Kenny 'most popular leader'


Taoiseach Enda Kenny is now the most popular political leader in the country according to the latest Irish Times /Ipsos MRBI poll, which also shows that Fine Gael has gained support since the general election in February.

Mr Kenny’s satisfaction rating has jumped 16 points to 53 per cent since the last poll in February. It is the highest rating he has achieved since taking over as Fine Gael leader nine years ago.

However, the Government’s satisfaction rating is a modest 37 per cent while 55 per cent are dissatisfied. Worryingly for the Coalition, a majority of Labour voters are dissatisfied.

There is some good news for Fianna Fáil with the party showing a rise in support since the election while party leader Micheál Martin has seen a significant improvement in his satisfaction rating by eight points to 37 per cent.

When people were asked who they would vote for if there were a general election tomorrow, the figures for party support (when undecided voters were excluded) compared with the general election result on February 25th were: Fine Gael, 38 per cent (up two points); Labour, 18 per cent (down one point); Fianna Fáil, 18 per cent (up two points); Sinn Féin, 10 per cent (no change); Green Party, 2 per cent (no change); and Independents/Others, 14 per cent (down one point).

The poll was taken between Friday and Monday last among a representative sample of 1,000 voters aged 18 and over, in face-to-face interviews at 100 sampling points in all 43 constituencies. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 per cent.

The core vote for the parties (before undecided voters are excluded) compared with the last Irish Times poll on February 18th was: Fine Gael, 30 per cent (no change); Labour, 14 per cent (down two points); Fianna Fáil, 14 per cent (up one point); Sinn Féin, 8 per cent (down one point); Green Party, 1 per cent (no change); Independents/ Others, 11 per cent (down one point); and undecided voters, 22 per cent (up three points).

The Roscommon hospital controversy may be reflected in the fact that the Fine Gael vote in Connacht-Ulster is down by six points but it is up in all other regions in the country.

Fine Gael has consolidated its position as the leading party across the State. Its lead over the Labour Party in Dublin has increased and the party has established dominance over all other parties among middle-class voters and farmers.

Labour has slipped marginally since the last poll among most categories of voters but it is strongest in Dublin. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has seen a rise of four points in his rating to 44 per cent.

Fianna Fáil remains at a disastrously low level in the capital where it has just 9 per cent support but it has a much healthier showing in the rest of the country where it is ahead of Labour.

The Sinn Féin vote is fairly evenly spread across the country while the Greens remain on the 2 per cent share that saw them losing all of their seats in the election. Independents and Others continue to feature strongly at 14 per cent.