INDEPENDENT TDs have blamed Luke 'Ming' Flanagan's handling of his penalty points controversy for their sudden drop in the latest opinion poll.
Their support level has fallen from 19pc last month to 16pc in the 'Sunday Independent'/Millward Brown opinion poll.
Some Independent TDs have publicly blamed Mr Flanagan, saying his actions over the penalty points controversy have damaged the "Independent brand".
Independent Dublin North Central TD Finian McGrath said he was absolutely furious about how Mr Flanagan had handled the issue.
"A lot of us worked hard over the years to build up the Independent brand and a reputation for honesty and integrity. This is giving people an excuse to say 'Yiz are all the same'," he said.
Independent Waterford TD John Halligan said he had noticed a "dip" in the polls whenever a controversy arose involving Independents – such as Mr Flanagan's penalty points or Mick Wallace's €2.1m tax settlement.