FF poll rise down to North -- FG
Fine Gael is putting down Fianna Fail's latest rise in support to the talks in the North dominating the three days of polling.
Taoiseach Brian Cowen's party saw its support jump by four points in the last month despite the impact of the Budget and the Government's handling of the cold weather crisis.
Fianna Fail is now on 27pc, but is still behind Fine Gael -- down two points to 34pc.
The Red C poll in 'The Sunday Business Post' shows the Labour Party unchanged on 17pc.
Sinn Fein lost two points since the last poll by the same company two months ago.
And the slip in support for the Green Party has halted at 5pc. Independents are also unchanged on 9pc.
Support for the government parties usually rises over Christmas when the Dail is not sitting and political activity is lower.
From Mr Cowen's perspective, this is the second poll in as many weeks to show his party increasing in support.
FG's take on the poll is Northern Ireland dominated the three days when the poll was being conducted, but the interest rate rise was too late for polling.
In a message to party members, the Fine Gael press office also pointed out this poll was its "highest-ever New Year poll since the series ([of polls) started four years ago".
The narrowing of the gap between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail will be watched closely in forthcoming polling to see if Mr Cowen's party is really on the comeback and if Enda Kenny's party peaked too soon.