A new party set up to promote the interests of rural Ireland would win the support of farmers, a poll has found.
A survey conducted by the Farmers Journal has found 72% of farmers would give such a party their first preference vote.
Pat O’Toole of the Farmers Journal described it as a trend that is sweeping across much of Europe.
“We saw the astonishing success of the Farmers Citizens’ Party in the Netherlands in the national elections in March, when they came from nowhere to become the largest party,” he told Newstalk.
“There is a mood in rural Ireland and in rural Europe of dissent and dissatisfaction with the political status quo.”
Only one in five farmers said Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue was doing a good job.
In addition, only 34% of farmers said they planned on voting for Fine Gael - down 4% since December.
Mr O’Toole described 2023 as a “particularly difficult year” for farmers and said the coalition parties could poll poorly in next year’s elections.
“There are some attempts being made and a lot of conversations taking place around the formation of a rural party,” he said.
“So, we may get to see as soon as the local and European elections next May, whether this tacit support could become real.”
In the last European election, Fine Gael won 29% nationwide and Fianna Fáil secured 16% of the first preference vote.
Main image: Farmers look out over feeding cattle.