Irish Republican News · April 19, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
SF gains again in latest poll

Support for the Dublin government has slipped in the past month in the 26 Counties, while Sinn Fein has gained further ground.

The party is now tied neck with Labour for the position of third largest party in the South, according to the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C opinion poll

Fianna Fail’s junio coalition partners, the Progressive Democrats have made some gains, while the Green Party has fallen back slightly.

A mid-term slump for Bertie Ahern’s Fianna Fail is continuing, with just 32 per cent of voters saying they will vote for Fianna Fail in the local elections in June. This means the party has lost almost 10 percentage points - one quarter of its support base - in less than two years.

The main opposition Fine Gael is making no recovery whatsoever since its disastrous last general election showing at 22 per cent of first preference votes.

Labour activists, who attend their annual conference in the RDS at the weekend, may also be disheartened by the poll. Despite Fianna Fail’s slip, Labour has not registered a gain. Instead, the party remains on 12 per cent of the vote and appears set to be overhauled by Sinn Fein as the third largest party.

Sinn Fein will be encouraged by the poll, which also shows an increase in support for the party in the Dublin area, and could take a European Parliament seat for the Dublin constituency.

Asked which of four possible coalition government options they found acceptable, the most popular option was the ‘caring coalition’ or ‘democratic alliance’ being advocated for the next general election -- FIne Gael, Labour and the Green Party.

Some 61 per cent of voters say they would find such a coalition acceptable, beating a continuation of the current Fianna Fail-Progressive Democrats arrangement by six points.

However, it appears such a coalition would not be possible without the inclusion of Sinn Fein or a large number of independent members. A Fianna Fail-Sinn Fein coalition and a Fianna Fail-Labour coalition were the least popular options.

The following was the result of the poll:

Support in local elections - (1999 result in brackets)

Fianna Fail 32% (40%)
Fine Gael 22% (30%)
Sinn Fein 12% (3%)
Labour 12% (10%)
PDs 5% (2)
Green Party 7% (2%)

Support in European elections - (1999 result in brackets)

Fianna Fail 33% (39%)
Fine Gael 22% (25%)
Labour 13% (9%)
Sinn Fein 11% (6%)
PDs 3% (0%) - not contesting
Green Party 7% (7%)

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© 2004 Irish Republican News