Poll: Sinn Féin will require ‘substantial partner’ to enter Government 

“The polls don't lie that much."
Ellen Kenny
Ellen Kenny

14.40 7 Jan 2024

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Poll: Sinn Féin will require ‘...

Poll: Sinn Féin will require ‘substantial partner’ to enter Government 

Ellen Kenny
Ellen Kenny

14.40 7 Jan 2024

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Following the latest polls, Sinn Féin will need a “substantial partner” to form a Government after the next election. 

That’s according to Barrister Peter Leonard after the latest Ireland Thinks/Sunday Independent polls show Sinn Féin remains the most popular party in Ireland. 

Sinn Féin saw an increase in support by 2 points, polling at 30%. 


Meanwhile, Fine Gael saw a 1% drop to 20% and Fianna Fáil dropped two points to 17%. 

Mr Leonard told The Anton Savage Show 2024 will be a “good election year” for Sinn Féin. 

“The polls don't lie that much,” he said. “They may not always be completely accurate, [Sinn Féin is at] 30% and they’ve been on that for a long time. 

“They're going to come back as substantially the largest party.” 

Despite Sinn Féin’s continued success, its numbers are not yet enough to form a Government by itself. 

Former Newstalk presenter Ivan Yates filling in for Anton predicted  the party will likely earn between 58 and 72 seats. 

According to estimates of the expected increase in seats, the “magic figure” needed to form a Government in the enlarged Dáil is 88. 

Mr Leonard agreed Sinn Féin will not be able to form a Government alone. 

“They’ll need a substantial partner,” he said, although it isn’t yet clear what alliances they might form. 

“We know that if you go in with a substantial party and you’re a smaller party, it’s a disaster."

Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil

The poll also found, in a forced choice, 40% of people would support a coalition between Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil above the current coalition. 

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, however, said in September the party “would not be our first choice at all” as a coalition partner. 

"I already said, I believe there's a full range of policies that are incompatible between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin,” he said. 

Mr Leonard said this coalition would also be a “very risky strategy” for Sinn Féin, who has earned support among younger voters. 

Poll results

The poll also found that support for the Social Democrats and the Green Party remains unchanged at 5% and 3% respectively. 

Both the Labour Party and People Before Profit dropped one point to 3%. 

Mr Martin is the most popular party leader in Ireland, according to the poll, at 44%, although this is a drop of 2%. 

This is followed by Holly Cairns, who increased two points to 40%, and Mary Lou McDonald, who jumped one point to 39%. 

Support for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar dropped by two points, placing him at 38%. 

Leaving aside personal preferences, 49% of those polled said they expect Ms McDonald to be Taoiseach after the next general election. 

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