Wednesday 25 April 2018

70pc of us now unhappy with Government

Labour bears brunt of backlash with support at 6pc, while FG dips to 25pc

Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald and Lynn Boylan, the Sinn Fein candidate for Dublin in the European Election. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald and Lynn Boylan, the Sinn Fein candidate for Dublin in the European Election. Photo: Tom Burke

Daniel McConnell and Niall O'Connor

SEVEN out of 10 voters are now unhappy with how the Government is running the country.

The public backlash against the Coalition shows no signs of relenting, with less than one in four satisfied with the work of Fine Gael and Labour.

Today's Irish Independent/ Millward Brown opinion poll reveals the deep public disenchantment following a series of controversies involving Justice Minister Alan Shatter and the introduction of water charges.

However, the public ire is particularly focused on Labour, who stand at just 6pc in the nationwide poll of 1,500 voters.

Fine Gael is still the largest party on 25pc, although this is down 11 points from the 36pc that swept Enda Kenny into power in the 2011 General Election.

Women, lower socio-economic workers, and opposition party supporters were identified by the poll as being most unhappy with the Government.

In contrast, wealthier better-educated voters tended to feel the Coalition is doing a good job, as did a large number of the farming community.

The two main opposition parties, Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein, have both increased their vote on the general election. Fianna Fail in today's poll is on 23pc, as are the various independents; while Sinn Fein has more than doubled its general election performance from 10pc to 21pc.

Sinn Fein yesterday claimed that its candidates' strong performance in the opinion polls is as a result of public dissatisfaction with the Government.

The party's Dublin candidate in the European elections, Lynn Boylan, said that voters "are not buying the recovery story.

"That's what the poll shows more than anything. We have three-and-a-half weeks to convert that sentiment into votes," she said.

Party leader Gerry Adams played down the poll findings and said Sinn Fein is trying to convince voters "that there's a republican way to do business".

He was responding to the findings in Saturday's Millward Brown opinion poll, which showed that Sinn Fein's candidates in Midlands-North-West and Ireland South will comfortably take a European seat.

In terms of satisfaction with the party leaders, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore is the least popular, with seven out of 10 voters saying they are dissatisfied with his leadership.

Just 18pc of those polled said they were happy with his leadership, making him as unpopular as former Taoiseach Brian Cowen in the months before his government fell in early 2011.


A large majority of voters have also expressed dissatisfaction with Taoiseach Enda Kenny's performance as leader of Fine Gael. Just 31pc of people said they felt he was doing a good job, while 63pc said they were unhappy with his leadership.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Mr Adams are tied in terms of satisfaction with their leadership.

In both cases, 52pc of people polled said they were unhappy with their leadership of their respective parties, with 34pc expressing confidence in them and 14pc failing to express an opinion.

Irish Independent

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