Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fine Gael beats FF into second place in RedC/Sunday Business Post poll

The Red C poll in tomorrow's Sunday Business Post shows that for the first time since polling began, Fine Gael is 7% ahead of FF.

This public opinion poll however comes with a health warning. Red C carried out their monthly poll for the newspaper on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - at the height of the medical card controversy. In addition opposition to education cutbacks had begun to gain momentum. The IFA has begun a campaign against cutbacks in agriculture whilst the closure of army barracks has spawned further opposition. Unemployment has risen sharply and will continue to rise in the immediate future. The increase in health charges is highly unpopular. VHI charges will also rise as a consequence of budget decisions. The underfunding of local authorities will cause a sharp rise in rates and water rates. In addition a supplementary budget cannot be ruled out- probably after next Summers Local Elections.

A fall in support for FF is not unexpected. However the scale of the fall is rather surprising. The party is down 10% to 26%.FF has shown a capacity to recover in the run in to General Elections. However the harsh decisions required to put the economy on a firm footing may sap the party's energy somewhat. The results are hugely encouraging for FG and Labour. However both parties must convert this support into votes at the ballot box. FG will underestimate FF at its peril. Prior to the 07 General Election FG rose sharply in the polls but fell back in the final week of the campaign.
  • Fine Gael 33% (+5%)
  • Fianna Fail 26% (-10%)
  • Labour 15% (+6%)
  • Greens 6% (-1%)
  • Sinn Fein 10% (+1%)
  • PDs 2%(-1%)
  • Independents/Others 8% (+0%)
Just 23% of those polled said they were confident the Government could manage the public finances out of the recession, down 19% since last month, while 59% said they were not confident and 21% said they did not know.

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