Current Affairs Politics

Sinn Féin Jumps In New Polls, Fine Gael Suggests Grand Coalition With Fianna Fáil

If Sinn Féin went into the general election with the widespread belief that it was going to suffer serious losses in the February vote, following on from setbacks at last year’s local and European elections, the opinion polls may be starting to indicate a different outcome in next month’s ballot. While it is still early days in the campaign, and SF always does better in the polls than at the actual ballot box, especially with its poor record on vote-transfers, Mary Lou McDonald’s party may be on course to not just retain its current quota of twenty-two TDanna but actually gain some more too. According to the latest Sunday Business Post/Rec C survey, party support across the country breaks down as follows (with a margin-of-error of +/-3%).

  • Fianna Fáil 26% (+2%)
  • Fine Gael 23% (-7%)
  • Sinn Féin 19% (+8%)
  • Green Party 8% (+1%)
  • Labour Party 4% (-2%)
  • Social Democrats 3% (+1%)
  • Solidarity-PBP 2% (NC)
  • Aontú 1% (NC)
  • Independents 14% (-2%)

Given the usual – and not entirely unjustified – weighting methodology used to lower SF support in Rec C polls a jump of 8% is pretty spectacular. And this seems to be more than just a passing blip with even the Daily Mail/Ireland Elects poll showing definite signs of movement towards the republican party.

  • Fianna Fáil 27% (+2%)
  • Fine Gael 22% (-6%)
  • Sinn Féin 20% (+5%)
  • Green Party 10% (+3%)
  • Labour Party 6% (+1%)
  • Social Democrats 3% (NC)
  • Solidarity-PBP 1% (NC)
  • Aontú 1% (+1%)
  • Independents 14% (-2%)

Given the above results is it any wonder that Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney are once again pushing the suggestion of a grand coalition deal between the two main parties of the right, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, even if the latter is looking to the Greens, Labour and like-minded independents for potential colaition partners? If the FG and FF duopoly of government is to be maintained in the face of a possible Sinn Féin surge, albeit one that may yield just a handful of extra seats, then the unthinkable could become thinkable and a Blue Shirt/Green Shirt administration might become a reality. Thus partially sealing the old if latterly meaningless Civil War fissure in Irish politics and making for a far more explicit and healthier right/left divide in the Oireachtas.

In the meantime we can expect a significant chunk of the national press to go into derangement mode as it struggles with the possibility that Mary Lou McDonald won’t suffer the electoral humiliation so many journalists and reporters long for her to have, as decades of anti-republican and anti-progressive sentiment mixes with plain old misogyny.

Fun times!

Update: A tentative seat projection via CLR and @NZPredictor.

  • Fianna Fáil 48 (+4)
  • Fine Gael 41 (-8)
  • Sinn Féin 33 (+10)
  • Green Party 11 (+9)
  • Independents/Others 10 (-3)
  • Labour Party 6 (-1)
  • Social Democrats 4 (+2)
  • Independent Alliance 3 (-3)
  • Solidarity-People Before Profit 2 (-4)
  • Independents4Change 1 (-3)

1 comment on “Sinn Féin Jumps In New Polls, Fine Gael Suggests Grand Coalition With Fianna Fáil

  1. Was the GP reformed after the 2011 wipeout? Or is it still the Trevor Sargent Neoliberal party that sold out all of its principles and policies for ministerial pensions?

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