As the Irish economy follows the USA into a double dip recession, it appears from a new poll released today that the Irish population will choose higher taxes over control of public spending when the next national election takes place in less then 2 years from now.
The poll puts the Government at just 18% of the electorate’s support (22% when undecideds are excluded) which is in line with the trend since the Irish property bubble exploded in late 2008.
However when deciding between the alternatives to the current administration, the Irish electorate seems to be rejecting the policy of reform of public spending put forward by the Fine Gael group and choosing the higher spending policy of the Labour Party group. This route can only be funded by higher taxes and such a desire by the electorate would make Ireland unique.
However there is a huge contradiction in the poll. While the electorate want a government with a spend&tax leaning, when asked specifically on economic policy a majority would prefer cuts to public spending than increases in taxes.
From a political science point of view it will be every interesting to observe how this contradiction plays out.
The main coverage however is of the relative popularity of the potential new Prime Ministers (Taoiseachs) and how the Labour Group leader, Eamon Gilmore is almost twice as popular as the Fine Gael Group Leader, Enda Kenny and more than 3 times more popular than the current prime minister Brian Cowen.
The full opinion poll can be downloaded here: