High five for Fianna Fáil in Paddy Power’s General Election opinion poll

There's great news for Micheál Martin's party in our General Election poll, and Michael D doesn't have to worry about calling the removal van yet either...


Paddy Power can reveal support for Fianna Fáil has shot up in the latest opinion poll, with support for the party taking a dramatic leap to 27% (+5) – and that’s before Communications Minister Denis Naughten’s dramatic resignation yesterday.

The results of this morning’s poll, carried out by RED C, reveal that Fianna Fáil have seen their highest level of support yet in the 2018, putting them right back up there in the popularity stakes since Leo Varadkar first became Taoiseach.

They do not bode well for Fine Gael, who have gone from an 11 point lead in the most recent RED C poll to seeing their rival close the gap, leaving the Blueshirts with just a 5 point lead.

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“Fianna Fail are insisting that they are not gunning for a General Election which, on the face of it, appears ever more likely to occur in December. This Paddy Power/RED C Opinion Poll will have them rubbing their hands together with glee, as it’s certain to give our chaotic Government plenty to chew on over the weekend,” our spokesperson said.

Fine Gael still command the largest share of first preference votes in October with 32% (-1) and despite showing a very marginal downward trend in recent polls, they consistently have the support of about a third of the population during 2018.

After dropping somewhat in the RED C September poll, Fianna Fáil gained support during October at the expense of Fine Gael, Labour, Independents and Social Dems. And with the coalition facing crisis on foot of yesterday’s dramatic revelations concerning the broadband tendering process, the results spell trouble for many.

Sinn Fein continues to record similar levels of support seen by the party at the last election in the poll, which takes account of likely turnout. Their traditional base among younger voters has been lost somewhat to Fine Gael.

Also, the Paddy Power/RED C poll, which was conducted between October 3rd to 10th, 2018, shows that smaller parties appear to have suffered more recently in terms of first preference support.

Presidential preference

With just two weeks to go until polling day for the Presidential Election on October 26th, we’ve also delved into the public’s preference among the candidates.

They revealed that challengers have not gained any ground on the incumbent Michael D Higgins. He commands a first preference share of 70%, an increase of 3% versus a RED C poll in September, dwarfing other candidates in the race for presidency.

Higgins remains very popular amongst younger cohorts, earning the first preference vote of 83% of 18-34 year olds, while achieving roughly two thirds of first preference of those 35 and over.

The president also commands highest support among supporters of Fine Gael (78%) and Labour (85%), while the majority of Fianna Fail (58%) and Sinn Fein(55%) voters concur with that choice.

However, one in four (26%) Fianna Fail supporters would prefer Sean Gallagher, while one in three Sinn Fein voters support the SF candidate Liadh Ní Riada.

Gallagher continues to hold second place with 14% (-1), but does not show any signs of improvement since September.

Possible future consideration has dropped for Gallagher versus last month and is only just above the stated first preference support at 15%, suggesting he has limited room for growth without something drastic occurring on the campaign trail.

The rest of the field – Joan Freeman, Liadh Ní Riada and Gavin Duffy – have yet to make a mark on the Irish electorate, with all securing less than 10% of the first preference vote.
However, Joan Freeman has seen an increase of +3% versus last month bringing her to 6% overall, whereas Gavin Duffy is moving in the opposite direction at 4% (-2).

There is an overwhelming consensus (89%) that there should be a full and detailed account of the expenditure within the office of the presidency.

Two thirds of people (65%) believe that Michael D’s salary of a quarter of a million is much too high. That said, one in three disagree with that statement. While sentiment is consistent amongst most demographics, Sinn Fein Voters (86%) and those in lower socio-economic groups are much more likely to agree that the current salary is inflated.

“As a nation that prides ourselves in begrudgery, there’s nothing like the thoughts of someone living in a free gaff that’s being paid for by the state who is also in receipt of a whopper salary to get our blood boiling. And this Paddy Power Opinion poll proves this in spades, with 65% of the population agreeing that a ‘reduced’ salary of a quarter of a million per annum for the President of Ireland, on top of all the other bells and whistles he gets, is much too high,” our spokesperson said.

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