Government Parties Make Gains
Fine Gael and Labour make the gains in this month’s poll, a direct result of steep decline in support for Independent candidates.
Fine Gael secure 28% of the vote, up 3% this month, and obtain the best level of support seen since September last year. Labour secure 10% of the first preference vote, also up 3% from last month, and the second time they have reached this level in the past 3 months.
In a potential dress rehearsal for a General Election the main parties have made these gains following widespread media coverage during the referendum campaign, while support for Independent candidates who receive far less coverage, tumbles down 6% in just one month.
For Fine Gael it has been a good year so far, with a relatively consistent upward trend in support. This appears to be driven by a return of past voters back to the party. In Jan this year just 57% of those who voted for Fine Gael in 2011 said they would do so in an election tomorrow, that figure now has risen to a much more respectable 68%.
Labours gains are not based so strongly on returning voters, with only 40% of those that voted or the party in 2011, suggesting they would vote Labour in an election tomorrow. Rather it appears they are simply doing a slightly better job of attracting small numbers from new first time voters and those who voted for other parties last time around.
Fianna Fail does not appear to have had the disastrous poll that many might have expected following the resignation of the high profile Avril Power. Support for the party remains steady at 19%. However, in our poll for the referendum two weeks ago we did ask some vote intention questions to run the analyse by, and here it appeared that Fianna Fail had finally made gains during the referendum campaign. As such it could well be that gains made during the campaign and any bounce from the by election win in Carlow Kilkenny have simply been cancelled out by event since then.
Sinn Fein meanwhile sees support fall back slightly but remain in the low 20% area that they have generally been registering for some months now.
Download the full report below: