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Both main parties lose ground as Fine Gael retains slim lead over Fianna Fáil in latest opinion poll

The latest Behaviour & Attitudes poll for the Sunday Times was published today.

Polls at the moment suggest next year's general election will be a close one.
Polls at the moment suggest next year's general election will be a close one.

FINE GAEL HAS lost two points but still has a two-point lead over Fianna Fáil according to the latest Behaviour & Attitudes poll for the Sunday Times.

The poll of 923 eligible voters conducted between 1-12 November shows Fine Gael on top with 27% and Fianna Fáil on 25% (down three points).

The small gap between the two main parties suggests a tight race in the general election due to take place next year, while the drop in support for both of them comes after the recent “votegate” controversy in the Dáil.

The two largest parties in the Dáil continued to criticise the other this weekend, with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin taking aim in a speech at the party’s national youth conference in Portlaoise last night.

He said: “Certain Ministers appear only interested in appearing in public if they can be guaranteed not to have to talk about their own areas.  The only initiatives that party has launched have been absurd attacks directly at us and they have signalled that they intend running one of the most negative campaigns we’ve ever seen.

But however negative and personal they get, and no matter how much effort they put into their obsessive attempt to shape media commentary, we must have as our primary focus showing the people that there is an alternative.

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy responded by saying pledges made by Martin when it came to housing were “entirely disingenuous”. 

“For three years, Fianna Fáil have promised a housing plan and still nothing,” he said. “All they have are slogans and soundbites.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also said yesterday that the criticism from some parties on the government’s housing policies were “ideological” in nature. 

With the drop in support for Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, there was better news for other parties in the latest opinion poll. 

Sinn Féin and Labour rose one point to 17% and 6%, respectively.

The Green Party is unchanged on 6% while the Independent Alliance – whose TDs are supporting the government – is up two points to 4%. 

The Social Democrats rise one point to 2%, while Solidarity-PBP have dropped one point to 2%.

Independents, meanwhile, are up one to 10%. 

The margin of error in the poll is +/- 3.3%

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Sean Murray

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