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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 2 December 2020

Poll: People would vote practically the same way if there was another election

Enda Kenny, however, isn’t faring very well.

PastedImage-3665 Source: PaddyPower/Red C

IT MAY HAVE taken 70 days to form a government, but a new opinion poll shows that the delay hasn’t had any effect on support for the main parties.

Today’s Paddy Power/Red C poll shows that Fine Gael remains the most popular party in the country with a support level of 27%. Fianna Fáil comes in just behind the government party, commanding the support of 25% of those surveyed.

Both those figures are a point higher than they respectively achieved in the general election but are the same as a previous poll two months ago.

Sinn Féin’s support comes in at 16%, a point higher than it was on 13 March and two points higher than the general election.

Independents appear to have suffered the greatest hit since the general election after falling from 13% to a current level of 9%.

It’s worth noting, however, that this is the same level of support they enjoyed in the previous poll taken before two of their members, Katherine Zappone and Denis Naughten, entered cabinet.

The Independent Alliance is treated separately in the poll and has seen its support dip by two points to 3% since the government was formed.

PastedImage-25438 Source: PaddyPower/Rd C

(Note: This chart is ordered left to right based on the general election result, not the new poll. The figures below the party names are the new poll figures)

Rocky road

The stability of support for the two largest parties is not matched by people’s confidence in the stability of the new Fine Gael-led minority administration.

When given a number of options about how long the government will last into its term, 45% of people believe it won’t last longer than a year. Just over a third (35%) think it will make it past a year but won’t reach two years.

Enda Kenny’s position as Taoiseach is even more precarious in people’s eyes.

Kenny has already indicated he won’t finish the new government’s term, but when asked when he should go, nearly half (48%) of those surveyed think he should go now. That figure is comfortably above the 18% of people who would give him at least a year.

Lucky Leo

PastedImage-47490 Source: Paddy Power/Red c

If Fine Gael were to continue in government with a new leader, Leo Varadkar appears to be the favoured among both voters and non-voters of the party.

Varadkar is favoured by about a third of people overall, about seven points ahead of Simon Coveney and 18 points ahead of Frances Fitzgerald.

The poll also suggests that Varadkar’s lead over his party rivals is even greater among Fine Gael supporters.

Asked about the overall performance of party leaders, Kenny has dipped from a two-year high in February to a current approval rating of 35%. Micheál Martin’s approval rating has also dropped but he remains the most popular among the main party leaders.

Gerry Adams’ approval rating has slumped to a two-year low at just 24%.

Interestingly, Adams’ approval rating among Sinn Féin supporters is lower than Kenny’s and Martin’s are among their parties.

PastedImage-44041 Source: Paddy Power/Red C

Completing the bad news for Kenny is the news that, in a straight choice between himself, Micheál Martin and Donald Trump to lead Ireland, he trailed behind the Fianna Fáil leader.

Martin received 49% support, Kenny got 36% while 6% of people said they would choose Trump.

Guns and religion

The survey also looked at a number of other social issues, gauging the mood on issues like arming gardaí and religion in schools.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of people asked said that they think gardaí should be armed to protect themselves and citizens from mob violence.

On the issue of school funding, 60% of people agree that it should be illegal for schools in receipt of state funding to discriminate on the basis of religion.

PastedImage-72012 Source: Paddy Power/Rec C

Read: Fianna Fáil are surging but Sinn Féin are slipping, a new poll says >

Read: More bad news for Labour in the latest opinion poll >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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