on banking, budgets and the bailout.

The Government has not convinced the public it has made progress on significant economic promises -- but it is not damaging the coalition parties' standing in the eyes of the electorate.

On the burning of bondholders, 57pc say the Government has made no progress on this promise -- and just three out of 10 voters feel progress had been made.


Likewise, 54pc feel there is no progress by the new Government on the issue of recapitalising the banks. But more than a third feel progress has been made.

And exactly half feel there has been no progress made on the renegotiation of the EU/IMF deal. But 43pc feel there was some progress made on changing the bailout.

Not surprisingly, well over half, 56pc, think no progress has been made on reducing the interest rate on the bailout.

The Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll was conducted among a sample of 1,035 adults on a face-to-face basis in the home at 93 sampling points throughout all constituencies in the country.

Interviewing on the poll was carried out on Saturday, June 18, and Monday, June 20.

Irish Independent

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