Gilmore still favourite to lead country
LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore is still the most popular party leader and the favourite among voters to become the next Taoiseach.
Just three years after succeeding Pat Rabbitte, he is now far ahead of his nearest opposition rival, Fine Gael's Enda Kenny, and Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
Mr Gilmore is the clear favourite with 36pc nominating him for the job compared to just 19pc for Mr Kenny and 11pc for Mr Cowen.
According to the TV3/Millward Brown Lansdowne opinion poll, he has the strongest backing from his own supporters of any party leader with 75pc of Labour voters polled wanting him to become Taoiseach.
In contrast, just 47pc of Fianna Fail voters want Mr Cowen to have another term as Taoiseach. And just 53pc of Fine Gael supporters want Enda Kenny to achieve his long held ambition of becoming Taoiseach for the first time.
A high proportion of voters are dissatisfied with the choices available to them, with 20pc rejecting all of the party leaders as potential taoisigh.
Mr Gilmore is also the most popular party leader by some distance with 58pc of voters expressing satisfaction with his performance.
The leader with the next highest satisfaction rating is Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams with 30pc. Lagging behind are Mr Cowen (18pc), Mr Gormley (19pc) and Mr Kenny (24pc).
Mr Cowen's satisfaction rating is down four points from a similar poll carried out for the Irish Independent last February. Mr Kenny is also down two points from the same poll, which was taken before the unsuccessful summer heave against him.