Sunday 25 March 2018

Significant swing in support of both Coalition parties and Fianna Fail

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
Daniel McConnell

Daniel McConnell

A Sunday Independent/Millward Brown opinion poll reveals a significant swing in support to both Coalition parties and Fianna Fáil at the expense of Sinn Fein and Independents.

Voters are clearly beginning to feel that the worst of the economic crisis, which has engulfed this country since 2008, is over as they re engage with the main establishment parties.

While Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil will be encouraged by our poll's party support figures, the number of voters who fail to express support for any of the current parties, the 'don't knows', has again increased to more than one-third (37 per cent).

This consistency in the high level of undecideds, which is dominated by the 'Lost Generation' of 18-45 year olds worst disproportionately affected by unemployment, mortgage arrears and negative equity, has been seen as the target market for any new party. Yet it is clear, this group remain disenchanted will all the current political options.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's party, at 30 per cent, are enjoying their best poll rating since we began polling in February 2013, while Labour's rating is the highest since May of last year.

Once those undecideds are excluded, Fine Gael remains the most popular party up three since our last poll which was published on November 17 last.

Support for the Labour Party appears to be returning as they rise three points to 12 per cent, their best poll result in nine months.

Despite internal rumblings of unhappiness as to the effectiveness of Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin before Christmas, the party has seen a two point rise in its support to 26 per cent.

In one of its strongest findings, today's poll also shows a significant drop in support for Sinn Fein, from 21 per cent to 16 per cent, while support for Independent TDs has also fallen back from 18 per cent to 15 per cent.

Public satisfaction with how the Government is running the country has also improved to its best level since this series of polls began last year, but still less than one in four people (23 per cent) think the coalition is doing a good job.

Those most happy with the Government are Fine Gael supporters, the better educated and those living in the Dublin area, likely because of the recent increase in house prices. The numbers who stated they were dissatisfied with how the country is being run has also fallen from 74 per cent to 68 per cent, its lowest level since polling began.

The poll of 961 adults at 66 sampling points throughout Ireland was conducted between January 15 and last Friday.

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