This week RED C asked voters what they wanted to see as the outcome of coalition negotiations.

In doing so we tried to give the options that were being discussed at the time to get a fair view.  Obviously small tweaks to the options could produce somewhat different results.   For instance we could have given an option for a rotating Taoiseach  on the FF/FG coalition, but we had to choose a select few options that represented the most likely outcome.

The topline view of voter options reflect the divided nature of voters at the moment, with pretty even support for three different coalition options.

When you look at the results by party supporters however, more interesting insights emerge.

At this stage Sinn Féin Voters preference is clearly for a Sinn Féin led government with smaller parties. However, the numbers for this seem to be unlikely. 1 in 5 would like to see a coalition with Fianna Fáil, and a similar number would prefer to see another election.

Fianna Fáil voters most preferred option is the coalition with Fine Gael and another smaller party, with just under half of all supporters preferring this approach. But 1 in 4 do prefer a coalition with Sinn Féin, suggesting quite a large number of voters may not be happy if the so called “Grand Coalition” approach is taken. Almost 1 in 5 would also prefer to see another election, clearly believing that Fianna Fáil could do better if the vote was run again.

Fine Gael supporters appear to prefer an option that includes their party in government, even as a junior partner, rather than a spell in opposition.  Although half do suggest they would prefer and option that sees them in opposition.

Of those parties that might make up the numbers in any coalition, the views are very mixed. It is interesting to note that Labour voters much more positive about Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael coalition, while Social Democrat voters would prefer a Sinn Féin led coalition.

Green Party voters are pretty split on coalition options, with a slight preference for a Sinn Féin led coalition with smaller parties, although almost 1 in 3 (29%) would prefer to go into coalition with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

All in all the picture remains very fractured across the options, in much the same way as the election results itself.  One thing that doesn’t however appear that high on voters priorities is another election.

423820 SBP 16th February 2020 Poll Report