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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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irish farmers journal

Fine Gael remains the most popular political party among Irish farmers, poll shows

That’s according to a poll commissioned by the Irish Farmers Journal.

FINE GAEL REMAINS the most popular political party among Irish farmers, a new poll has found. 

The Irish Farmers Journal has commissioned Ifac to carry out independent research among its dataset of subscribers and print readers. 

37% of farmers surveyed said they would give their first-preference vote to Fine Gael in a general election. This is an unchanged figure from the last poll, taken in May of this year. 

Fianna Fáil’s level of support is also unchanged, at 23%. 

Sinn Féin has been steadily gaining support in recent polls, but this time its support dropped to 13%. 

Just 30% of farmers polled rated Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue as good or very good, while 31% see him as having performed poorly or very poorly. The other 39% of people are indifferent about his performance. 

Only one in three respondents (30%) rated the performance of farm organisations, such as IFA, ICMSA, ICSA and Macra na Feirme, as good or very good. 

Dissatisfaction with the performance of the farm organisations is most apparent among tillage farmers, with 42% describing their efforts as poor or very poor. Just 21% of cereal growers classed the farm bodies as good or very good. 

The poll also found that one-third of farmers have reduced stock numbers this year. It found that 36% of beef farmers and 37% of sheep farmers have cut numbers. Just 24% of dairy farmers, however, have reduced their herd size. 

When asked to explain the reason why they had decided to cut cattle numbers, beef farmers generally cited input costs, tight fodder suppliers or the high purchase price of cattle. 

44% of respondents to the poll were beef farmers, 19% were dairy farmers, 12% were sheep farmers and 4% were tillage farmers. The remaining respondents comprised of contract rearers, pig farmers, poultry farmers and horticultural enterprises. 

A sample of 1,801 people were polled for the research carried out between 7 and 14 September. There is a margin of error of 3%. 

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