Paddy Power Red C poll: Voters want Varadkar to replace Kenny
*Independent are biggest losers in new poll *Voters want Varadkar to replace Kenny *Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil neck and neck
SUPPORT for Independent TDs has fallen significantly in the wake of the formation of a new government.
The first major opinion since Enda Kenny’s re-election as Taoiseach shows that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are still neck-and-neck in terms of public backing.
But voters are losing in faith in all the main party political leaders.
Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin is still the most popular leader but his satisfaction rating fall back from the highs of the campaign to 42pc, down 12 points since February.
Mr Kenny is on a satisfaction figure of 35pc, while Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams is at the lowest level since 2013 on 24pc.
Half (49pc) would prefer to see Micheál Martin as Taoiseach, while only a third (36pc) would pick Enda Kenny.
Leo Varadkar is the voters’ favourite to succeed Enda Kenny, with 32pc of all voters and 39pc of Fine Gale voters supporting him to replace the current Taoiseach.
The newly appointed Social Protection Minister’s is relatively stronger among younger voters, those in more upmarket social groups and in Dublin.
Housing Minister Simon Coveney is the second favourite to succeed Enda Kenny with 25pc support among all voters and 28pc among Fine Gael voters.
The Red C poll for Paddy Power also asked over 1,000 voters for their views on Irish Water. A significant proportion of voters (61pc) believe that Irish Water should now be abolished – but well over half of people (59pc) said they would pay water charges in the future if they are re-introduced.
Some 71pc believe that those who have paid their water charges to date should be refunded, while only around a third of voters feel that those who haven’t paid should be perused through the courts for payment.
RED C interviewed a random sample of 1,015 adults by telephone between May 9-11.
The poll, revealed on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show that Fine Gael remain just about head on Fianna Fáil on 27pc, compared to 25pc. The gap is actually even closer when decimal point rounding is removed.
Sinn Fein do see some small gains in support rising to 16pc, approximately 2pc ahead of what they achieved at the election.
The Labour Party, which is now searching for a new leader after Joan Burton’s resignation this week, is on 5pc support. This is 2pc below their election day drubbing.
Despite being central to preventing a second election the Independent candidates appear to have suffered most by the events of recent weeks.
Independent support is down 4pc to 9pc in this poll, while the Independent Alliance is also down 1pc since the election, continuing an apparent downward trend, albeit within the margin of error.
The AAA-PBP, Greens and the Social Democrats all appear to come out of negotiations quite well, despite most not having taken part, with gains for all three parties vs the actual election results.
FG 27pc (unchanged)
FF 25pc (unchanged)
SF 16pc (+2)
Independents 9pc (-4)
Labour 5pc (-2)
Ind Alliance 3pc (-1)
AAA-PBP 6pc (+2)
Social Democrats 4pc (+1)
Green Party 3pc (+1)
Renua 1pc (-1)
Others 1pc (unchanged)