Minister denies Fianna Fáil being squeezed out as Sinn Féin support surges

ireland
Darragh O'Brien. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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By James Ward, PA

A Fianna Fáil minister has denied his party is being squeezed out after a new poll showed record levels of support for Sinn Féin.

A Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post put support for Sinn Féin up three points at 30 per cent, the highest level it has reached since the polls began in 2003.

Fine Gael remains the most popular party in the country, though it dropped four points to 33 per cent.

We're focused on the job that we have to do, we're in the middle of a pandemic with a Government that's working well together and Fianna Fáil is central to that

Despite leading Government, Fianna Fáil is languishing on 12 per cent, up a single point since the last poll.

But Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien denied the party is being squeezed out by its rivals.

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He said: “I don’t think we are, and we’re not, and I say that respectfully. The most recent poll has actually been the general election in February, where in a tough for fought election in February, Fianna Fail came out as the largest party.

“We’re the largest party in local government. I’ve never put much stock in polls, be we up or down within them.

“I think there is a long history of Fianna Fáil being underestimated in those polls. We have a job to do in Government and delivering in housing and in health and in education, and that’s what we’re about doing.”

He told RTÉ’s The Week In Politics: “We’re focused on the job that we have to do, we’re in the middle of a pandemic with a Government that’s working well together and Fianna Fáil is central to that.”

Support for coalition partners the Green Party has also dropped, putting Eamon Ryan’s environmentalists on 5 per cent.

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Sinn Féin sees surge in support in latest opinion...
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Independents are unchanged at 8 per cent, as is Labour on 3 per cent and Aontú on 2 per cent.

The Social Democrats climbed one point to 4%, while Solidarity-People Before Profit enjoyed a similar rise to take it to 3 per cent.

The online poll of 1,000 people was carried out between Thursday, November 19th and Wednesday, November 25th. It has a margin of error of 3 per cent.

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