Support for Ireland’s coalition government partners in the Labour Party is heading for an all-time low according to a new opinion poll.
The Irish Times reports that the latest Ipsos MRBI poll shows support for the party has fallen to its lowest level in more than a quarter of a century.
Party heavyweight Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure, has told the paper that Labour will struggle to regain popularity until the Irish economy shows signs of recovery.
The poll says support for the junior Coalition party has fallen to 6 per cent, a three-point decrease since the last Irish Times opinion poll in June.
The figure is the lowest percentage of support for Labour since November 1987, some 26 years ago, after the party had come out of a five-year coalition with Fine Gael.
The paper says that some 44 per cent of Labour supporters expressed dissatisfaction with Eamon Gilmore’s leadership, compared to 40 per cent who express dissatisfaction.
Labour’s share of the vote is down almost 13 points since achieving a record 19 per cent of the popular vote in the general election of February 2011 and is below its historic average of 10 per cent.
Minister Howlin said: “It’s not a good poll for the party. There’s no point in saying anything else.”
“Until we see an economic recovery putting money back into people’s pocket, I don’t think we’ll see a significant rise for us.”
Support for Fine Gael is at 26 per cent, making it the most supported party.
Sinn Féin, with 23 per cent, has edged out Fianna Fáil for the second-largest share of support for the first time since May 2012.
Fianna Fáil support is down four points since the last poll in June to 22 per cent.
The Irish Times reports that support for Independents and others has also reached a historic high of 20 per cent.