Poll: Sinn Fein's McDonald second most popular leader in Republic of Ireland
A new poll has found that Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald is now more popular than Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
The new findings came from a Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll.
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It is the first time in three years a Sinn Fein leader has been more popular then their Fianna Fail counterpart.
Former Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams remained firmly behind Mr Martin in the opinion polls since the 2016 General Election in the Republic.
Mrs McDonald has worked to soften her party's image north and south of the border since replacing Mr Adams.
She recently reached out to unionists, using the word "Londonderry" during a visit to Derry and Mrs McDonald said she would like to create a new Ireland in which DUP leader Arlene Foster could feel popular.
In contrast Mr Martin's party has been rocked by division over the upcoming Eighth Amendment Referendum.
Citizens will be asked on May 25 whether they want to repeal the Eighth Amendment of Ireland’s Constitution, a provision that makes abortion illegal in all but exceptional circumstances.
Faith in Mrs McDonald has increased by seven points in the poll, and she is now polling at 46%
Mr Martin's popularity has dipped by four points leaving him on 44%
However Fianna Fail still remain more popular than Sinn Fein overall with support of 27% to 22% in the overall ranking of parties.
Meanwhile Fine Gael Taoiseach Leo Varadkar remains Ireland's most popular leader with a satisfaction rate of 56%, his party is also the most popular with indications suggesting they would receive 34% in the event of a General Election.
Belfast Telegraph Digital