Two new polls spell election wipe-out for Labour

There is cause for concern for Labour ahead of this Friday's local and European elections, with the publication of two new opinion polls.

Eamon Gilmore's party is facing an outside chance of losing its two MEP seats to the Greens, according to a survey in the Irish Times.

Five hundred people were sampled between last Thursday and Saturday.

Also overall, Labour support has slumped to just 8%, according to a study in the Irish Sun.

Their Red C survey of 1,010 voters between last Monday and Wednesday shows Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein now neck and neck on 20%, while Fine Gael remains unchanged on 25%.

Political Editor with the Irish Sun Deaglan De Breadun says it's bad news for Labour, but Independents are the big winners who, if they were considered as 'Independents and other' along with the Greens, have 27% of the vote.

The most striking finding of the Irish Times poll is that Grace O'Sullivan could be in contention to challenge Fine Gael's Deirdre Clune for the fourth seat in Ireland south.

Fianna Fáil's Brian Crowley will win easily on 31%, while Sinn Féín's Liadh Ni Riada is on 19%. Fine Gael's Sean Kelly has just 13%, but appears set to do well on Mr Crowley's transfers.

That leaves the final seat between Deirdre Clune on 8%, her FG colleague Simon Harris also on 8%, and the Greens' Grace O'Sullivan on 7%.

But the poll says Deputy Harris will fail to pick up many transfers, with no Leinster candidates from the major parties - and so it's O'Sullivan who could be the biggest rival to Senator Clune.

In Dublin, Sinn Féin's Lynn Boylan and Fine Gael's Brian Hayes are on 23% and 22% - with the final seat still up for grabs,

Fianna fail's Mary Fitzpatrick has 12%, ahead of the Greens' Eamon Ryan on 10%, and Labour's Emer Costello on 9%.

The independent Nessa Childers has 8%, ahead of People Before Profit's Brid Smith on 7% and Paul Murphy of the Socialist Party on 6%.

Finally in Midlands North-West, Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness tops the poll on 18%, while Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy should also be elected with 15%.

Fianna Fail's Pat the Cope Gallagher has 12%, tied with independent Luke Ming Flanagan while another independent, Marian Harkin, is on 10%.

Fine Gael's JIm Higgins has 9%, while Labour's Lorraine Higgins and Thomas Byrne of Fianna Fáil are on 8% each.

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