Thursday, May 15, 2008

Irish Times /TNS mrbi poll shows FF support has returned to General Election levels as FF benefits from Cowen honeymoon

The adjusted figures for party support, compared to the last Irish Times poll in January, are:
  • Fianna Fáil, 42 per cent (up eight points);
  • Fine Gael, 26 per cent (down five points);
  • Labour, 15 per cent (up three points);
  • Sinn Féin, 6 per cent (down two points);
  • Green Party, 4 per cent (down two points);
  • PDs, 1 per cent (down two points
  • Independents/others, 6 per cent (no change).

Undecided voters stood at 15% .

The results of this poll are distorted by the avalanche of positive publicity received by Brian Cowen since his election as FF leader. In fact there was saturation coverage. It was inevitable that FF would rise sharply from the 34% in the last poll. FF support is now at the same level as that obtained at the 2007 General Election. One expected that a photograph might appear showing Brian Cowen piloting an aeroplane. The adulation reached levels that are unsustainable in the long term.
FG support is at 26% just 1% below that obtained in the 2007 General Election. This is within the margin of error. In contrast to Cowen, Enda Kenny has been subjected to an ugly campaign of vilification by some elements in the media. Nevertheless he must become much more forceful on economic matters.

Both FF and FG are broadly speaking on the same level of support as obtained by both parties in the 2007 General Election.

Since this poll was taken last Monday, much gloomy economic news has seeped out in relation to building and construction, gas and electricity prices. In addition further serious problems have appeared in the health sector.

The ESRI report has a positive spin. Nevertheless when analysed there is little certitude in relation to the Irish economy. The report was a case of live horse until you get grass. Independent newspapers and the Irish Times emphasized the positive elements in the report as did RTE.
Soft publicity will not insulate the Government when public expenditure cuts bite sharply. An electorate spoilt by the unsustainable rise in government expenditure-13% in 2007- will inevitably feel withdrawal symptoms.

Labour is up 4% on its General Election returns -probably at the expense of the Greens and Sinn Fein.

It is time to wind up the PDs.

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