Fledgling political party Independent Ireland would harvest 11% of farmers’ first preference votes, if a general election were called next week.

An exclusive Irish Farmers Journal survey of 1,182 readers reveals that 11% of them would vote for the newly formed party, founded by Michael Collins and Richard O’Donoghue and bolstered by Michael Fitzmaurice.

Support for non-party independent candidates has held up at 22%, while Sinn Féin’s vote has collapsed from 13% to 6% since December.

MEP voting

Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Independent Ireland candidates are polling strongly among farmers in the European elections.

First-time candidate Nina Carberry and former agriculture minister Barry Cowen lead the way in Midlands North West on 17% each. They are closely followed by Maria Walsh and Ciarán Mullooly on 16%. Sitting MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan would command 9% of the vote.

In Ireland South, Seán Kelly is out in front on 33%, with Billy Kelleher on 20%. Eddie Punch on 11% and Michael McNamara on 9% are well in contention among farmers at this stage.

John Mullins and Cynthia Ní Mhurchú will need plenty of transfers from their party colleagues to put them in the race.

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Carberry neck and neck with Cowen

Independent Ireland third most popular party among farmers