Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein's approval rating at lowest since 2016, while Varadkar benefits from Brexit bounce

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s approval rating has had a Brexit bounce while support for Sinn Fein has fallen to its lowest level since 2016, an opinion poll has found.

Sinn Fein's approval rating as a party has fallen 2% since March, leaving them at 14%.

Meanwhile, the Fine Gael leader's ratings jumped 15 points since May following a decline in the previous 18 months.

More than half of all voters (51%) now say they're satisfied with his performance as Taoiseach.

Irish government approval has risen with 42% saying they're satisfied with its performance, up from 31% in May.

Six out of 10 voters said they're happy with the government's handling of Brexit - but voters are evenly split on whether they should compromise on the backstop.

That's according to a poll conducted by opinion research specialist Ipsos MRBI for the Irish Times.

Meanwhile almost half (47%) say there should be no compromise from the Irish government on the backstop to achieve a deal, while 42% said they should be more flexible.

Mr Varadkar's party Fine Gael is maintaining a narrow lead over its closest rival Fianna Fail.

There's also been a substantial increase in support for the Green Party.

Sampling for the poll was conducted in the wake of the meeting between Mr Varadkar and Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Brexit as well as the announcement on the Irish government's budget.

If there was to be an election, Fine Gael support is steady at 29%, while support for other parties, apart from the Green Party, has declined since the last local and European elections.

The satisfaction rating increase for the Taoiseach and the Irish government will encourage the party as they contemplate a possible election before Christmas in the event of a deal being concluded on Brexit.

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