Strong backing for Irish President Higgins while Fianna Fail moves up in voting intentions

Ireland’s biggest opposition party, Fianna Fail, moves up three points in this weekend’s poll by Red C for the Sunday Business Post – its best score in this series since March 2016. Red C pollster Richard Colwell attributes Fianna Fail’s gain to its recent positioning in favour of more rural funding and protecting mortgage holders. Perhaps more significantly he also notes a longer term trend away from smaller parties back to the ‘big two’ of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, perhaps explained by improving consumer confidence and economic growth. In this poll the two parties together hold 61 per cent of voting intentions, compared to 50 per cent of first preference votes at the last Dail Eireann elections in February 2016.

That trend is borne out in yesterday’s survey which shows the Greens dropping two points to just 2 per cent and Solidarity-People Before Profit sinking by the same amount to a mere 1 per cent.

Meanwhile Red C also asked voters about the prospect of a second term for popular Irish President Michael D.Higgins. An election for the head of state’s post is due by this November at the latest, with Higgins yet to formally declare. While 48 per cent of voters believe Higgins ‘should honour his promise to only serve one term as President’, were he actually to run he could count on majority backing across all age groups, all social classes, all regions of the Republic and among supporters of all the main parties. In total 56 per cent say they would vote for him, 27 per cent not, with 17 per cent undecided.


RED C 25 February
First preference voting intentions, per cent
(change on 28 January poll in brackets):

Fine Gael 32 (nc)
Fianna Fail 29 (+3)
Sinn Fein 14 (-1)
Labour 6 (nc)
Independent Alliance 3 (nc)
Greens 2 (-2)
Social Democrats 2 (nc)
Renua 1 (+1)
Solidarity-PBP 1 (-2)
Independents 10 (+1)

Fieldwork: 15.02-22.02.2018. Published: 25.02.2018. Participants: 1000. Methodology: Telephone poll, weighted by past voting and likelihood to vote. Media partner: Sunday Business Post. Full details from Red C here.


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