Northern Ireland news

Poll shows Sinn Féin support has surpassed government parties in Republic

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald. Picture by Keith Ferris/Pacemaker

SUPPORT for Sinn Féin in the Republic has surpassed the combined vote of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, a new poll has suggested.

The latest Business Post/Red C poll put support for the party at 36 per cent in the 26 counties for the first time.

Fine Gael came in at 20 per cent, with just 15 per cent support for Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s Fianna Fáil.

The bookies reacted by cutting the odds on Sinn Féin taking the most seats in the next Dáil election to 1/4 on Sunday. BoyleSports lengthened the chances of Fine Gael becoming the largest party at the next Irish General Election to 4/1.

It comes just weeks after Sinn Féin topped the Northern Ireland assembly election with 29 per cent of first preference votes. The corresponding 27 seats has left Sinn Féin the largest party in the assembly.

The latest Red C survey has the party’s support two per cent up across the border to a record 36 per cent, with the two main government parties each conceding a percentage point.

Backing for the Green Party was up a single percentage point to five per cent, ahead of the Social Democrats (four per cent), Labour (three per cent), People Before Profit-Solidarity (three per cent) and Aontú (two per cent). Support for independents stayed at 11 per cent.

Red C said Sinn Féin had stronger support among males (41 per cent) compared to females (36 per cent). But it was in the younger age categories where the party’s dominance was more apparent.

Sinn Féin now is the favoured party for 40 per cent of 18-34 year-olds in the Republic, compared to 14 per-cent for Fianna Fáil and 13 per cent for Fine Gael.

Red C said the strongest category for Sinn Féin was among 35-54 year-olds, where it found support of 43 per cent, compared to 16 per cent for Fianna Fáil and 12 per cent for Fine Gael.

The same poll showed overwhelming support in the Republic for a shift in government housing policy.

Earlier this month the Republic’s Central Statistics Office announced house prices across the border had increased by more than 15 per cent in a year.

The median paid for a house in the year to March in the Republic was €285,000 (£242,582), with new builds averaging €335,000 (£285,158).

Central Bank rules in the Republic limit most first-time buyers to borrowing a maximum of 3.5 times their annual salary.

The Red C poll showed 82 per cent of public believe that should change in cases where borrowers can show a history of high rental payments.

Some 85 per cent also backed a reduction in the size of the deposit required for first-time buyers if they can prove their ability to make payments.

Meanwhile, 77 per cent backed a vacant home tax as soon as possible.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Northern Ireland news