'In Joan we trust', the people say as new leader brings sense of stability
Today's poll shows us that Joan Burton could well be the one to bring Labour - and the Government - back from the brink, says Brendan O'Connor
People had very firm opinions on Eamon Gilmore. In April, towards the end of his reign as Tanaiste and leader of the Labour Party, more than two in three people, 69pc, were dissatisfied with the way he was doing his job. Less than one in six people, just 16pc, were satisfied with how he was doing his job.
By contrast, while one-third of the people polled in today's Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll clearly think it is too early to pass judgement on Joan Burton as leader of the party, 27pc of people think she is doing a good job and just 40pc are dissatisfied with how she is doing her job. Burton therefore enjoys the same satisfaction ratings as the Taoiseach and Micheal Martin, and she enjoys a greater satisfaction rating than Gerry Adams.
But then, it is probably not really fair to measure a politician's popularity in Ireland right now. It is taken for granted that they are all unpopular. So perhaps a good measure of who the public likes is to measure who is less unpopular. Of all the major party leaders, Joan wins this one by a mile. Only 40pc are dissatisfied with Joan. This compares very favourably to the 61pc who are dissatisfied with the Taoiseach.