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Sinn Fein tops poll in Republic of Ireland as Fine Gael plummets to third place

The latest opinion poll in the Republic of Ireland suggetss Sinn Fein is the most popular party in the country - while ratings for Fine Gael and Labour have plunged.

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll has better news for Independents and smaller parties - showing that support is up to a record high of 32pc

But it will not make for happy reading for Taoiseach Enda Kenny this morning - Fine Gael is now at its lowest standing since 2003, and the Taoiseach's satisfaction rating is lower than at any other point since he became party leader in 2002.

While Sinn Fein has fallen back a little and Fianna Fail has improved a little, there is little doubt that Independents/Others are the big winners - up some nine points.

The survey, which was carried out earlier this week, asked people who they would vote for if there was an election tomorrow - and compared it to the last Irish Times poll in October.

It found Fine Gael at 19pc (down five points); Labour at 6pc (down three points); Fianna Fail at 21pc (up one point); Sinn Fein at 22pc (down two); and Independents/Others, 32 per cent (up nine).

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