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Big two Irish parties closely matched as Sinn Fein surge - poll

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Big two Irish parties closely matched as Sinn Fein surge - poll

 

2020-01-20T225731Z_1_LYNXMPEG0J1T5_RTROPTP_3_IRELAND-POLITICS.JPG

FILE PHOTO: The Leader of Ireland's opposition Fianna Fail party, Micheal Martin is seen in the grounds of Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

 

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland's main opposition party, Fianna Fail, edged ahead of the governing Fine Gael in an opinion poll on Monday, a far more modest lead than a separate survey suggested a day earlier amid a pre election jump in support for third-placed Sinn Fein.

 

Fianna Fail surged into a surprising 12-point lead over Fine Gael in the Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes poll that was published on Sunday but almost entirely conducted before Prime Minister Leo Varadkar called the Feb. 8 election.

 

Polls conducted late last year suggested the two parties, which have broadly similar policies on the economy and Brexit, were closely matched and Monday's Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll put Fianna Fail on 25% and Fine Gael on 23%.

 

While Fianna Fail was unchanged from the series' last poll in October, Fine Gael dropped six points. Satisfaction with the government also fell sharply to 27% from 42% while Varadkar's personal approval plummeted to 35% from 51% in October.

 

He was still, however, marginally the most popular leader.

 

Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), with whom both of the main parties refuse to govern, jumped seven points to 21%. Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin reiterated again on Monday that it would not form a coalition.

 

The left wing Sinn Fein, which has tended to underperform its opinion poll numbers in previous elections, immediately repeated its call for the inclusion of leader Mary Lou McDonald in two planned televised debates between Varadkar and Martin.

 

The survey of 1,200 prospective voters in every constituency was conducted between Thursday and Saturday, the opening days of the campaign.

 

If Monday's survey translated into votes on polling day, Ireland would likely be heading for a second successive minority government, this time led by Fianna Fail but needing another "confidence and supply" deal with one of its two main rivals.

 

Under such a cooperation deal, Fine Gael has led a minority government since 2016 with a handful of independent lawmakers and the backing of fellow centre-right Fianna Fail from the opposition benches.

 

Prospective direct partners in a minority government, the Green Party and Labour, stood on 8% and 5% respectively in the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion. The Greens were also polling at 15% in Dublin, where the party is targetting a number of seats.

 

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-01-21

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4 hours ago, Proboscis said:

Sinn Fein a left wing party? That would be news to both those who are members or voters for the party and those who are not.

 

Sinn Fein has been an unabashed nationalist party for most of the 20th century. By nationalist I mean that their most fundamental focus on on their view of the Irish nation which they believe ought to be in a republic covering the whole island of Ireland.

 

For years, their policies outside the issues to do with partition and language were almost identical with the "right wing" unionist party, the DUP. So, they both agreed with banning abortion (although Sinn Fein has modified this position somewhat and proposed a Yes vote to remove the ban on abortion in the Republic's constitution.

 

For decades there were no reproduction health centres in Northern Ireland because both parties (DUP and Sinn Fein) agreed there should not be.

 

As regards the EU, Sinn Fein again was as eurosceptic as the DUP for decades, opposing all measures to improve or enhance European integration. They even shared platforms with Nigel Farage until about 2012 when they saw an opportunity and changed their minds.

 

Yes, they have been against Sellafield nuclear power plant - but many right wing voices have the same opinion. But there is no coherent left-wing economic policy, for instance, other than a vague call for more government involvement in investment. The latter could be in keeping with Boris Johnson's view.

 

But the sort of thing that Sinn Fein will go to the wall over are cultural matters, such as insistance that the Irish language have the same status in Northern Ireland as Welsh has in Wales. This is despite the fact that very few people speak Irish at home in Northern Ireland compared with Wales where there are large parts of the country where Welsh is spoken in the communities as an everyday language. Such an ideological stance is hardly "left wing."

 

 

 

 

You seem to have missed many developments in the Republic & NI in recent years.

 

Sinn Fein is indeed a left of centre party on many issues in the Republic. For example they align with left-wing European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) parliamentary group in the European Parliament. Wikipedia has lots more information.

 

although Sinn Fein has modified this position somewhat and proposed a Yes vote to remove the ban on abortion in the Republic's constitution.

 

In 2018 the Republic voted almost 2 to 1 to abolish the ban on abortion in the country. It is now enshrined in law.

 

The recent agreement by Sinn Fein & the DUP to restart the power-sharing agreement does include Irish language support  - as well as Scottish-NI language.

 

 

Edited by khunken
clean up
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12 hours ago, webfact said:

Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA),

SF/IRA are one and the same & there's no 'Former' about it.

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On 1/21/2020 at 6:03 AM, webfact said:

Sinn Fein, the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA),

Good we need strong governments to start the exit from UK !

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