Sinn Fein’s Support Falls Again, Irish Times Poll Signals

(Bloomberg) — Support for the main Irish opposition party Sinn Fein is declining, according to an Irish Times poll, a change for the party that has been on course to oust the incumbent government.

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Voting preference for the left-wing Irish nationalist party fell by five points in Thursday’s poll to 23%, following a decline of six points in the last poll in February. The party reached peak support in July 2022 at 36%, according to the Irish Times polling data.

That could sound some alarm bells within the party, whose primary goal is to bring about a reunified Ireland, and is vocal on finding alternative solutions to social issues including the housing crisis. The party has never governed in the Republic before, but is closer than ever to doing so, thanks to support from disenfranchised voters wanting change, particularly young people.

However, Sinn Fein’s drop has fallen sharpest among the younger voters in this latest poll, the Irish Times said in its analysis. Support also dropped among working-class voters, it said, which has typically been the party’s base. That could be because some of those voters have turned to independent candidates or smaller parties running on anti-immigration tickets instead.

The party’s next big test will be in early June, when voters head to the polls for Irish local elections and European parliament elections.

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