Labour looks set to lose its seats in Galway East and Galway West according to an independent poll carried out for the Galway Advertiser which shows the party on a dismal six per cent support rate.
The poll reveals the party’s support across Galway has halved since the 2011 General Election, when it scored 13 per cent in Galway East and 12 per cent in Galway West electing Colm Keaveney and Derek Nolan to Dáil Éireann.
Neither man will be returned to the next Dáil after the 2016 General Election if these figures persist. The fact that Dep Nolan’s ardent support of Government policies and Dep Keaveney’s stance against them has cut little ice with voters is also revealing and will cause concern for both TDs.
The findings of the poll show Fine Gael on 33 per cent; Fianna Fáil on 24; Sinn Féin on 15; Independents on 22; and Labour on six (after ‘don’t knows’ have been distributed ).
A total of 46 per cent of respondents say they do not know/have yet to make up their minds, on how they intend to vote in advance of the next General Election.
Excluding the ‘don’t knows’, the party core votes are FG (18 ), FF (13 ), SF (eight ), Independents (12 ), and Labour (three ).
Labour can take comfort though from the 46 per cent of ‘don’t knows’ as a chunk of these ‘floating voters’ may yet be convinced to support the party come the 2016 General Election. However this represents an enormous task given the political and economic mood is not set to improve over the next 18 months/two years.
The 46 per cent ‘don’t knows’ show many Galway voters are unimpressed by the current Fine Gael-Labour Government, but are not clamouring for any alternative administration either.
The current Government is on a combined total of 39 per cent, but an alternative coalition of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin only reaches the same number. Given the economic circumstances, any alternative should, theoretically, be ahead.
The poll shows that if a General Election was held tomorrow, in Galway East, where the quota is 25 per cent, Fine Gael would hold one seat (either Paul Connaughton or Ciaran Cannon ); Fianna Fáil would be in a strong position to retain its one seat here; Labour would lose out; while the third would be a fight between the parties and Independents.
In Galway West, where the quota is 16.67 per cent, the poll shows FG with almost two quotas and in strong position to retain its two seats (Brian Walsh and Seán Kyne ); Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív would keep his seat; Labour would lose out; while the final two seats would be fought among the various parties and Independents.