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Support for Fine Gael grows by five per cent in two months

Public support for Enda Kenny's Fine Gael has increased according to the latest opinion poll, which shows the gap has reduced to Fianna Fáil. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association
Gareth McKeown

SUPPORT for Fine Gael has risen by five per cent in just two months, according to a new opinion poll.

The Sunday Times/Behaviour and Attitudes poll records Fianna Fáil as the most popular party, but Fine Gael has again closed the gap.

Support for the main party in government has risen to 28 per cent, just two points behind Fianna Fáil (30 per cent), whose support is unchanged from last month's figures.

In October voter backing for Fine Gael grew by three points, marking an apparent swell in public confidence.

Support for Sinn Féin is unchanged on 17 per cent, while another part of the minority government, the Independent Alliance has also improved. The Alliance is up one point to five per cent.

The introduction of new leader Brendan Howlin has failed to galvanise opinion polls for Labour as the former junior coalition partner is recorded as having just three per cent support, down two points from October.

That puts the party level on support with the AAA/PBP, while the Green Party remains on two per cent support. Unaligned independents are unchanged on 11 per cent.

The survey was carried out over nine days up to last Wednesday. Voters were asked who they would support if there was a general election tomorrow.

While the poll shows an apparent increase in support for the Irish minority government it comes at a time when the system is under scrutiny with polling firms inaccurate in their predictions for the UK's EU referendum and last week's US Presidential election.

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