Former Fine Gael leader Alan Dukes has admitted that the election campaign is “looking very difficult” for his former party after another bruising poll for the outgoing government.
Mr Dukes said there was a strong case for a merger “between the civil war parties” after suggestions by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that, with current poll numbers, this could be the only option.
A Sunday Business Post/Red C poll this weekend has put Fianna Fáil in the driving seat to lead the next government with the party up two points to 26%. But Fine Gael has seen support plummet by seven points to 23, the party’s lowest ever rating during Mr Varadkar’s tenure.
Mr Dukes said that voters were “dissatisfied” with the government party over housing and health. However, issues such as Brexit and the North-which Fine Gael had progressed in government-had not helped their position. Voters went to the ballot box on “issues closer to home,” said Mr Dukes.
However, the Red C poll also showed a significant surge for Sinn Féin, with its support rising by some eight points to 19%. Despite the continued growing support for Mary Lou McDonald’s party, the two main parties have ruled out any possibility of a coalition with Sinn Féin after the general election. Nonetheless, as the campaign reaches midpoint, there will now be more pressure-with this latest poll-on whether Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael would indeed work in government with Sinn Féin.
Mr Dukes, speaking on RTE radio, said that after an election that “reality kicks in and people have to make compromises.”
However, he referred further to a possible merged between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in government, saying there was a “strong case” for such a grand coalition. This was necessary to “keep the left out,” added Mr Dukes.
The latest poll also shows that Fine Gael has one of the lowest levels of support when it comes to fixing housing and health, with just 12% of voters trusting them on the former and 14% on the latter.
Elsewhere, support for the Greens has risen by one point to 8% while Labour has dropped by two points to 4%. Independents have also seen support fall by two points to 14%.
The poll also comes ahead of the next TV election TV debate tomorrow, which will see some seven patry leaders fight it out on RTE’s Claire Byrne Live.
Source: Full Feed