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Sinn Féin Surge In Latest Poll As Fine Gael Plummets

If the first opinion poll of the general election had a question mark or two about its methodologies, the results of polling by Ipsos MRBI are generally regarded with a little bit more favour. Which makes today’s publication of a report showing a significant drop in support for Fine Gael and a surprise leap in the numbers supporting Sinn Féin all the more interesting. The full results of the voter survey carried out for the Irish Times makes for some intriguing extrapolations in terms of the configuration of the next Dáil, even with a margin-of-error of 2.8%.

Fianna Fáil 25% (NC)

Fine Gael 23% (-6%)

Sinn Féin 21% (+7%)

Green Party 8% (NC)

Labour Party 5% (-1%)

Solidarity-People Before Profit 2% (+1%)

Independents4Change 1% (-1%)

Independent Alliance 1% (NC)

Independents & Others 13% (+1%)

The country went into the election campaign expecting FG and FF to scrap it out for the leadership of a minority government propped up by some mix of the Green Party, Labour Party and various “gene pool” independents, with the loser of that contest joining a much diminished SF on the Opposition benches.

However if this polling trend keeps up, and admittedly that is a big “if” given the likely influence of the recent “Black and Tans” controversy on voter intentions, Mary Lou McDonald’s party would not just retain its seats but add some too. However, and as most observers know, Sinn Féin tends to do better in the opinion polls than at the real polls and has often been crippled by its lack of transfers. Maybe this time around things will be different as we move further away from the era of conflict in the Six Counties and an older generation of well-known republican activists retire from the limelight? And if that comes to pass how will a strong Sinn Féin showing effect the very public refusals of Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin to consider any type of reciprocal deal with SF in the Oireachtas?

Personally I think it would be better for Sinn Féin to have the numbers to form a coalition partnership with Fine Gael or Fianna Fáil, however junior a partner, but to have that turned down flat by the larger parties so that it can blame the establishment duopoly for disenfranchising its voters and “not listening to the will of the people”, and all that blarney. But we shall see. My money is still on FG or FF taking office in a deal with the Green Party and others, bolstering their supposed environmental credentials. And god knows the Greens are making little effort to hide their desperation to get back into power after a decade in the political – and financial – wilderness.

But what of those forthcoming television debates, with both RTÉ and Virgin Media refusing to allow a three-way head-to-head between Varadkar, Martin and McDonald? How can that be credible given the last two polls, where just 4% in support separates the political parties in first and third places?

4 comments on “Sinn Féin Surge In Latest Poll As Fine Gael Plummets

  1. The debate performance, the offer of straight up coalition from LV to MM, three years of C&S, keeping SF out of the debates. That’s a lot of forces on the electorate, all reinforcing the same message that FF & FG are the same.

    The country does not want more of the same. The polling is loud and clear on that poi

    And I’m not sure what vitriol the media have left to hurl at SF. Especially now the Troubles generation is leaving the scene.

    These are the conditions which have the potential to launch a breakout surge for SF, there are parallels to the Spring Tide of ’92 which would have swept Labour into majority govt position had Labour run sufficient candidates.

    It’s probably reckless but I’d be seriously tempted to try something like “For the centenary that’s in it, why not give Sinn Féin 75% of the seats. Defeated the British landlords then, ready to defeat the Irish landlords today.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a Celt from across the water my most striking observation of the politics of the ROI was how right wing FF and FG were.

    Now I know the perception of right and left depends to a large extent of the communal mindset, but from the outside looking in Ireland is exceedingly conservative – with to my mind both FF and FF being Tories in Republican wrapping.

    The lack of good and adequate social housing or the lack of a NHS being I think an particular examples.

    Yes the Republic has had economic success over recent years. But it has come with a hard edge, and folks, especially after the crash, are maybe now more ready to embrace a party that can bring change, where things are more evenly spread, where there is better community protection with things just like a properly funded NHS or the provision of good affordable state sponsored housing.

    With the shadow of the troubles generation now fading SF could well provide a very real alternative that folks would want to vote for – especially too with the boys and girls in the north wondering who they are and where they are as they head out (?) of Europe.

    But back to ROI the FG in considering commemorating the Black and Tans have b shown themselves to be completely out of touch. Quite how an Irish political party could be blind to the murderous brutality meted out to innocent men, woman and children beggars belief.

    But on a deeper level it maybe reinforces how out of touch they are to the economic and social injustices extant today in Ireland.

    Can you imagine the SNP in Scotland commemorating the Clearances of the Highlands to depopulate and destroy a people ( or for a political party in Israel to celebrate the guards at Dachu, Belsen, Auswitch and Treblinka for doing their jobs.

    Don’t think so, and whilst we all need to move on, as in many ways we have, maybe the time is now right absolutely right for the new (?) SF to make a break through.

    In Scotland SNP support in the last two Westminster general elections has been between around 43% to 50% ( where with FPTP that has given them between 80% and 98% of the seats)

    In Hollyrood, with the De’honde PR system similar voting has given the SNP control of the Parliament for 12 years now. First as a minority government, then as a working majority government, and then as a government backed by a handful of Greens

    Not difficult to see how a nationalist socially democratic left of centre party can be successful despite still being in the clutches of the UK state that is doing everything it can to destroy the party.

    Analogies with SF maybe – but if a left of centre SNP party can get 50% of the vote or actually 49.94%, then where to SF.

    Interesting times as we all work to try a get to a fairer prosperous society without the fear and deprivation of economic hunger

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ar an sliabh

    SF joined FF and FG as a main stream party, Genuflecting to the queen and offering to wear the poppy. Bad sign for unification, and making a huge opening for someone new to fill the void for the Republican Cause.


  4. If this General Election turns out in a negative light and Fianna Fail or Fianna Gael get back into power there will be turbulence on the streets! If Sinn Fein do in fact win it, it is neither FF nor FG’s place to deny them there rights to their seats as spoken from the people of the land. It is not their decision to make! This is what they are rightly forgetting, they believe it is their entitlement to be in power and do whatever it is they like with no decency or compassion for the hard working people of this land! It is time for change! Their are many more hungry people like me in this land right at this moment, people hungry for their chance to succeed not just survive! Sinn Fein are making us promises and I have a gut feeling that they will do everything within their power to deliver these promises to the best of their ability but only if they get the chance! The time is now to use your vote! For your future, for my future and for every other human being that is set to follow us! A chairde, do not waste your vote it really does matter, you really do matter! Whatever you do, please for the sake of humanity, claim your vote, use your vote to make the difference we most desperately need!


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