Friday 20 April 2018

Little appetite for SF option as Greens escape the backlash

Shane Doran and Fionnan Sheahan

DESPITE seeing its coalition partner obliterated in the polls, it appears the Green Party is holding its own in government.

The junior Government party has come in for stinging criticism from the Opposition in recent months, during which time it has endured a series of high-profile defections from its ranks.

However, support for the party remains steady at 5pc -- the exact same as the party vote in 2007 general election.

This will be a significant point for the party leadership to sell to the membership at the party conference next weekend, ahead of the local and European elections.

John Gormley's popularity is a quite low 28pc -- far lower than his predecessor scored during the Greens' period in opposition. It compares unfavourably with the 44pc satisfaction rating of Trevor Sargent in the weeks before to the last General Election.

Overall, however, Mr Gormley will be happy his party has escaped the brunt of growing public anger at the Government's handling of the economy.

Just one-in-10 people think the Government is doing a good job in taking the State out of the unprecedented economic crisis. But it appears Fianna Fail is taking the brunt of the backlash.

Elsewhere, Sinn Fein failed to make any meaningful gains in the wake of its ard fheis last weekend, with support for the party holding at 7pc.

Gerry Adams frequently scores quite highly in the approval ratings for party leaders, despite the fact he is not actually an elected representative in this country.

Alternative

It appears he and Sinn Fein gained nothing from its annual gathering, when Mr Adams proposed a left alliance "alternative" to a Fianna Fail or Fine Gael-led coalition.

According to the poll, his three-party "left" grouping consisting of an alliance with Labour, the Greens and various community groups would attract just 34pc support of the electorate, far short of the clear 52pc majority a Fine Gael-Labour coalition enjoys.

Perhaps echoing growing public dissatisfaction with party politics, support for Independents has risen to 10pc from the 6.6pc recorded at the last General Election.The PDs 3pc support from the election is now included in the Independents score.

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