FIANNA Fail has overtaken Fine Gael and Labour to become the most popular party in the country. The party is up by six points in the latest opinion poll to 26pc.It is now ahead of Fine Gael once more, which is down by a whopping six points to 25pc.
And Labour’s woes in the opinion polls continue, with a further two point drop bringing its support to 10pc.
Both parties face the prospects of huge seat losses if the results were replicated in the next general election.
The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll was taken on Monday and Tuesday last week – two days before the historic Anglo debt deal was agreed with the European Central Bank on Thursday.
Independents are up by six points to 20pc since the last such Irish Times poll was taken last October.
But Sinn Fein’s rise in the poll has stalled, with its support level dropping by two points to 18pc. And the Green Party is down by one to 1pc.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has a satisfaction rating of 29pc – the same as Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin. But Mr Kenny’s rating is down by six points whereas Mr Martin is up by one point. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is the next most popular leader at 27pc, but he is also down two points. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore’s satisfaction rating is down by six points to 17pc.
There is further grim news for the Government in terms of how voters view its performance. Despite its claim to be leading the economic recovery, its satisfaction rating has dropped by three points to 18pc. That is similar to the satisfaction rating with the former Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s coalition Government during the worst of the economic crisis.