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Sinn Féin is the most popular party among all age groups up to 65

The party is particularly popular among younger voters, according to an exit poll.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, with local councillor Seamas McGrattan, arriving to cast her vote at St Joseph's School in Dublin yesterday.
Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, with local councillor Seamas McGrattan, arriving to cast her vote at St Joseph's School in Dublin yesterday.
Image: Niall Carson

SINN FÉIN IS the most popular party in every age group up to 65, according to a general election exit poll.

The party is particularly popular among younger voters.

The exit poll placed the top three parties tied for support in terms of first preference votes: Fine Gael is on 22.4%, Fianna Fáil is on 22.2% and Sinn Féin is on 22.3%.

Ipsos MRBI interviewed 5,376 people at 259 count centres across Ireland immediately after they voted yesterday for a poll commissioned by RTÉ, the Irish Times TG4 and UCD.

The poll indicates the country now has three, not two, main parties after decades of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael dominating the Irish political landscape.

Many people have put Sinn Féin’s surge down to its strong support among younger voters.

However, while the party’s support is highest among 18-34-year-olds, Sinn Féin is the most popular party among all age groups up to 65 – albeit by a much smaller margin as ages increase.

18-24 Source: Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times

25-34 Source: Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times

35-49 Source: Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times

In the 18-24-year-old age group, Sinn Féin has 31.8% support, compared to Fine Gael’s 15.5% and Fianna Fáil’s 13.6% (and the Green Party’s 14.4%).

Among 25-34-year-olds, SF has 31.7%, FG has 17.3% and FF has 15.2%.

Among 35-49-year-olds, SF has 22%, FG has 21.1% and FF gas 21.8%.

Among 50-64-year-olds, SF has 22.8%, FG has 22.3% and FF has 22.7%.

In the 65+ age group, SF support drops to 12.2% – well behind FG (30.2%) and FF (29.7%).

65+ Source: Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times

Health and housing

When people were asked in the exit poll which issue as most important to them when deciding how to vote yesterday, 32% said health, 26% said housing/homelessness, 8% said the pension age, 6% said climate change and 6% said jobs.

Just 1% of people Brexit – an area Fine Gael focused on during its campaign.

issues Source: Ipsos MRBI

According to the exit poll, the rest of the parties’ support is as follows:

  • Independents: 11%
  • Green Party :8%
  • Labour Party :5%
  • Social Democrats: 3%
  • Solidarity/People-Before-Profit: 3%
  • Aontú: 2%
  • Others: 2%

The margin of error in the poll is +/-1.3% but the results indicated there could be a hung parliament and protracted negotiations to form a government.

The exit poll doesn’t predict the turnout, however, which can have a significant effect on the final vote – as was the case in the European elections.

Turnout in this general election already appears to be high – with many local media organisations reporting a turnout between 50-60% in the final few hours.

You can stay up to date with all the latest news in our liveblog.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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