Wednesday 25 April 2018

FG still on upswing as Kenny popularity hits highest level

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

The honeymoon isn't over yet for Fine Gael as support for Taoiseach Enda Kenny's party has gone up again four months on from the 2011 General Election, a new poll shows.

Support for the two coalition parties remains strong but, in an ominous warning of the fickle nature of the electorate, more than half of voters (55pc) are not satisfied with the performance of the Government.

And a majority of Labour Party supporters are dissatisfied with the Government's showing to date. Support for Labour is only marginally down and is now level with Fianna Fail.

Mr Kenny is the most popular political leader in the country and now has his highest rating achieved since taking over as Fine Gael leader in 2002. Since the general election, his satisfaction rating has jumped to 53pc -- up 16 points since February.

Despite the negative publicity over broken promises on the health service and the controversy over the Roscommon Hospital accident and emergency unit, the coalition parties are still largely holding steady.

In another boost for the Taoiseach, support for Fine Gael has risen by two points to 38pc. Labour are down one point on their general election showing to 18pc, while Fianna Fail has moved in the opposite direction, rising by one point on their disastrously low election performance to 18pc.

The Government's satisfaction rating is at 37pc, which represents a dramatic change from the 4pc achieved by the previous Fianna Fail-led government as it collapsed.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore saw his satisfaction rating rise by four points to 44pc.

Party leader Micheal Martin also rose by eight points in satisfaction, leaving him on 37pc. Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was previously level with Mr Martin, but since his entry to the Dail his satisfaction rating has only risen slightly by two points to 31pc.

However, Mr Adams will be happy to see his party holding the gains it made in the general election and remaining on 10pc. Independents are also retaining their support, down one point to 14pc.

Irish Independent

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