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Poll analysis: Housing and immigration are making the headlines, but other topics are becoming more prominent

After peaking at 24% in January, mentions of immigration have declined month-on-month, falling to 12% in the latest poll

Housing remains the issue that preoccupies the Irish public, according to the latest Ipsos B & Snapshot poll for The Irish Times.

When participants in the April poll were asked what was the one thing they had seen or heard from Government recently that suggested the country is going in the right or wrong direction, 21 per cent gave housing their first mention, making it the most salient issue by a considerable margin.

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Each Snapshot poll is conducted among a random national sample of 1,000 Irish adults aged 15 years and upwards.

Housing is especially top-of-mind for those aged 25 to 34 years (28 per cent) and registers marginally higher than average among 55 to 64 year olds (22 per cent), many of whom have children renting or looking to buy a home.


Interestingly, housing gets much more attention from women (25 per cent) than men (17 per cent).

Not only is housing a lightning rod issue for Government, overwhelmingly the public feel the Government is getting it wrong. Almost nine in 10 (88 per cent) verbatim comments on housing are negative in sentiment. Not surprisingly feedback centres on a lack of houses, high prices and the struggles of a generation to get on the ladder.

Immigration is somewhat less topical this wave, but still features prominently. After peaking at 24 per cent in January, mentions of immigration have declined month-on-month, falling to 12 per cent in this latest poll.

One in four comments (24 per cent) on immigration are supportive of Government policy and the efforts being made to accommodate new arrivals – “something that the Government has been doing is supporting refugees, which I think is a really good thing”. However, the majority of comments (76 per cent) are critical, with many expressing concerns about the scale of the challenge – “it’s going in the wrong direction completely, they haven’t got the infrastructure for all the people they are letting in the country”.

The family and care referendums were not quite yesterday’s news when the latest Snapshot poll was conducted between April 2nd and 12th, mentioned by 9 per cent of respondents when asked to recall what they had seen or heard in the media recently.

Very much in the news during polling was the election of Simon Harris as Taoiseach, with 7 per cent of respondents citing the change of leadership as something they had taken note of.

Among those mentioning a change of leadership, about one third (35 per cent) viewed the move positively, welcoming a fresh perspective. Just less than two-thirds (62 per cent) were negative about the change, with some wondering if Leo Varadkar’s resignation (and Simon Coveney’s) hinted at difficulties for the country coming down the tracks.

The cost of living/inflation is on the rise again as a topic of conversation, mentioned by 6 per cent nationally, and by 9 per cent of working-class respondents.

Education is also on the up, jumping from 1 per cent to 4 per cent across the total population, and climbing as high as 10 per cent among the 15 to 24s. Coverage of Simon Harris’s achievements as Minister for Further and Higher Education is likely responsible for some of this uplift.

Registering at their lowest levels in 2024 and struggling to cut through the noise are climate change/sustainability (2 per cent) and the Palestine/Israel conflict (2 per cent).

Perhaps the most intriguing Snapshot poll trend has been the HSE/health service’s relatively low profile during the winter months.

A recent Ipsos What Worries The World poll conducted across 33 countries ranked Ireland as the country most worried about healthcare, yet just 3 per cent of Snapshot respondents answered with a healthcare-related issue when asked what they had seen or heard recently that indicated if the country was going in the right or wrong direction.

Healthcare is clearly still important, but problems in other areas such as housing and immigration are making the headlines. For the time being at least.