Belfast Telegraph

Support for Cowen 'falls to 11%'

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has suffered a bruising after an opinion poll put his support at just 11%.

Just over one in 10 people would vote for Mr Cowen to be Taoiseach in a general election according to the latest Red C survey for The Sun.

The figure is down seven points on a similar poll for the newspaper three months ago and eight on an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll in September.

A TV3 poll in September, carried out in the wake of the Taoiseach's controversial early-morning radio interview at the Fianna Fail parliamentary party conference in Galway, also put his support at 11%.

In a survey of 1,000 adults, carried out last week at the height of the student protests against increasing college fees and the announcement over December's 6 billion euro budget, Eamon Gilmore came out on top.

Support for the Labour leader stood at 39%, up six points on the last Sun poll, while Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny fell from 27% to 23%.

The poll results mark a further blow to Mr Cowen and Fianna Fail, which recorded just 18% in a poll by the Sunday Business Post last month.

Meanwhile the survey also revealed that 45% said the recession has had a detrimental effect on their health.

One in five of those polled said they had lost their jobs since the crisis struck in late 2008, increasing to one in three for young people aged between 25 and 34.

A further 38% said they knew a close relative or friend who has been forced to emigrate as a direct consequence of the economic crisis.

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