Northern Ireland news

Opinion poll shows Queen Elizabeth popularity in the Republic outstrips southern political leaders

Queen Elizabeth II

QUEEN Elizabeth's popularity in the Republic outstrips that of any southern political leader, according to an opinion poll.

The survey ranked the British monarch, who celebrated her platinum jubilee over the weekend, with higher approval than the Taoiseach Micheál Martin (44 per cent) and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar (38 per cent).

With an approval rating of 50 per cent, those surveyed also consider the Queen more popular than Green leader Eamon Ryan (21 per cent) and Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald (45 per cent).

The Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks opinion poll, published yesterday, did not give an approval rating for President Michael D Higgins.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

It showed that despite falling five points behind Queen Elizabeth in the polling, the majority of those surveyed believe the Sinn Féin leader will be taoiseach after the Republic's next election.

Elsewhere, it showed that support for Fine Gael has dropped with Mrs McDonald's party remaining by far the most popular party south of the border.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s party has dropped three points to 20 per cent, the largest drop of any political party in this month’s poll.

Support for Sinn Féin increased by one point to 35 per cent with the poll also showing that a coalition government led by Mrs McDonald's party that would include Labour, Social Democrats and the Greens is now a marginally more popular option among voters than the current government.

In the party opinion poll, Fianna Fáil's vote share was up one point to 17 per cent while the other party to benefit from an increase in support at Fine Gael's expense is the Social Democrats who are up one point to 5 per cent.

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