Government hopes that the bank debt deal would secure its second term in office have been dashed after a new opinion poll showed the deal did not produce the bounce that Fine Gael and Labour had expected.
Instead Fianna Fáil remains — in two successive polls — the most popular party in the country when the large proportion of undecided voters are taken out of the equation.
The Millward Brown poll in the Sunday Independent is the first since the announcement of the debt deal that will ease the toxic bank debt burden and push it onto future generations.
The poll shows the deal provided little breathing space for Fine Gael and failed to reverse its slide.
The party, at 25%, would lose about 20 seats if the poll results were to be repeated in a general election, meaning it remains closer than is comfortable to facing the same fate as that suffered by Fianna Fáil when its austerity policies resulted in an electoral wipeout in 2011.
In contrast, the public appears to be willing to forgive Fianna Fáil’s past sins, with 27% of decided voters saying they would vote for the party. Whether this is a result of FF reestablishing the trust of voters, or merely frustration with the Coalition parties, is not known.
Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea yesterday said the party is working hard on rebuilding trust, including policies “relevant to modern Ireland which we will put before the people at the next general election”.
The poll shows Labour on 13%, meaning the Coalition parties between them have 38% support.
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