A Trinity News poll of student opinion has revealed deep dissatisfaction with both government and opposition. Our poll of campus opinion shows that Trinity students are unhappy with the roll out of Irish Water as well as with Sinn Féin’s handling of the Mairia Cahill controversy.
While a solid 56% of students polled approved of water charges in principle – against 36% who didn’t and 8% who were undecided – the vast majority of those spoken to judged the roll out of Irish Water to have been badly handled by the government. 74% thought that the introduction of the charges has been badly handled, with only 3% considering it well handled and 23% unsure. Following the exclusion of undecideds, 96% judged the introduction of water charges poorly managed against 4% who thought it well done.
When questioned as to whether it made them approve more or less of the government’s job performance, a full 52% said it made them approve less, 24% professed it made no difference to them, 4% said it made them approve more while 20% were undecided. When the undecideds were excluded, 65% stated that Irish Water’s roll out made them less likely to approve of the government’s job performance, with 30% insisting it made no difference and 5% saying it made them more likely to approve of the government’s job performance.
When questioned as to their opinion on the overall job performance, 24% said they approved, 52% disapproved and 24% expressed no opinion, a small increase in the number of people who expressed themselves confident in the government in our previous poll, conducted between the 8th and 10th of October, in which 48% of interviewees expressed confidence.
The figure of 24% who approve of the current coalition amounts to a drop of 3% since October, with the number of undecideds decreasing one point to 24%. Following the exclusion of undecideds, 68% disapproved, against 32% who did.
The poll also revealed deep hostility to Sinn Féin in the wake of the Mairia Cahill controversy. A full 65% of respondents judged the party to have badly handled Cahill’s accusations that she had been raped repeatedly by a member of the IRA over a period of nearly 12 months in 1997 and then subjected to a “kangaroo court”, in which she was forced to confront her attacker so that the IRA could assess her body language.
Conversely, 3% thought the party had handled the situation well, against 32% who didn’t know. Following the exclusion of undecideds, 96% of interviewees thought the party to have handled the situation badly against 4% who thought it well-handled.
When asked whether Gerry Adams should resign as Sinn Féin president – a position he has held for over 30 years – a similar 65% of those questioned thought Adams should resign the leadership. A mere 2% thought he should continue, with 36% not expressing an opinion. When “don’t knows” are excluded, students thought Adams should resign by a huge margin of 97% to 3%.
Trinity News interviewed 100 students face-to-face on the 13th and 14th of November in the Arts Block, Front Square and at the Pearse Street entrance to Trinity.