Poll: Fianna Fáil's support drops to 20%, Sinn Féin lead on 32%

James Cox

Support for Fianna Fáil has dropped another four points to 20 per cent, this is the lowest level since November 2021.

It is believed to show the effects of its handling of the housing crisis and the Government's decision to lift the ban on evictions.

Today's Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll shows support for Sinn Féin up one point to 32 per cent - while Fine Gael is unchanged at 23 per cent.

The Green Party and Labour are both unchanged at 5 per cent, while the Social Democrats are up two points to 4 per cent.

Meanwhile, there is "danger" in calling an early election, but timing will be key amid talks of the current Government finishing early, according to a politics professor.

Last week, the Irish Examiner reported Government is considering calling an early general election with November 24th mooted as a possible date.

Several senior coalition sources and ministers told the newspaper that an election could follow quickly after a 'giveaway budget' in October.

DCU professor and political commentator Gary Murphy told BreakingNews.ie: "There are two issues. One of them is that there is a danger with all governments in waiting until the very end, we saw in 2020 that the government could have gone longer but somehow felt bounced into calling an early election after the no confidence motions in Simon Harris and Eoghan Murphy.

"Governments really prefer to go to the country on their own terms and if you leave it too long there comes a sort of inevitability that it has to happen, and they lose control of the narrative. There is something in a government to go early but on its terms, Leo Varadkar went in 2020 but didn't have to go for another year.

"I don't think he'll want to repeat that mistake when he felt bounced into it when Fianna Fáil made it clear they had enough of confidence-and-supply."

Prof Murphy added: "What's different this time is the Government, notwithstanding some real wobbles, have a majority and will have a steady enough majority even if there are defections because people like the Healy-Raes aren't going to vote against the Government on a confidence motion or anything like that it seems to me."

The local and European elections set for the summer of 2024 will be a key indicator of the strength of the Government and Opposition, and Prof Murphy said this should factor into decision-making on the next general election.