Thursday 22 February 2018

The leaders: Kenny still lagging behind

Martin threatens Gilmore's place at top of ratings

Fionnan Sheahan and Michael Brennan

ENDA Kenny continues to trail his rivals substantially in leadership satisfaction ratings, according to the Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll.

Eamon Gilmore remains the most popular party leader in the country. But the Labour Party leader is being chased by new Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin for the title.

Mr Kenny is only ahead of Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his former coalition partner, Green Party leader John Gormley, in the popularity stakes.

Just 27pc of people are satisfied with the Fine Gael leader's performance -- a minor increase of 1pc since the previous poll at the weekend.

Mr Gilmore's satisfaction rating has fallen in the past year, but he still comes in at 46pc, ahead of his rivals, although a two-point drop in recent days.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is on 31pc, a rise of three points over the past three days.

Mr Cowen has a rating of just 10pc -- his lowest score since coming to office in May 2008.

Mr Gormley's standing with the public continues to drop to the lowest level ever recorded for a Green Party leader at just 14pc -- a further fall of three points in the past three days.

In his first entry in a leadership satisfaction rating, Mr Martin comes in at 44pc.

Given his short term of less than a week as Fianna Fail leader, Mr Martin appears to have had a positive image among the electorate from his time as a minister, despite sitting at the Cabinet for 14 years and through the boom and bust.

Trouble

Mr Kenny landed himself in trouble last night on RTE's 'Six One News' when he repeatedly failed to say where his party would find the €700m in savings required under the EU-IMF bailout deal next month.

He did not mention any of his party's specific measures, such as closing tax breaks for the rich and achieving €404m savings this year.

Mr Kenny referred instead to his party's plan to get better bailout terms from the EU.

As part of the bailout deal, the Government promised to give details to the EU and the IMF of how it would make at least €700m in savings in "one-off and other measures" this year. It has to give quarterly updates -- so one is due to be provided at the end of March.

Meanwhile, the Government's satisfaction rating continues to scrape the bottom of the barrel with just 3pc satisfied with its performance.

Irish Independent

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