Fianna Fáil support plunges after ‘Votegate’

The party is down to 24 per cent, completely wiping out the gains it had made in the previous Sunday Business Post/Red C poll last month

22/3/2019 Fine Gael National Conferences. Pictured (LtoR) An Taoiseach and party leader Leo Varadkar TD and Minister for Health Simon Harris TD at the Gael National Conference in Wexford. Photo: Sam Boal/

Fianna Fáil has seen its support plummet by four points in the wake of the Dáil voting scandal, according to the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll.

The party is down to 24 per cent, completely wiping out the gains it had made in the previous Sunday Business Post/Red C poll last month.

It is a disappointing result for party leader Micheál Martin, who had seen his party previously gain ground on Fine Gael ahead of the impending general election here.

He dropped two TDs from the front bench last week after it emerged that Limerick West TD Niall Colllins had voted six times for Clare TD Timmy Dooley when the latter was not in the Dáil chamber.

However, Fine Gael has got a big boost in the poll with its support level rising by three points, from 29 per cent to 32 per cent. The poll was carried out as the ‘Votegate’ controversy developed, with 1,000 people being interviewed by telephone between Thursday October 17 and Thursday October 24.

However, Fine Gael had been expecting a boost, with one party minister citing the “2 Bs” – the Budget and Brexit.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou will be hoping for more time to regroup ahead of the general election after the results of this poll. Her party’s support level is down by one point to 11 per cent, which is its lowest rating in a Red C poll in year.

The support for Independent candidates has remained unchanged at 13 per cent, which is signficant given the departure of two high profile personalities - Claire Daly and Mick Wallace- to the European Parliament. There is good news for the Independent Alliance, which is up by one point to four per cent.

The Green Party remains on 7 per cent, which means the party has been consistently holding onto the gains it has made since May’s local elections.

However, Labour’s support has dropped by two points to four per cent, which is the party’s lowest rating under Howlin’s leadership. The Social Democrats have seen their support rise by one point to two per cent. The Solidarity-People Before Profit Party has been hit by the departure of Paul Murphy TD to form a new political movement called ‘Rise’ party. But its support level remains unchanged at 1 per cent in this poll.

Aontú leader Peadar Toibí, who will take more satisfaction with this poll, as his small party gains a point to go to 1 per cent. Renua’ support level has dropped by one point to zero per cent.

For full analysis of the impact of this poll on the parties and Independents, read the Sunday Business Post tomorrow.

Plus, there will be an exclusive Red C poll on whether voters really want a November general election, their views on the proposed return of former ISIS member Lisa Smith, and whether the government should sign the €3 billion national broadband contract.