SBP Tracking Poll – May 2011

Published by: Richard Colwell


Independents suffer, as Fine Gael rides the crest of official visits.

There is nothing like a successful visit by a Queen or President to cement your positive public perception, and extend your honeymoon period in government.  At least that appears to be the finding form the most recent Sunday Business Post /RED C poll.    The fieldwork for this poll started on the evening of the President Barrack Obama’s flying visit, with the Guinness supped in Moneygall barely digested and the clear up after the College Green speeches only just under way.

Some have criticised Kenny after the event, questioning the substance of the discussions, and the possible plagiarism of the President’s own speech.  Published criticism by commentators does not however appear to reflect public opinion, with voters now even more likely to support Fine Gael than ever.  This is reflected in an increased share for the party in today poll results, in which they secure 41% share of the first preference vote, the highest recorded for the party since RED C began polling for the Sunday Business Post seven years ago.  This significant increase is founded on very strong support among 25-44 year olds, more upmarket social groups and those living outside of Dublin.

The gains for Fine Gael appear to be at the expense of Independent candidates, whose support has fallen back significantly in today’s poll.  Overall Independent and other parties support falls back to just 13%, from 16% last month.  But this masks the fact that it is Independent candidates specifically that have seen the biggest fall, from 15% at the election to just 10% now.  While it is normal for Independents to suffer through lack of media coverage in-between elections, the scale of this decline so soon after the election suggests that voters are perhaps not that impressed by what they have seen so far from the Independent candidates they elected.

Labour also gets a small bounce in today’s poll, with support rising 1% to leave the party securing 19% of the first preference vote – the same secured at the election itself.  While positive for Labour, it is not the same level of positive impact that the larger government party is receiving.

Support for the other parties is relatively steady. Fianna Fail also holds on to share in this poll, after a slight fall back last month.  They secure 16% of first preference vote, slightly down on the share they achieved at the election.   Sinn Fein also retain the same levels of support we saw a month ago, securing 11% first preference, suggesting that the demonstrations against the Queen’s visit organised by the party, had neither a positive nor negative impact on party support overall.

Download full report below:-

SBP 29th May Poll 2011 Report