Ireland: support surges for Sinn Féin

Support for Sinn Féin continues to grow in the southern Irish state. In a poll commissioned for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times Sinn Féin is now standing at 25%, making it the second most popular party, with Gerry Adams now the most popular party leader in the country.

The Wall Street Journal on 26 February, reporting on the poll, linked Sinn Féin’s rise to its economic policy – its rejection of the slashing of the public sector and bailing out of the banks. The paper said that: ‘Support for Sinn Féin, the left-of-center opposition party known for its rejection of Ireland’s bailout and austerity program, has soared – a year after the governing coalition led by Prime Minister Enda Kenny won a convincing victory at national elections.’

The details of the poll are below (figures in brackets indicate changes since The Sunday Times previous poll in December 2011):

State of the parties: Fine Gael on 32% (+2), Sinn Féin a clear second on 25% (+4), Fianna Fáil at 16% (-4) and Labour falling to 10% (-1), with independents and others at 17% (-1).

Ratings for the party leaders: Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams in the lead on 46%, Enda Kenny on 41%, Eamon Gilmore on 34 and Micheál Martin on 33%.

The Fine Gael/Labour governments approval rating is ‘Satisfied’: 26% and ‘Dissatisfied: 70%’.

As discussed here, Sinn Féin is one of very few political parties in Europe with mass electoral support that has a clear alternative economic policy to the cuts agenda of the right. It is arguing that austerity programmes are unjust and only worsen the economic crisis. Sinn Féin is instead advocating state-directed investment to stimulate growth.

Sinn Féin is hosting a seminar on 28 February in London, to discuss the progressive policies needed to respond to Ireland’s economic crisis. Details below:

Sinn Féin seminar: Economic Crisis lessons from Ireland

8pm Tuesday 28 February

Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London SW1
(Westminster Tube)

Mary Lou McDonald TD, Vice President Sinn Féin
Pat Doherty MP.