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In the local elections, independents left political parties behind..

Dublin: In the upcoming local elections, independent candidates are garnering more support than traditional political parties, with 23% of voters expressing a preference for independents, according to recent opinion polls.

The polls indicate that both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are trailing behind the main opposition party, Sinn Féin. Notably, Sinn Féin has experienced a significant drop in popular approval, with a 4.6% decline since the last election, now holding only 17.4% support.

Voter turnout is projected to increase significantly, with 90% of respondents planning to participate in the European elections. This includes 95% of both 18 to 34-year-olds and those over 65. In contrast, less than half of voters cast their ballots in the 2019 elections.

Despite Sinn Féin’s overall decline, the party remains highly popular among young voters in the European elections. The survey reveals that 22% of 18 to 34-year-olds intend to vote for Mary Lou McDonald’s party.

Fine Gael has seen a slight increase in popularity, rising by 1.7% to 17.7%, according to the latest poll conducted by The Journal and Ireland Thinks. However, it still ranks second.

Fianna Fáil remains the most preferred party among voters over 65, with 32% support for Micheál Martin’s party, while Fine Gael is supported by 26% in this demographic.

Support for independent candidates continues to grow, with 30% of 18 to 34-year-olds and 32% of 35 to 64-year-olds indicating they would vote independent. Independents are favoured by 28% of both men and women. Independent groups such as Independent Ireland, the Irish Freedom Party, Ireland First, and The Irish People are included in this category. Additionally, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil receive 15% and 14% support, respectively, from these age groups.

The popularity of smaller parties has also increased. An Tu, for example, has seen a rise from 4% to 5% in support according to the poll.

Other parties’ standings include:
– Green Party: 7.2% (up one percentage point)
– Social Democrats: 5.3% (unchanged)
– Labour: 3.5% (up 0.5%)
– Solidarity-PBP: 2.8% (up 0.8%)

This poll was conducted from May 24-27, with elections for the European Union and local councils scheduled for Friday, June 7.

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