According to the latest Irish Times/ TNS mrbi poll satisfaction with the Government, as a whole, has fallen by 2 points to 35 per cent. The poll was conducted last Monday and Tuesday among a representative sample of 1,000 voters in interviews at 100 sampling points in all constituencies.
The poll shows :
· Fianna Fáil on 34 %
· Fine Gael 31 %.
· Labour 12 %
· Sinn Fein 8 %
· PDs 3 %
· Greens 6 %
· Independents 6 %
The results of the 2007 General Election were as follows:
· Fianna Fáil 41.6%
· Fine Gael 27.3%
· Labour 10.1%
· Sinn Fein 6.9%
· PDs 2.7%
· Greens 4.7%
· Independents 6.6 %
FF is down almost 8% on the 2007 General Election whilst FG has gained almost 4% since the 07 Election.
Labour has gained 2%. Sinn Fein is up 1%. The Greens are up 1.3%. The PDs are becalmed on 3%.
This catastrophic drop in FF support stems from unfavourable publicity for Bertie Ahern at the Mahon Tribunal and the economic downturn which is gaining momentum. The rosy picture painted by FF during the General Election campaign has dissipated. The electorate is not amused. This is a repeat of the scenario which unfolded in the wake of the 2002 General Election. However this poll comes with a health warning. Some FF supporters may have hidden their true intentions and indicated support for other parties. At present it is not considered chic to indicate support for FF. Many of these supporters will return to the FF fold in a General Election situation.
The rise in support for FG is impressive. FG must continue to improve its organisation and develop a clear cut identity. The FG Bill - which gives crime victims rights in law for the first time - is most comprehensive and must not be opposed by the Government.
The Labour Party faces competition from Sinn Fein on its left flank. It must endeavour to siphon off support from FF in working class constituencies.
The PDs are becalmed. Their minuscule organization is crumbling. They are indistinguishable from FF. Noel Grealish TD is a cheer leader for FF whilst Mary Harney will retire at the next General Election.
The Green Party has reneged on most of its core principles. It has become FFs mudguard. In public opinion polls the party is a temporary abode for some unhappy FF supporters.
Similarly some FF supporters will indicate support for Sinn Fein in public opinion polls. In the secrecy of the ballot box they will vote FF.
Tonight on the TV3 Nightly News Vincent Brown programme there was a shallow superficial analysis of the poll. The spin from the panel was that FF performed strongly. This "shamnalysis" bodes ill for the future of the programme.
Journalist Eamonn Delaney spouted nonsense about FFs impressive performance. What planet is he on? A drop in FF support of 8% is impressive??? Is it too much to ask panelists to do a little homework ?