FOR THE FIRST time in five years, Fine Gael is not out in front in the race for popularity. They have been joined in the top slot by Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil.
According to the latest Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post, both parties have 26 per cent support among the Irish electorate. As the lead coalition party continues to implement austerity measures and struggles with stubbornly-high unemployment rates, its popularity dropped two points.
Since January, Fine Gael’s support has fallen dramatically from 36 per cent to 26 per cent.
Fianna Fáil’s trajectory has been just the opposite. At the start of 2013, it only managed to obtain 17 per cent support but that figure has been rising steadily since then. Today’s poll shows another one point jump, bringing the party in line with Fine Gael at 26 per cent.
Labour’s woes have not abated either with their support level stagnant at 11 per cent. There has also been no change for Sinn Féin who remain at 16 per cent.
If there was an election held tomorrow, Independent and other small party members would receive 21 per cent of the first preference vote.
The survey was compiled by Red C from a sample of 1,003 adults over the telephone between 20 and 22 May. It should be noted that the calls were made as the row between Minister Alan Shatter and a number of TDs was making headlines.