Narrow lead for Fianna Fail with B&A as Varadkar fails to achieve poll lift-off

Just as in last weekend’s Red C poll, new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has failed to make an immediate impact in the first Behaviour & Attitudes survey to be fully researched since his election.

In the comparable June B & A poll, the two main parties were tied on 29 per cent of voting intentions. Now opposition Fianna Fail has edged into a single point lead, moving up to 30 per cent. Nearly all other forces – including Sinn Fein, Labour, the Social Democrats and Independent candidates – have unchanged support, while the Greens and the Independent Alliance drop one each.

There is better news for the Fine Gael minority government in the monthly leader satisfaction ratings. The government itself improves from 35 to 39 per cent satisfaction following the change of leader, while Varadkar has a rating of 43 per cent compared to the final score for outgoing Taoiseach Enda Kenny of 37 per cent. That helps only a little in closing the gap on Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin who advances from 52 to 54 per cent. Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams (43 per cent) and Labour’s Brendan Howlin (42 per cent) match Varadkar. Pollster B & A notes in its commentary that one-third of voters are still undecided on Varadkar as Taoiseach, and considers that ‘this in itself is a positive result at this early stage’.

Elsewhere the poll finds strong support for two of the three proposed constitutional changes likely to feature in a referendum in 2018: allowing Irish emigrants abroad to vote in Presidential elections (69 per cent for, 21 against, 10 Don’t Know) and removing the criminal offence of blasphemy (54 for, 22 against, 24 Don’t Know). The public is split on the proposal to remove reference to a woman’s role in the home from the constitution – favouring this by just 41 to 39, with 20 per cent being Don’t Knows.


First preference voting intentions, per cent
(change on 19 June poll in brackets):

Fianna Fail 30 (+1)
Fine Gael 29 (nc)
Sinn Fein 18 (nc)
Labour 5 (nc)
Independent Alliance 4 (-1)
Greens 2 (-1)
Solidarity-PBP 2 (+1)
Social Democrats 1 (nc)
Renua 0 (nc)
Others 0 (nc)
Independents 9 (nc)

Fieldwork: 29.06-11.07.2017. Published: 16.07.2017. Participants: 923 Methodology: In-home, face-to-face interviews, adjusted for past turnout. Full details on the B&A site here.


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