Sinn Féin poll surge as Labour struggles

Just one percentage point separates Sinn Féin and Fine Gael, according to the latest opinion poll taken before higher-than-expected water charges were announced last week.

Support for Fine Gael has dropped by four percentage points to 25% compared to the same poll taken in April, which had the party at 29%.

However, this prediction is still slightly up on the local elections in May, when the party received 24% of first-preference votes.

Sinn Féin is up four points since the last poll was taken at 24% — still far ahead of the party’s local election share of 15%.

Satisfaction ratings with Taoiseach Enda Kenny remain unchanged at 27%, while support for Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is down one point to 25%.

The Millward Brown Poll — with a 3.2% margin of error — indicates that the Labour Party is struggling to make a comeback with just 7% support.

That is the same level as the May local elections when the party suffered enormous losses, particularly in Munster.

However, approval ratings for the party’s new leader, Joan Burton, are at 27% compared to just 16% for her predecessor, Eamon Gilmore, in the month before he stepped down from the position.

Despite this boost for Ms Burton, dissatisfaction with the current Government is up by three points to 69%, while half of voters believe the Government will run its full term.

Support for Fianna Fáil has dropped two points to 22% — significantly down from the levels of 27% to 29% support it enjoyed last summer.

Satisfaction with the party leader, Micheal Martin, has increased by one point to 27%.

The poll also indicates that one third of all voters believe that they will be less well off next year compared to this year, while 45% want the Government to deliver a Budget adjustment of less than the €2bn in October.

Half of those polled said the Taoiseach should have promoted more women in his recent reshuffle, when he failed to bring any Fine Gael female backbenchers up to junior ministerial rank.

This figure rose to 58% among women polled, who believe too few of their gender were promoted.

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