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Sunday 10 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar
support drop

Support for the Government drops as Sinn Féin continue to rise in popularity

The drop in support will be concerning to Fine Gael, who fall to their lowest level of support since 1994.

SUPPORT FOR THE Government has dropped again amid an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, as Fine Gael drops to its lowest level since 1994.

According to the latest Irish Times Ipsos poll, support for the three Government parties has dropped with Fianna Fáil on 20% (down three points), Fine Gael on 18% (down four points) and Green Party unchanged on 3%.

Alongside decreasing support for the parties, satisfaction with the Government has fallen sharply since April, dropping 12 points to 32%.

Satisfaction with the coalition party leaders has also dropped, with Leo Varadkar falling by 12 points to 36%, Micheál Martin dropping by 11 points to 40% and Eamon Ryan falling by four points to 15%.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin continue to surge in support and have reached their highest ever point in the Ipsos poll series at 36%, an increase of three points.

Satisfaction with Sinn Féin’s leader Mary Lou McDonald has also increased, rising by one point to 43%.

When asked about the poll today, the Taoiseach said he won’t allow policy to be dictated by an Irish Times/Ipsos poll that has shown that voter satisfaction with the Government has fallen to its lowest level since it formed two years ago.

“I think one of the challenges and dangers can be, with polling, that people respond too quickly or with a knee jerk,” he said.

“I don’t allow opinion polls to dictate government approaches to issues, and I think one of the challenges and dangers can be, with polling, that people respond too quickly or with a knee jerk and it leads to short-termism in terms of government decisions and policies.”

He said that the Government was going to go the distance.

“I’ve always seen this as a government that goes the whole distance. I see that as my role as Taoiseach”, he said.

“I was heartened by the confidence vote the other day with a very substantial gap between government and opposition which indicates to me that the the majority of deputies in Dail Eireann want to see out the mandate of this Dail, and this government, to effect real change.

“You can only affect real change if you can do policy decisions that have the timeline, and that are more future-oriented than a short-term perspective.”

However, he added that the polling showed that there was a platform for Fianna Fail.

“What’s interesting about the poll is that it’s an in-person poll,” he said.

“I think it’s clear now that there’s a very strong contrast, to say the least, between the in-person polls and internet panel polling – particularly related to the core parties.

“We’ve been in and around the 20%, and 20% in today’s poll, consistently now in the in-person polling for quite some time.

“So for us there’s a platform there, we were at 22% in the general election.”

The drop in support for the Government comes just days after it survived a confidence motion tabled by Sinn Féin, after it lost its majority on paper.

However, the Government defeated the motion with 85 votes to 66, a margin of 19 with multiple Independent TDs voting with the Government.

Government party TDs like Neasa Hourigan and Joe McHugh, who had previously lost the whip for voting against the Government, also supported them during the confidence motion.

The poll, which is run by the Irish Times and the polling company Ipsos, also sees support for Independents and smaller parties rise slightly.

Labour remains the same on 4%, the Social Democrats remain in 2%, Solidarity People Before Profit are on 3% (up two points), Aontú remains on 1% and Independents have risen by 4 points to 14%.

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