Opinion poll shows Fine Gael surge in support
SUPPORT for Fine Gael has surged with the party now enjoying a substantial lead over Fianna Fáil, a new opinion poll shows.
Conducted earlier this week against the backdrop of the Brexit negotiations row, the survey shows Fine Gael gaining five points since the last poll in October, while support for Fianna Fáil dropped by four points.
When undecided voters are excluded, the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll has Fine Gael on 36 per cent and Fianna Fáil on 25 per cent.
Support for Sinn Féin and Labour is unchanged at 19 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively, while independents, others and small parties see aggregate support drop marginally to 16 per cent.
Compared to October's poll, the “core” vote for the parties – before undecideds were excluded – has Fine Gael on 27 per cent (up four); Fianna Fáil 19 per cent (down three); Labour 3 per cent (down one); Sinn Féin 15 per cent (no change); Independents/Others 13 per cent (down two).
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saw his approval rating increase by four points to 53 per cent, the highest number in the series since Enda Kenny's rating in 2011 but Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin also sees his approval rating jump by six points to 43 per cent.
Both Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and Labour leader Brendan Howlin see their approval ratings decline marginally by a point, to 29 per cent and 19 per cent respectively.