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Joan Burton remains confident while Labour crashes

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Joan Burton

Joan Burton

Joan Burton

Tanaiste Joan Burton is still "confident" of a comeback in her fortunes, despite the Labour Party dropping to record low levels in the latest opinion poll.

Ms Burton believes the next general election will be "fought on trust".

But the poll findings are especially worrying for her after Labour's support plunged to only 5pc.

Support for Independents continued to surge in the Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll, with 32pc of voters saying they will vote for an alternative to the established political parties at the next general election.

recovery

Sinn Fein's popularity has plummeted to 21pc, but the party is still ahead of Fianna Fail on 18pc and just behind Fine Gael on 22pc. The Green Party are on 2pc.

Ms Burton's spokesman said many people have not felt the benefits of economic recovery.

"The challenge now is to secure the recovery and broaden it out in a fair way," he said.

"Labour's priority is to build a social recovery to achieve this, and that process has already begun in the recent budget with tax reductions for every worker and child benefit increased for every family.

"The next election will be fought on trust because it will boil down to a simple question: Who does the public trust to secure the recovery and spread it to every household?

"The Tanaiste is confident the public will trust in Labour to return to government, because they will see the party has already started the process and is best placed to finish the job."

Independents and smaller parties jumped nine points since the last poll and could take more than 50 seats, according to Maynooth lecturer Dr Adrian Kavanagh.

Based on the latest figures, no clear coalition of two parties could be made up without the cooperation of Independents, putting them in the position of kingmakers in the formation of the next government.

Several new groupings are expected to be formed next year.

Lucinda Creighton's Reform Alliance, Shane Ross' Independent Alliance and Michael Fitzmaurice's rural independent alliance are all in the mix.

The approval ratings of the party leaders in yesterday's poll were also of little comfort to the established parties.

Ms Burton's rating has fallen six points to 22pc - the lowest since she became Labour leader.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams' rating dropped four points to 23pc, and almost two thirds of people those questioned said they do not believe his claim that he does not know the names of sex offenders relocated by the IRA from the North to the Republic.

allegations

Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny's leadership rating dropped four points to 21pc, while Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has seen his approval rating drop five points to 24pc.

More than half (54pc) of respondents believe that Mairia Cahill's claim of Sinn Fein and the IRA trying to cover up her sex abuse allegations has damaged Mr Adams' reputation.

And 46pc of people said Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald's reputation has also been damaged by Ms Cahill's allegations.

hnews@herald.ie


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