Irish Times poll: Fianna Fáil’s support down since Martin’s exit from taoiseach’s office

Sinn Féin remains clearly the most popular party while support for Fine Gael and Greens remains steady


Support for Fianna Fáil has slipped since Michéal Martin left the taoiseach’s office in December, with the latest Irish Times/Ipsos poll showing a three-point drop for the party since last year.

Support for Fine Gael and the Green Party holds firm and satisfaction for the Coalition and its leaders remains largely steady.

Sinn Féin remains by some distance the most popular party, with 35 per cent of voters who express a preference saying they would vote for that party in a general election. That result would put Sinn Féin in the driving seat to form the next government with by far the largest number of seats in the Dáil, but it remains unclear who might join the party in a coalition, or if Sinn Féin would end up in government at all.

The drop in support for Fianna Fáil, which declines by three points to 18 per cent, is the only noticeable movement in party support since the last Irish Times/Ipsos poll.


The state of the parties, when undecided voters and those who will not vote are excluded, is as follows: Sinn Féin 35 per cent (no change); Fianna Fáil 18 per cent (down three); Fine Gael 22 per cent (no change); Green Party 4 per cent (no change ); Labour 4 per cent (up one); and Independents/others 18 per cent (up two).

Among the Independents and smaller parties, the results are as follows: Social Democrats 2 per cent (down one); Solidarity-People Before Profit 1 per cent (down one); Aontú declines to below 1 per cent; and Independents 14 per cent (up four). Rounding may affect the totals.

The comparisons are with the most recent Irish Times/Ipsos poll in October. The number of undecided voters – excluded from the above figures – is 28 per cent, an increase of five points since October.

The poll numbers show a reasonably settled political landscape despite the fierce pressures of the cost-of-living crisis and the international turmoil caused by the Russian war against Ukraine. While Sinn Féin maintains its substantial lead in the polls, support for the Government parties has not collapsed.

This is borne out by the figures for Government and party leader satisfaction. Satisfaction with the Government declines marginally by two points to 38 per cent, and most party leaders remain at a similar level to October.


Micheál Martin remains the most popular leader, with 45 per cent of respondents expressing satisfaction with his performance, while Leo Varadkar is on 43 per cent (down one) and Mary Lou McDonald on 42 per cent (down three), the only leader who sees her rating change outside the margin of error. Eamon Ryan sees his rating improve marginally, up two points to 22 per cent.

When respondents were asked if they believed the country is “generally going in the right direction or the wrong direction” the results were remarkably stable. Thirty-seven per cent of voters said the country is going in the right direction, the same figure as October, while 52 per cent said that the country is going in the wrong direction – an increase of just one point.

Responses were heavily influenced by political affiliation: Just 16 per cent of Sinn Féin voters said the country is going in the right direction, while 69 per cent of Fine Gael voters did so.

The poll was conducted among 1,200 adults at 120 sampling points across all constituencies between February 19-21. Respondents were interviewed at their own homes. The accuracy is estimated at plus or minus 2.8 per cent.

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy

Pat Leahy is Political Editor of The Irish Times