Voting Behaviour: The Sinn Féin Election
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This chapter relies on evidence from opinion polls before, during and after the campaign to examine the bases of party support and, in particular, to explain why Sinn Féin did so well. It shows not only when support shifted but also how fragile is party support today. It explores the social bases of support, the role of economic dissatisfaction, the importance of issues such as housing and health, and the extent to which the voters who chose parties of the left in unprecedented numbers had actually moved to the left in their broad outlook. Finally, we examine the role of party leaders and local candidates.