Belfast Telegraph

15% 'will not pay household charge'

Some 15% of voters insist they will not pay the household charge, a new survey has revealed.

An opinion poll which showed slight improvements in support for the coalition Government parties has revealed a sizeable amount of the electorate vowing to fight the tax.

The Red C survey for bookmakers Paddy Power showed Fine Gael with a commanding lead with one third of electoral support and Labour in third place on 16%.

Both parties have enjoyed marginal improvement in voter popularity despite the hard-hitting December budget but are both still 3% shy of the general election high almost a year ago.

Fianna Fail squeezed in front of Labour to second place with 17% of the first preference vote. The poll found that the party has made some gains thanks to the presidential election, while its strongest support remains outside Dublin and among those over 55.

Sinn Fein, which secured a 10% first preference in the general election, is fairing particularly strongly over the year and now holds 14%.

Independents retain 17% of the vote, up 1% from the election, and are showing big support in Dublin thanks to the presence and successes of the Socialist Party at 6%. The Greens - although a far cry from resurgence - are back to 3% support, with 6% backing in Dublin alone.

The survey on the household charge also offered an explanation of voter intentions, with a breakdown of numbers aware that the 100 euro tax has been brought in and is due for payment by the end of March.

It found 42% of voters know they face the bill and are willing to pay while 15% will not pay. Another 24% said they do not know if they are liable.

Red C interviewed a random sample of 1,009 adults by telephone between January 9-11.

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