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Housing a clear priority for voters ahead of 2020 Budget according to new survey

Housing a clear priority for voters ahead of 2020 Budget according to new survey
Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

Government response to housing crisis could dominate voter choice in next general election.

The Government has already stated that Brexit will shape the upcoming budget, but according to a new survey from, the public wants them to focus on a familiar issue instead.

As the housing crisis continues to push rental prices to breaking point it is hardly surprising that 73% of those surveyed said the Government's response to the housing crisis will have a strong influence on how they vote in any upcoming election. 

Mooted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for May of 2020, the upcoming election could see the centre-right party lose even more seats if it doesn't adequately address the housing crisis soon as 36% of respondents said it would be the most influential factor in how they vote in any upcoming election with a further 37% saying it will be very influential.

Support for renters

The housing crisis has been a constant cloud on the economy's horizon for the past few years, disproportionately affecting younger voters, and trapping renters in an increasingly dysfunctional rental market. So it's perhaps unsurprising that this is the group of people the Government should focus on come October according to the survey.   

When asked which group of people the Government should prioritise most in relation to housing in Budget 2020, 55% of respondents said it should prioritise tenants and renters while only 13% said first-time buyers. Interestingly, 19% said the focus should be on all mortgage holders.  

Commenting on this, Joanna Murphy, CEO of said:

“19% of respondents felt that all mortgage holders, not just first-time buyers (FTBs), should be given priority, and thus perhaps, more of a break, in the upcoming Budget 2020. Those who felt that only FTBs should be given priority numbered just 13% comparatively. This is interesting given all the recent commentary and research on the plight of FTBs. It might point to a growing awareness that there are others struggling and who may be feeling the pinch of current property price trends.”

Similarly, when asked what their number one priority for Budget 2020 would be if they were Taoiseach, housing and homelessness clearly came out on top at 48%, with healthcare a distant second on 20%.  

And despite reactions to the most recent local elections, which saw surges for the Green Party, it may have in fact been their housing proposals which gained them favour with voters considering only 5% of those surveyed said climate change would be the first priority if they were Taoiseach. 

"Housing is a reality that effects everyone in different ways, at different points in their life, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it would be a sticking point for people when choosing who they want to represent their needs at Government level”, Joanna adds.

The results in detail

Q. How influential will the Government’s response to the housing crisis be on how you decide to vote in the next general election?

It will be the most influential factor in how I vote     


It will be very influential on how I vote     


It will be somewhat influential on how I vote


It will not influence my vote   


    Q. In relation to the housing crisis, which group of people should the Government prioritise most in Budget 2020?



    All mortgage holders  


    Just first-time buyers  


    Amateur landlords      


    Professional & institutional landlords   


    Q. If you were Taoiseach, what would be your number one priority in Budget 2020?

    Housing and homelessness




    Cutting income tax rates 


    Climate change   


    Childcare costs  


    Poverty levels    


    Tax assistance & incentives for self-employed


    Social welfare & pension increases 




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