Belfast Telegraph

Fine Gael and Sinn Fein support up

Support for Fine Gael and Sinn Fein has surged but backing for Labour has plummeted, according to a new opinion poll.

The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll shows voters continue to give Fianna Fail a battering, with support down seven to 17%.

But Fine Gael has bounced back to regain its status as the most popular party at 30%, up six points.

Labour's position has been weakened, dropping eight points to 25%, while Gerry Adams's Sinn Fein has been given an early Christmas present with support up seven to 15%.

Satisfaction with the Government is at just 8%, down five points, while the number dissatisfied has jumped seven points to a massive 90%.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen's approval rating is down five points to 14%, marking the lowest ratings by any government or taoiseach since MRBI began polling for the newspaper in 1982.

All party leaders have seen a drop in their satisfaction rating, with Enda Kenny down two points to 23%, Eamon Gilmore down five points to 44%, John Gormley down five to 13% and Gerry Adams down one to 28%.

The poll also reveals that while 64% of voters know who they will vote for in next year's election, 34% say they may change their minds.

A Red C survey for the Irish Sun earlier this month put support for Fianna Fail at 13%, while 8% said they would like to see Mr Cowen as the next Taoiseach.

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