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Is Labour going nowhere under Joan Burton? We asked her...

The junior coalition partner is struggling in the polls. So what does the leader make of it all?
May 25th 2015, 6:10 AM 8,095 46

LABOUR MAY HAVE been focussing all of its efforts into the same-sex marriage referendum campaign in recent weeks, but the party’s poor poll ratings haven’t gone completely unnoticed.

An Irish Times Ipsos MRBI poll published last week put Labour on 7 per cent, the exact same level of support it got in last year’s local and European elections.

That result prompted then-leader Eamon Gilmore to resign and, after a lengthy election process, Joan Burton became Labour’s first female leader last July.

Though one or two polls have shown a bounce for the party under the new regime, it has consistently failed to get anywhere above 10 per cent.

In fact, this graph of the Sunday Business Post and Paddy Power Red C polls carried out between June last year and April of this year shows the extent to which Labour is languishing around the single figures:

labour poll rating Source: Red C/

So has Joan Burton failed to make an impact as Labour leader? Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t think so.

When she came into the offices last week to discuss the referendum we asked her about the party’s poor performance in the polls.

She believes there has been a huge amount of work done to reposition Labour, citing the last Budget, where there were increases to child benefit and the partial restoration of the Christmas.

Here’s what else she told us:

Source: Video: Aoife Barry/

Read: Gerry Adams just can’t see the point of Labour in government

Last year: Here are 6 big challenges facing Joan Burton as the new Labour leader and Tánaiste

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Hugh O'Connell


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