Voters Looking For Secure Govt

Published by: Richard Colwell

2016.03.14

The results of the general election have left the country in a bit of a mess, with no one party dominating, and all of the parties suggesting they don’t want to coalesce with the others.  The opposition benches appear to be extremely attractive to most parties, as they aim to avoid being a junior party in any coalition.

The reality is that any combination of one of the larger parties, along with smaller parties and Independent voters can at best provide a minority government.  As a result, only a Fine Gael and Fianna Fail coalition appears to provide any real prospect of a secure government, but currently both parties suggest this will not be easy and that the barriers may not be possible to overcome.  At this stage both have pretty much ruled the grand coalition out, with Fianna Fail in particular suggesting it is not an option at all.

Fianna Fail argue that voters didn’t vote for a grand coalition, and base this assertion on the fact that the party campaigned on a platform of not going into coalition with Fine Gael, and the premise that they see Fine Gael having “lost” the election by the people not giving them the support to easily return to power.  This is a perfectly understandable argument, but does of course assume that it was the case that those who voted for Fianna Fail didn’t want to see them in coalition with Fine Gael.

Whatever they felt at the time of voting, it is clear from our poll today that voters now do not hold much truck with the politicians not being able to sort out their differences and create some form of government.  Well over half of all voters (54%) would prefer that the parties as they were elected compromise and form a stable government that will last 4-5 years.  Another 20% would be prepared to see a minority government is formed to at least get us through the rest of the year, but that another general election may happen in the first 1-2 years.  Just 1 in 4 (24%) want to see another election right now.

SBP 13th March 2016 Poll Report - GE16

Where this gets even more compelling however is when it is looked at by party support at the General Election just over two weeks ago.  Despite its protestations that its supporters don’t want to see a grand coalition, almost 3 in 5 (57%) of all Fianna Fail voters believe that the parties should compromise and form a stable government.  It is also clear that Fine Gael voters support this approach, with almost three quarters (72%) of their voters backing compromise and secure government for the next 4-5 years.  It really also only appears to be Sinn Fein voters in any numbers who would like to see another General Election now.

The fact that any new General Election, based on this poll’s findings, is also unlikely to see significant change in the fortunes of the parties and the overall outcome were it to be held, further backs up the argument that as far as voters are concerned… they have made their choices, and they expect the parties to now make compromises and form a stable government.

Download full report below:

SBP 13th March 2016 Poll Report – GE16

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