Ahern left unscathed by payments row - poll


Support has continued to grow for the Taoiseach and Fianna Fail despite the payments controversy in recent weeks, a new poll revealed today.

A survey found Bertie Ahern has emerged unscathed from his ordeal, with 42 per cent of those questioned backing his party.

Support for the opposition coalition was down, with Fine Gael on 20 per cent and Labour on 10 per cent. The Progressive Democrats were unchanged at 4 per cent, with the Green Party up to 6 per cent, Sinn Fein unchanged at 8 per cent and the Independents and Others up to 10 per cent.

The national opinion poll, in The Sunday Tribune, also found that 55 per cent thought the Taoiseach was wrong to accept the money, although people were evenly divided on whether they believed Mr Ahern's explanation for those payments.

And despite two-thirds saying the Taoiseach should have resigned over the controversy, 56 per cent said they wanted Mr Ahern to stay as leader — an increase of 6 per cent in five weeks.

Only a quarter of those surveyed — 25 per cent — opted for Enda Kenny. Millward Brown IMS conducted the poll for The Sunday Tribune.