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Sinn Fein’s popularity in Republic of Ireland hits record high in latest polling

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MAry Lou MCDonald

MAry Lou MCDonald

PA

MAry Lou MCDonald

Sinn Fein’s popularity in the Republic of Ireland has risen to a record high, with Mary Lou McDonald the most popular political leader in the south.

According to the latest Ireland Thinks monthly poll series for the Sunday Independent newspaper, support for the nationalist party has risen to 36%, one point more than the previous rating.

It means support for the party among voters is just one point behind the combined level of support for the government parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fail – at 22% and 15% respectively.

Although Ms McDonald comes out in the polling as the most popular leader, her support falls well behind Irish President Michael D Higgins, whose approval rating stands at 66% with Ms McDonald trailing the two-term president on 44%.

Meanwhile Taoiseach Micheal Martin’s approval rating is on 41% and Tanaiste Leo Varadkar on 35%.

The latest survey will come as pleasing news for the party after they came out on top in the recent Northern Ireland Assembly election.

The party won 27 seats in the election, becoming the largest party and marking the first time a nationalist party has won most seats and been entitled to the First Minister role.

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Meanwhile, according to the poll the cost of living and the housing crisis remain the two most important priorities that voters in the Republic believe need to be dealt with, with 68% identifying the cost of living (up six points in a month) and 49% identifying housing.

A distant third is healthcare at 23%, while just 10% of voters identified climate change as among the two most important priorities, with the war in Ukraine identified by 5% and the resurgent Covid-19 identified by 4%.

The poll was carried out on Friday, July 1. The sample size was 1,133 and the margin of error was +/–3%.


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