Saturday 16 December 2017

FG/Labour poll shows FF still struggling in Dublin

Martina McCann, Claudia and Lorraine Kennedy pictured at the FF Ard Fheis in the RDS. Picture; GERRY MOONEY
Martina McCann, Claudia and Lorraine Kennedy pictured at the FF Ard Fheis in the RDS. Picture; GERRY MOONEY
John Drennan

John Drennan

Secret Coalition polling has revealed that the Fianna Fail recovery in Dublin has stalled.

Instead, the main opposition party is still mired in what one source called "capital meltdown country".

The news will come as a serious blow to the embattled Fianna Fail leader, Micheal Martin, as he struggles to revive the party.

Reviving the party would be seen as representing a key part of any Fianna Fail recovery.

However, the results of two recent constituency polls in Dublin West and Dublin South Central, conducted by the Red C polling company using a mock ballot paper, reveal that Fianna Fail is in danger of repeating its 2011 meltdown.

Only those who said they were likely to vote were polled.

In Dublin West, the poll conducted just before the controversial ousting of two-time by-election candidate David McGuinness by Jack Chambers, revealed that Fianna Fail, who won its sole seat in the capital in 2011, is unlikely to win a seat in what has been seen by the party as a priority constituency.

By contrast, despite growing concerns within Labour that the Tanaiste Joan Burton could lose her seat, Ms Burton will win the third seat.

Fine Gael's Leo Varadkar (24pc) tops the poll with SF's Paul Donnelly coming in second (22pc) while Ms Burton and Ruth Coppinger are locked together at 14pc apiece.

The Fianna Fail candidate (11pc) is barely ahead of the Independent David Hall at 11pc and 9pc respectively.

Significantly, the polls also reveal that Fine Gael transfers will play a key role in saving embattled Labour seats.

Ms Burton receives 60pc of Leo Varadkar's surplus, while, by contrast, even when competing with the Socialist party, FF is still transfer toxic.

The relative strength of Fine Gael in Dublin is replicated in an even more recent poll in the four- seat Dublin South Central constituency where the party's TD Catherine Byrne tops the poll at 24pc.

By contrast, of the eight candidates polled, Fianna Fail's Catherine Ardagh (6pc) and Daithi de Roiste (4pc) come in seventh and eighth respectively.

The figures show Sinn Fein, with 25pc, technically has a chance of winning two seats.

However, poor vote management means that Daithi Doolan (9pc) is too far behind Aengus O'Snodaigh (19pc) to win a seat. The big surprise in a constituency where Labour has been tipped to lose both current seats is that Labour veteran Eric Byrne, courtesy of heavy Fine Gael transfers, will easily see off the hard- left candidate Joan Collins for the last seat. Brid Smyth will also win a seat for People before Profit.

Sunday Independent

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