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Boost for Martin as Fianna Fail top Shinners in poll

FIANNA Fail are hoping voters are starting to forget the last Government -- even if they can't forgive.

Micheal Martin's beleaguered party have been given a significant boost by a new opinion poll which has re-installed them as the second most popular party in the country.


And with a savage budget coming in December, the Fianna Fail leader's hopes of further gains are very much alive.

The poll results published today put Fianna Fail on a rating of 21pc, still significantly behind Fine Gael (31pc) but ahead of Sinn Fein (20pc) and Labour (12pc). SF's showing was a drop of 4pc on the previous survey.

The results were the first indication that FF might be able to move beyond its disastrous last term in office and regain voters' trust.

Meanwhile, with a draconian budget being drawn up by the Cabinet, 73pc are already dissatisfied with the performance of the Government.

Only 21pc expressed satisfaction in the Coalition, a fall of 6pc.

Fine Gael's 31pc support has remained steady, dropping by only one point in the past five months, despite ongoing controversies surrounding Health Minister Dr James Reilly.

While Labour has gained two points, it is still far below its 2011 general election showing.

Mr Martin's party has capitalised at the expense of Sinn Fein, rising 4pc since the last similar poll for the Irish Times, carried out by Ipsos MRBI in May.

Independents and other smaller parties are on 14pc, down 1pc, and the Green Party remains the same on 2pc.


The poll was taken on Monday and Tuesday, amid a normal representative sample of 1,000 voters. All four major party leaders have suffered a drop in support, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny down three points to 33pc.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore is also down three points to 23pc.

Mr Martin is down three points to 28pc but Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has suffered the largest drop, falling by eight points to 29pc.