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Boost for Sinn Féin as 20% say they'd be more likely to vote for party under new leader

Mary Lou McDonald is widely tipped to take over after several senior figures ruled themselves out.

Gerry Adams in London this week with Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill.
Gerry Adams in London this week with Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O'Neill.
Image: Dominic Lipinski

MORE THAN 20% of voters would be more likely to vote for Sinn Féin under a new leader, according to a poll carried out this week.

The poll of 1,000 Irish adults was carried out by Amarách Research for Claire Byrne Live and TheJournal.ie on Monday, two days after Gerry Adams announced his departure from the party’s presidency in his televised Ard Fheis speech.

This was the question: 

Would a new leader of Sinn Féin make you more likely to vote for the party?

  • 21%  Yes
  • 65%  No
  • 14% Don’t know

A number of leading figures in the party, including Dáil finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty, Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill and senior MLA Conor Murphy have already ruled themselves out of the running to take over.

Dublin TD and deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald is the runaway favourite to take the top job, and at least six TDs have already publicly backed her.

It’s expected a special conference will be held next year to select a new leader.

In a round of interviews conducted in the wake of his departure announcement, Adams insisted he would not run for the Áras in the event of a presidential election next year.

He also told The Week In Politics he wouldn’t miss the Dáil, saying “it would fry your head to listen to the nonsense that is talked” in the chamber.

Adams made the decision to enter Dublin politics ahead of the 2011 election, when he moved from his Belfast base to contest the vote in the Louth constituency. The party boosted its representation from 5 to 14 seats in that election. In 2016 that increased again, with the party securing 23 seats.

Meanwhile, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have ruled themselves out of any kind of coalition arrangement with Sinn Féin after the next election.

Read: Gerry Adams will not stand for Irish presidency >

Read: Gerry Adams announces he is to step down as Sinn Féín president next year >

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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