Fine Gael candidate James Geoghegan is leading the field in the Dublin Bay South byelection campaign but will face a stiff challenge from Labour candidate Ivana Bacik, according to a special Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll in the constituency.
With just a week and a half to go to polling day, Mr Geoghegan has the support of 27 per cent of voters in the constituency when undecided voters are excluded, while Ms Bacik is at 22 per cent.
The race appears at this stage to be between these two candidates as none of the other candidates are currently polling strongly enough to mount a challenge, the data suggests.
Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan registers at 13 per cent while Fianna Fáil candidate Deirdre Conroy is at just 10 per cent. Green Claire Byrne is at 11 per cent.
The smaller parties and Independent candidates are measured as follows: Sarah Durcan (Social Democrats) 5 per cent; Mannix Flynn (Independent) 5 per cent; Mairead Tóibín (Aontú) 3 per cent; Brigid Purcell (People Before Profit) 2 per cent; Justin Barrett (National Party) 1 per cent; Peter Dooley (Independent) 1 per cent. Remaining candidates received less than 1 per cent support, the poll finds.
The survey was conducted through personal in-home interviewing in the constituency between last Friday and Sunday, among a sample of 500 adults at 50 points throughout the constituency. The accuracy level is estimated at approximately plus or minus 4.4 per cent. The level of those expressing no view as to their voting intentions was 18 per cent.
The poll also suggests that Mr Geoghegan and Ms Bacik will attract strong second preference, and third preference, votes.
Mr Geoghegan benefits from strong approval ratings for the Government in the constituency, and strong party support for Fine Gael in what is a traditional stronghold.
Over half of all voters (55 per cent) in the constituency are satisfied with the Government, while 38 per cent say they are dissatisfied. Satisfaction with the Government is highest among wealthier voters, among older voters, among homeowners and among those who live in the wealthiest parts of the constituency.
Sinn Féin candidate Lynn Boylan enjoys strong support in more working class areas in the constituency but has so far failed to break out into the numerous middle class areas, the poll suggests.
Polling takes place next week, on Thursday July 8th.