Féin In The Neck And Neck

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Sinn Féin is neck-and-neck with Fine Gael in popular support for the first time, according to the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

The poll also shows that Labour has benefited from a modest bounce since the summer Cabinet reshuffle with new Tánaiste Joan Burton now the most popular party leader.

And it appears that the controversy over John McNulty’s Seanad nomination has had no impact on Fine Gael support since the last poll in May.

Enda to grow beard and tweet about teddy bears in desperate bid to win back voters.


Sinn Féin level with Fine Gael, opinion poll shows (Stephen Collins, Irish Times)

89 thoughts on “Féin In The Neck And Neck

  1. Tom Stewart

    Wow. I would have put money on FF being up.

    *rubs hands with glee to see that they’re down 5*

      1. Martco

        not so fast

        it’s the “working class” vote, SF working very hard on that and my bets would be on these numbers increasing

        repeated lies, self-preservation, failure to treat people equally & amazing incompetence will do that…
        unless FG/LAB/FF & pals find some new dirt on SF (that people down to their last cent & struggling to pay bills give an actual shite about anymore) they’re as good as in

        let them eat cake

  2. Walter Ego

    Sinn Feins support has grown simply because people are losing patience with the other tried and tested parties who have let the country down.

      1. Sidewinder

        It’s amazing, we have this golden opportunity to know what a party is like when they’re in government without actually having them in our government and no-one is watching. It’s painful.

        1. Ultach

          Will the Shinners have to share power with the DUP in Leinster House? If not then the south is an apple and the north is an orange. So to speak.

          1. Cian

            They’ll have to share power with *somebody*, as nobody is likely to get an overall majority here ever again.

            They can’t make grandiose claims of how they’ll work in coalition down here while having a complete clusterfupp in coalition 150 miles away. Or more likely they can, and some people will fall for it.

          2. Sidewinder

            I’d agree if it wasn’t for the attitude towards labour, the greens and the PDs we’ve seen here in the past. Power sharing is clearly not something people have considered. Especially given that there’s no way SF would get a majority and would likely have to share power here too.

          3. Ultach

            @Cian, true, but they wouldn’t have to bunk up with the DUP and may have more leeway to coalite with more likeminded parties. For argument’s sake like.

      2. Martco

        Cian unfortunately the people who will be voting for SF in the upcoming elections won’t give a shite about Stormont….if they could get close enough to Kenny they’d chop him up (metaphorically if course though can’t wait to hear the scary bedtime stories come GE time heh)

        imo it’s working class/disaffected v’s well off middle class/farmers all the way now

      3. The Old Boy

        I may be being horribly unfair, but I can’t imagine your average Sinn Féin voter could give you a reasonable account of the performance of the Stormont government. Besides, if the issue does come up they just blame the deficiencies on having to share power with the DUP and say the Tory government in Westminster is choking their funding. The latter is particularly hilarious as presumably part of Sinn Féin policy is an increase in the already massive subsidy from London.

    1. bisted

      …this Government should have been FG/FF and would have been if the Labour leaders had resisted the pull of power…not to mention Ministerial pensions. Labour would by now be poised to become the largest party instead of looking at political oblivion with only the Greens for company.

      1. Sidewinder

        Every vaguely worthwhile minor party falls for it. Leading me to my ever firmed belief that anyone who gets into politics is stupid/corrupt/apathetic.

      2. Sidewinder

        Every vaguely worthwhile minor party falls for it. Leading me to my ever firmed belief that anyone who gets into politics is stupid/corrupt/apathetic.

        1. Medium Sized C

          I don’t understand how you can equate wanting to be in power to apathy.
          So I assume you are saying Labour are Stupid or corrupt.

          Which is fair enough.

          But I find the idea that they would have been better off turning the government down and playing hurlers-in-the-ditch for five years maddening.

          1. Sidewinder

            I mean apathetic about the job or their own reputation. I think we’d all have been better off if labour hadn’t sold out, yes.

  3. Kolmo

    Unfortunately for SF they will suffer the full brunt of the Do’B media machine closer to the election and those stats will fall, but luckily for FG, they will be made to look like they actually give a shit about Irish society when almost every single thing they do is to benefit the insulated classes and multi-nationals, and secure cushy Euro jobs when current gig is over…

          1. will-billy

            i did use the word ‘historically’. mortell, gavin duffy, savage etc are fg media handlers and have been very prominent on newstalk or in close association with those who were, prior to and since last election. also hookey who of course is openly fg supporter

  4. Louis Lefronde

    Ok, time for a reality check. Firstly young people (men in particular) don’t vote, especially in working class districts – so Sinn Fein’s ‘vote’ is soft and fickle. A higher proportion of the electorate above the age of 50 vote, and pensioners in particular – they are traditionally conservative, risk-averse and selfish. Moreover they are no fans of Sinn Fein.

    Women voters in urban areas are the key swing constituency, they are unlikely to gravitate towards Labour and certainly not Sinn Fein. That important segment tends to float, and at the moment is trending in and out of the Independent category.

    1. ReproBertie

      That all sounds reasonable but none of it exaplins how SF became the biggest party in Dublin City, South County Dublin, Louth and Monaghan in the last local elections. Across the country SF gained 105 seats (the exact number that FG lost).

      I fully expect our next government to be a FF/SF coalition. I don’t expect it to see out its full term though.

      1. Mister Mister

        Are they currently the biggest party in the various Dublin Districts ? If they were I thought they’d be controlling all county councils ?

        1. ReproBertie

          They are and they are. (They managed, along with a smattering of AAA/PBP/UL and independents, to pass that anti-science motion about the water just last week.) As a result in 2016 Dublin City will have a SF Lord Mayor.

      2. will-billy

        i think we are looking at ff/fg but equally short lived while first pref percentages do support your theory, PR may ensure numbers of seats only allow majority of ff/fg.

    2. Martco

      true if you’re operating off norms
      but we’re not in normal territory anymore
      SF are working hard at mobilising the disaffected people you mentioned, Ive attended some meetings and though they don’t convince me they’re no gobshites…own the county councils. Look,
      I work in a tier 1 corporate, respectable conservativeish lads like me (30-50) are FURIOUS with what has happened in the last couple of years, nothing worse than an opportunity wasted…going on my family friends work colleagues strawpoll is you’ll have a reaction there. You also have a class divide now like never before….I like FG/LAB…watching FG/LAB operate is like watching an episode of Faulty Towers, life imitating art….see how they’ve handled the water TAX? Water meter installation red herring is uniting many communities now like its WW2 times & FG/LAB did that all by themselves…SF milking all of that and why wouldn’t they? Indos & SF will profit bigtime and people who will give SF the mandate won’t give a shite about any of that negative old rope conflict…that’s for the OAP’s and history nerds to linger about and it won’t be enough
      Indos for me, just dreaming of a party of Stephen Donnelly’s to run the show and a reformed system zzzz

  5. Sam

    Even when clicking on the story and then clicking on ‘Full results” they don’t say how much smaller the pie is with the ‘undecided / none of the above’ sector removed.
    I think that’s always a useful figure to indicate the health of a democracy.

  6. Louis Lefronde

    @ReproBertie. What you need to look at here is the turn-out in the local elections back in May which was the 2nd lowest in electoral history. Sinn Fein managed to mobilise it’s core vote, as it always does – but a very large segment of the electorate doesn’t turn up for local elections, but does when it comes to a General Election. Here’s an interesting map concerning turnout I came across.

    https://geographyspecialinterestgroup.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/localelections2014_voterturnout2updated.jpg

  7. Louis Lefronde

    If the figures continue on this trend into the early months of 2015, you can expect Enda Kenny will be sidelined as jittery backbenchers in FG fear losing their seats in 2016. It’s what is known in Irish politics as the ‘Jack Lynch’ effect and it has already started. The smart move would be to replace him with Varadkar to shore-up the vote in Dublin, but Fine Gael rural TDs will likely pick Coveney.

    1. will-billy

      none of those things will happen but i expect your analysis of turnout is partly correct. however what you do not factor in is whether sf can successfully ‘get out the vote’ . i believe they may yet be successful at this, more than you allow.

      1. Louis Lefronde

        Mark my words there will be a Fine Gael / Fianna Fail coalition after the next General Election. Coveney and others (including Martin) are on record saying as much. Don’t be surprised if you have ‘the Cork mafia’ firmly embedded in Merrion Square come April 2016

  8. mauriac

    people should pay more attention to sinn fein candidate selection which is all top down.not sure they are democratic yet.

  9. 15 cents

    feck it. why not give the shinners a go. everyone else has had a pop, and all done the exact same self-serving job of it .. may as well let someone else have a go. nothing changes when a new party come in, they just follow the template left by the previous lot.

      1. ReproBertie

        I disagree. FG/LAb got in because FF/Greens left us bankrupt with our sovereignty in hock to the Troika. No matter how bad the nay sayers predicted things would get if FG/Lab got in I was happier to see them get in than to see the same shower of self satisfied prks from FF landing their ar5es in minsterial mercs. We were in for a number of years of hard times no matter who we voted in but there was no justification whatsoever for rewarding FF for their gross mishandling of everything except ther own pay and pensions.

        1. will-billy

          i don’t think you do disagree repro! anyway lets disagree to not agree :) i refer to some men on the clapham omnibus with whom i conferred, who post-last general election reliably informed me it was Enda’s turn now and sure hadn’t he worked hard for years in opposition

          1. ReproBertie

            I know what you’re saying but I think the last general election was more a case of “fupp you FF” than “Enda’s turn now”. If that’s true then 15 cents “may as well let someone else have a go” wasn’t what got FG/Lab into power.

            No doubt there were people who preferred the “Enda’s turn” justification but for me it was all about fupp you FF. This opinion on the result may, of course, have been coloured by my own long standing “fupp you FF” prejudice.

          2. will-billy

            yea that too. i suppose what i mean is there were some who genuinely thought it was a new dawn in some way even though a. enda was clearly an inept gobshite b. gilmore and burton even worse. c. noonan, quinn, rabbitte and howlin career gobshites etc . i could go on

    1. Medium Sized C

      The problem is not which party, the problem is parties.

      Or rather, the whip and the complete lack of incentive for anybody but publicans, young solicitors and teachers to become involved in politics.

      I doubt SF will reform anything at all because in the end, regardless of their very recent history, they are Mary Lou, Gerry and a shower of the same incompetents you will find in all the other parties.

    2. Sidewinder

      Because they’ve got party members (leaders in fact) who merrily advocated murder for decades and those members who didn’t seem to merrily ignore that fact. It baffles me.

      1. Martco

        Sidewinder it will baffle you because you actually care about that kind of stuff. But I reckon the people voting for SF (new and old) will set that aside this time….anyway horrible histories are slowly fading to grey as time ticks plus the country is managed by what appears to be some of the overpaid staff from Fossets Circus

        1. Sidewinder

          How narrow a view have you to assume I don’t know that already? The fact that FG has crazily fascist roots is not news to me. Is it news to you that we people we’ve named streets after and consider national heroes were totally on board with slavery? Hell Flanagan’s da was a massive anti-semite. The early days of any of our main parties aren’t pretty.

          But McGuinness is a leader NOW. Adams is a leader NOW. These aren’t roots we’re talking about, it’s a person who could actually be Tainaiste if things keep going this way.

        2. Ray Luna

          I must have missed the chapter in the history book where the blueshirts engaged in a 30 year campaign of murder and violence that involved disappearing people from their families while refusing to call the murder of Dec McCabe in a crass criminal robbery ‘murder’.

          1. Medium Sized C

            I am a young man and I remember events at the tail end of the Troubles.
            I certainly remember the Omagh bombing, which all republican paramilitaries and their political wingers share some blame in.

            My father is an old man, and he is too young to remember the prominence of the blueshirts.

  10. Sinabhfuil

    The ‘working-class people don’t vote’ assumption is the main factor that lost the Irish Parliamentary Party and Unionists the 1918 election. Most of the time, working-class people don’t vote, but get them angry enough…

    1. Louis Lefronde

      You obviously know nothing about the 1918 election and the fact that in at least in 25 constituencies the IPP did not contest the seats, and Sinn Féin candidates were returned unopposed. Furthermore the division of votes was not based on ‘class’ as you mistakenly assume. An additional ingredient was the absence of Labour who chose not to contest the election, which was possibly the dumbest decision in their political history.

      An additional factor in the 1918 election is that it operated on a first-past-the-post basis in single seat constituencies, so notwithstanding the IPP won 21 % of the votes, they only ended up with 6 seats! Sinn Fein contested and won 48 seats (with 46.9%), and were returned in 25 uncontested constituencies. The Unionists won 26 seats on 31% of the vote. In a proportional representation system, the combined IPP / Unionist vote (not that they would have combined) would have resulted in higher seat share.. as they received 52% of all votes cast.

      1. ReproBertie

        Also the Representation of the People Act in February of 1918 saw the Irish electorate increased by about 1.25 million.

      2. Sinabhfuil

        Thanks for the nice reply with additional information, Louis Lefronde.
        My great-aunts and their friends told me about working to get people out to vote who had never voted before in 1918 – much like the 1970s Civil Rights voting push to get black people to vote in the US.
        The IPP leaving seats uncontested was surely because they knew they had no hope of being elected in those seats.
        When the Irish electorate increased by a million, it brought working people into the voting register who wouldn’t have been able to vote before, I think…

  11. Joxer

    as much as it pains me to predict i would say that FF/FG is the likely outcome post the next GE. SF will more than likely drop a few seats and I expect Lab to be decimated. what Lab have done is tantamount to loading the revolver with a bullet, putting it to their temple and pulling the trigger. increases for Indys and more than likely Greens on the cards.

    Whilst I think that SF candidates are great at local politics (fixing the street lights etc) they are still a long way away from National politics

    i know nothing of their activities in the northern jurisdiction as theres enough going out down south to be concerning me but maybe we should start taking more interest/.

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