Fine Gael is the farmers’ party of choice, a survey carried out by FarmIreland.ie, the digital agri news portal owned by Independent News & Media (INM) claims. The survey of over 1,000 farmers shows that 32 per cent of farmers would vote Fine Gael in a general election. Fianna Fáil is the country’s second most popular party, with 25 per cent of farmers’ votes.
However, 22 per cent of those interviewed said they did not know how they would vote if a general election was held. The survey, which was carried out through face-to-face interviews, also asked farmers how far they would go to protect themselves. Four in ten farmers keep a gun in their house and 72 per cent of those would use it to defend themselves.
When asked about selling the farm, 84 per cent of farmers said they would not consider doing so. The figure was strongest among younger farmers, with 94 per cent of the youngest age bracket (18-34 year olds) saying they would not consider selling the farm. Farmers are not overly enthusiastic about encouraging their children to enter farming.
The poll showed 47 per cent of farmers saying they would not encourage their children to take up farming as a career. Dairy farmers are the most positive about their offspring taking to the land, with 60 per cent saying they would encourage their children to become farmers. As many as 78 per cent said everyone in Ireland should pay for water charges.
Irish farmers’ attitude to Europe remains positive, with 80pc saying Ireland remain within the EU and not consider leaving, despite the agri-food sector’s reliance on the UK for exports. The survey also found that farmers do not live in fear, but they are prepared to defend themselves if faced with an intruder, instead of calling the Gardai as a first response.
A total of 91 per cent said they feel safe in their home. There was a large difference between those who do and do not go to Mass or church on a weekly basis, with those over 65 years of age far more likely to attend regularly, with a 81 per cent saying they go each week. As regards pre-nuptial agreements having a legal standing, 72 per cent said they should.