Ireland’s minority ruling Fine Gael party sees its support fall by two percentage points today in the first Behaviour & Attitudes poll of the year, carried out for the Sunday Times. However it retains a healthy six-point lead in voting intentions over the main opposition, Fianna Fail. And to put this slight dip into context, it should be remembered that Fine Gael was at a four-year high in B & A’s November and December polls.
No other party moves by more than a single point in this survey.
In terms of the main party leaders, three out of four see their satisfaction ratios drop sharply, but again this is coming off December high points for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael), Micheal Martin (Fianna Fail) and Brendan Howlin (Labour). There is little movement for Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein.
Respondents were also asked which political issues most concerned them: the health service (68 per cent) and homelessness (50 per cent) topped the chart, clearly arising out of media coverage of these issues in recent weeks, notably around the winter problems faced by hospitals. Abortion was placed just 9th in the table, named by 15 per cent, in a year when a critical referendum is due on reforming the Irish Republic’s abortion laws. Immigration was named by a mere 1 per cent of voters.
BEHAVIOUR & ATTITUDES 21 January
First preference voting intentions, per cent
(change on December poll in brackets):
Fine Gael 32.0 (-2.0)
Fianna Fail 26.0 (nc)
Sinn Fein 18.0 (+1.0)
Labour 6.0 (+1.0)
Independent Alliance 4.0 (nc)
Greens 2.0 (nc)
Solidarity-PBP 2.0 (nc)
Social Democrats 1.0 (-1.0)
Socialist Party 0.0 (nc)
Independents 9.0 (+1.0)
Party leader satisfaction, per cent
(change on December poll in brackets)
Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael 52.0 (-4.0)
Micheal Martin, Fianna Fail 50.0 (-5.0)
Brendan Howlin, Labour 42.0 (-4.0)
Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein 37.0 (-1.0)
Fieldwork: 04.01-16.01.2018. Published: 21.01.2018. Participants: 920. Methodology: In-home, face-to-face interviews, adjusted for past turnout. Media partner: Sunday Times. Full details on the B&A site here.
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