Two new opinion polls have offered differing views of the current state of the government parties in Ireland – with one suggesting as many as 50 Fine Gael and Labor Party deputies would lose their seats in a snap election.
The doomsday message for the coalition partners is carried in a report by the Sunday Independent newspaper which suggests many new deputies would lose their seats if their Millward Brown poll results were carried into an election.
But the rival Sunday Business Post poll, carried out by Red C, suggests that support for opposition parties Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein has fallen.
The SBP poll, conducted amongst a thousand voters, says support for Labor is actually up one percentage point to 13 per cent with Fine Gael unchanged on 28 per cent as the most popular party in the country.
Recent polls by Millward Brown and Ipsos MRBI for the Sunday Independent and Irish Times respectively had established Fianna Fail as Ireland’s most popular party.
But the Red C poll shows support for Micheal Martin’s party down two to 24 per cent with Sinn Féin also down two to 14 per cent.
The SBPP poll has support for independent candidates and other parties at 21 per cent, up three.
The Sunday Business Post poll also shows that a large majority of people believe the Local Property Tax is unfair.
More than two thirds of people, 67 per cent, say the tax is unfair, while 59 per cent stated they are less likely to support the Government parties as a result of the tax.
The Sunday Independent meanwhile reports that 50 Fine Gael and Labor deputies ‘could become victims of a Fianna Fail-led counter-revolution’.
The paper identifies senior ministers Phil Hogan, Frances Fitzgerald and James Reilly and junior ministers, including John Perry, Sean Sherlock, Jan O’Sullivan, Lucinda Creighton and Joe Costello as under threat from an anti-government backlash.
One source told the paper: “If Labour is not very careful, it could face a reprise of the 1980s when the party consisted of a dozen mostly elderly men.”