Fianna Fáil has seen its support rise in the wake of the third budget under the confidence and supply deal, according to the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll.
There had been concern in the party after Fine Gael opened up an eleven point gap in last month’s poll.
But after the announcement of the budget, Fianna Fáil’s support level is back up by three points to 25 per cent. The party is preparing its team for the start of talks on extending the confidence and supply agreement, which will include deputy leader Dara Calleary and finance spokesman Michael McGrath.
Fine Gael has announced that its team will be chaired by Tánaiste Simon Coveney and will include Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Employment Affairs Regina Doherty and Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon TD. Signficantly, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has agreed with Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that there will be ‘no preconditions’, having previously expressed the hope that the talks would be finished by the end of the Dáil Halloween break.
The latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll shows that Fine Gael is still in a strong position on 33 per cent and even its political opponents admire how it was able to stabilise the minority government so quickly after the sudden resignation of Minister for Communications Denis Naughten. The controversy has not affected support for the government with the Independent Alliance remaining on four per cent.
But there is slight drop for Independents of one point to 12 per cent. The poll was taken between last Thursday October 11 – two days after the budget- and last Wednesday October 17.
Sinn Féin, which is throwing resources behind its Ireland South MEP Liadh Ní Riada for the presidential campaign, is up by one point to 15 per cent. Labour leader Brendan Howlin has become more aggressive in challenging the government –particularly on its Brexit strategy. But his party’s rating in this poll is down by one point to 5 per cent.
The fact that Solidarity-People Before Profit has dropped by two points to zero will be a serious concern for them heading into an election.
In contrast, there is good news for the Green Party, which is up by two points to four per cent. The furore over the failure to increase carbon tax in the Budget may have played well for the Greens.
The Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy played a prominent opposition role in questioning Denis Naughten about his meetings with national broadband contract bidder David McCourt. Her party is unchanged on two per cent.
For more analysis, plus a presidential poll and voter reaction to some of the key measures in Budget 2019, read tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post.