Just one in 10 backing Cowen as Taoiseach


ONLY one in 10 people approves of Brian Cowen as Taoiseach.

The all-time low figures for a serving leader come as Mr Cowen shows little ability in tackling the increasing economic crisis.

A new poll has found that Labour's Eamon Gilmore is still streets ahead of Mr Cowen and Fine Gael's Enda Kenny is even thrashing the Offaly man in the popularity stakes, by more than two-to-one.

In spite of a turbulent few weeks during which it was revealed that his wife made more than €500,000 from a controversial land deal and his party was accused of lacking real policy, Mr Gilmore is still the preferred choice among 39pc of voters.

Just 23pc are in favour of Mr Kenny, while a measly 11pc are standing by the incumbent. More than one-in-five said they wanted none of the above.

The survey of 1,003 will make further miserable reading for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, who appear unable to capture the public's attention in the same way as Mr Gilmore.

The poll was taken before Fine Gael launched its Reinventing Government plan to streamline public services, during which Mr Kenny failed to answer basic questions on how the document would be implemented.

It also suggests that Mr Cowen's popularity is now at an all-time low -- particularly among women and young professionals.

The same Red C poll for the Irish Sun found that nearly half of people believe that the economic crisis has affected their health.

Some 45pc of those quizzed said that they were experiencing extra stress or feeling unwell because they have had to cut back on GP visits.

The problems are being compounded by trouble paying basic household bills and dealing with the emigration of loved ones.