Belfast Telegraph

Enda Kenny dismisses poll setback

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has dismissed a poll that showed a sharp fall in the public's opinion of the Government.

He said the only poll he cares about is the general election, which saw the Fine Gael and Labour coalition seal a landslide victory over rival parties. The Taoiseach said public satisfaction may have dropped due to tough decisions the Government has been forced to make.

"I acknowledge of course that people have difficulties in adjusting to changes that have to be made," said Mr Kenny, in response to the Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times survey. "But the fact we are spending 18 million euro more than we are taking in is a problem that will not go away and that has to be faced."

Mr Kenny said the Government has tried very hard to return stability to the economy, through prioritising growth and job creation. Earlier, Sinn Fein said it is not taking its rise in popularity for granted, despite scoring its highest ever rating in a public satisfaction poll.

Support for the party rose six points to 21% in a survey that saw the coalition Government's rating suffer a sharp drop of 14 points to 23%. The Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times poll saw the Labour Party take a hit in the public's estimations, slumping by six points to 13%. Fine Gael's rating on its own fell by three points to 33%.

Despite Sinn Fein's success, president Gerry Adams's popularity has waned slightly. Labour leader and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's personal popularity also took a nosedive over the past six months, dropping 14 points to 27%.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's popularity also took a hit, dropping 10 points to 42%, while his party fell slightly by three points to 33%. Support for Fianna Fail also dropped one point to 11%, while the popularity of independents got a two-point boost to 13%.

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