Support for Sinn Féin has dropped 4 points to 23 per cent, leaving the party just one per cent ahead of Fine Gael as campaigning for the local and European elections reaches it climax, according to the latest Business Post/Red C poll.  Mary Lou McDonald’s party is now at its lowest level of support since before the 2020 general election, wiping out all gains since that vote.

Fine Gael’s rise under the leadership of Simon Harris has continued, with its support up 2 points to 22 per cent, meaning it has gained four points since he replaced Leo Varadkar.  The latest results come at a critical time, with June’s ballots looming and a general election set to be held within nine months.

McDonald’s party has seen its support decline significantly among key demographics as it grapples with its position on immigration and looks to shift the focus back onto housing and the cost of living. Backing for Sinn Féin among those aged 18 to 34 has dropped again, from 34 per cent in April to 27 per cent.

In the space of just eight months since October, support for the main opposition party among this age group has decreased by 12 per cent.  The most marked decline for Sinn Féin since October, however, is in its traditional base of working-class voters.  Between October and May the party saw a drop of 14 per cent among this group.

Fianna Fáil’s support increased by 1 point to 15 per cent, but Micheál Martin’s party remains well below both Fine Gael and Sinn Féin.  Support for independent candidates remains unchanged at 19 per cent having steadily grown from 15 per cent at the start of the year.  Among the smaller parties, support for the Social Democrats has dropped by 1 point down to 5 per cent.  However, both the Green Party and Labour have seen support increase by 1 point each.

Eamon Ryan’s Green Party now stands at 4 per cent and Ivana Bacik’s Labour Party commands the same level of support. People Before Profit-Solidarity has increased by 1 point to 3 per cent while Aontú has dropped by a further 1 point down to 3 per cent.

The results come in a week which saw the local and European election campaigns ramp up with candidates fighting for votes ahead of polling day on June 7.

In addition to the ordinary general election polling, RED C separately asked voters about their voting intentions in the local and European elections.  When voters were asked about the local elections, independents were the most popular on 24 per cent, followed by Sinn Féin on 21 per cent and Fine Gael on 19 per cent. Fianna Fáil is polling at 15 per cent.

Sinn Féin is neck and neck with independent candidates in the European elections at 21 per cent, with Fine Gael close behind on 20 per cent and Fianna Fáil on 14 per cent.    Asked what issues were very important in the local elections, 68 per cent of voters chose the cost of living, health by 53 per cent, housing by 52 per cent, immigration by 41 per cent and crime by 40 per cent.

For the European elections, the cost of living was chosen by 56 per cent of voters as very important, immigration by 50 per cent, energy costs by 39 per cent, the economy by 37 per cent, and health services for 34 per cent.   Issues like climate change and sustainability were further down people’s priorities for the European elections, at just 27 per cent.   Bottom of the list were littering and business supports on 6 per cent each.

The full state of the parties’ support for the general election is: Sinn Féin at 23 per cent (down 4); Fine Gael at 22 per cent (up 2); independents at 19 per cent (no change); Fianna Fáil at 15 per cent (up 1); Social Democrats at 5 per cent (down 1); Labour at 4 per cent (up 1); Green Party at 4 per cent (up 1); People Before Profit – Solidarity Party at 3 per cent (up 1) and Aontú at 3 per cent (down 1).

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Business Post RED C Opinion Poll Report – May 2024

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Game On: Red C Poll shows another drop in Sinn Féin support as Fine Gael rises