Poll puts opposition well ahead of Irish government

Sinn Féin now sits at 32%, ahead of the two largest government parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, by 10 and 12 points respectively. [EPA-EFE/AIDAN CRAWLEY]

Ireland’s coalition government has fallen significantly behind opposition party Sinn Féin in the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

Sinn Féin now sits at 32%, ahead of the two largest government parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, by 10 and 12 points respectively.

The picture is not much better for the government on an individual level either. Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin’s approval rating has fallen by 8 points to 41%, while Leo Varadkar, who heads up Fine Gael, dropped 13 points to 43%. This figure means his approval rating is on par with that of Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The government’s popularity has taken a significant dive since the poll last summer that put its approval rating at 72%.

Also covered by the Times’ poll were public views on Ireland’s potential sign-up to the OECD’s global corporate tax rate of 15%, which cabinet ministers met on Thursday (7 October) to discuss. Joining the deal would see the government commit to increasing the country’s current rate of 12.5%.

59% of those surveyed opposed joining the harmonised OECD scheme, while 26% said Ireland, one of the last remaining hold outs, should sign up. Broken down by party, opposition to the potential shift was strongest amongst Sinn Féin supporters, 64% of whom said the government should maintain the current rate.

(Molly Killeen | EURACTIV.com)

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