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Mary Lou may be Sinn Féin's leader-in-waiting, but whether that translates to votes is another story

A new poll shows that it won’t change how two-thirds of voters view the party.

McDonald voting during the marriage equality referendum.
McDonald voting during the marriage equality referendum.
Image: Mark StedmanRollingNews.ie

TWO-THIRDS OF voters have said that Mary Lou McDonald’s leadership of Sinn Féin would not make them more likely to vote for the party.

A new poll gauging people’s opinion on the Gerry Adams’ successor-to-be  has found that, while some people may be swayed by her leadership, most will not.

A Claire Byrne/Amarách poll for the TheJournal.ie asked people: “Would you be more likely to vote for Sinn Fein under the leadership of Mary Lou McDonald?”

Of those surveyed, 24% said Yes, 60% said No and 16% said Don’t know.

Those numbers were relatively similar across different age groups but men were more likely to say McDonald’s leadership would positively affect how they felt about the party.

On the opposing side, a separate poll asked whether respondents would be less likely to vote for the party under McDonald’s leadership.

On that questions, 28% said Yes, 51% said No and 21% said Don’t Know.

Separating those two polls may be tricky, but from both polls it’s clear that over half of people said McDonald’s leadership would not affect whether or not they vote for Sinn Féin.

The party itself  would surely point to the one in four people who said that a McDonald leadership makes a vote for them more likely.

McDonald was formally nominated for the position of party leader by numerous Sinn Féin cumainn throughout the country.

As the only person to be nominated for the position, McDonald will be formally ratified as the new leader in three week’s time at a special Ard Fheis in Dublin’s RDS on 10 February.

Adams has been leader of Sinn Féin since 1983 with McDonald being deputy leader of the party since 2009.

Read: Gerry Adams has advertised the leadership job he has held for 35 years >

Read: Sinn Féin MP Barry McElduff to resign over Kingsmill loaf video >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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