Wednesday 22 May 2019

Coalition boost as Fine Gael and Labour up while Sinn Fein down

Taoiseach Enda Kenny sings Christmas carols with Rebel Fine Gael TD Peter Matthews and the Oireachtas choir after the Leinster House Christmas tree lights where switched on
Taoiseach Enda Kenny sings Christmas carols with Rebel Fine Gael TD Peter Matthews and the Oireachtas choir after the Leinster House Christmas tree lights where switched on

The coalition parties have got a bailout exit bounce with a massive jump in support for Fine Gael and the Labour Party, a new opinion poll shows.

Ahead of the formal exit from the troika programme this weekend, Taoiseach Enda Kenny is the most popular party leader in the country.

The boost for the Coalition comes as Mr Kenny prepares to deliver a state-of-the-nation address to mark the country exiting the bailout. Fine Gael is up four points to 30pc, with Labour up three points to 9pc.

Fianna Fail is unchanged on 22pc, but Sinn Fein is down two points to 21pc and Independents and other parties are down five points.

Satisfaction with the Government is also up substantially, by six points to 26pc, according to 'The Irish Times'/ Ipsos MRBI poll.

Aside from the exit from the bailout, the government parties also delivered a Budget containing €2.5bn worth of cuts and taxes since the previous poll.

Despite the measures contained in the Budget, the opposition parties have failed to capitalise.

Labour support level has recovered slightly from the record low figure recorded in the previous poll, where its support bottomed out at just 6pc.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's satisfaction rating is up by four points to 19pc.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has seen his party jump ahead of Sinn Fein as the best supported opposition party.

Mr Martin's satisfaction rating has also risen to 29pc.

After controversy over accusations of cover ups of abuse by the IRA and Sinn Fein's much derided reaction to the Smithwick Tribunal, the party's support is down and so too is the satisfaction rating of Mr Adams.

The Sinn Fein president has fallen to third place in the leaders ratings after dropping from two points to 27pc.

The poll shows the Government is clearly benefiting from the announcement of a clean exit from the bailout.

In his address this weekend, Mr Kenny will also be emphasising the country is not “flush with money” and the Government will still have to pursue sound economic policies.

The Cabinet will meet this morning to discuss its new economic plan for the rest of the decade.

The poll was taken on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

The previous comparable poll was taken on September 26.

Fionnan Sheahan Group Political Editor

Irish Independent

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