This month’s poll for the Sunday Times by Behaviour & Attitudes shows the widest gap between the two main parties since last February’s General Election.
Opposition Fianna Fail has progressed three points since the comparable January survey, reaching a post-election high of 32 per cent support in voting intentions. Conversely, ruling Fine Gael’s slump to 21 per cent leaves it in its worse polling position with any of Ireland’s four polling organisations since the election. The two historic forces finished within one percentage point of each other at the ballot box.
There is little other change of note in the poll: third placed Sinn Fein is up two points but its score of 19 is still within the range it has occupied with B & A since September 2016. A change of leadership in Northern Ireland has put the party in the headlines in recent weeks, and it stands five points above its General Election outcome.
While the figure for Independent support is down 7 points, this may simply show that their January score was an outlier – typically Independents have registered 8 to 10 per cent in this survey series since the election.
Alongside the usual question on government and leader satisfaction, B & A also asked about Irish voters’ attitudes to new US President Donald Trump. While 61 per cent felt Taoiseach Enda Kenny should visit the While House on St. Patrick’s Day (with 32 against), some 56 per cent were opposed to an invitation to Trump to visit Ireland (with 36 in favour).
First preference voting intentions in per cent (change on January survey in brackets):
- Fianna Fail 32 (+3)
- Fine Gael 21 (-2)
- Sinn Fein 19 (+2)
- Labour 6 (+1)
- Greens 2 (-1)
- Social Democrats 2 (+1)
- Others 9 (+1)
- Independents 8 (-7)
Fieldwork: 31.01-08.02.2017. Release date: 11.02.2017. Participants: 955. Methodology: In-home, face-to-face interviews. Figures given here are for those certain to vote with adjustments for past voting.
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