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Support for Coalition rises over bailout exit

THE Government has received a bounce in the latest opinion poll as the country leaves the EU-IMF bailout.

Ahead of the formal exit from the Troika programme this weekend, Taoiseach Enda Kenny is the most popular party leader in the country.

Fine Gael is up four points to 30pc, with its partners in government, Labour, up three points to 9pc.

Fianna Fail is unchanged on 22pc, but Sinn Fein is down two points to 21pc and Independents and other parties are down five points.

Satisfaction with the Government is also up substantially, by six points to 26pc, according to the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

Aside from the exit from the bailout, the government parties also delivered a Budget containing €2.5bn worth of cuts and taxes since the previous poll.

Labour's support level has recovered slightly from the record low figure recorded in the previous poll, where it bottomed out at only 6pc.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's satisfaction rating is up four points to 19pc.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has seen his party jump ahead of Sinn Fein as the best-supported opposition party.

Mr Martin's satisfaction rating has also risen to 29pc. Sinn Fein's support is down, and so too is the satisfaction rating of Gerry Adams.

The Sinn Fein president has fallen to third place in the leaders ratings after dropping two points to 27pc.

FLUSH

In his address this weekend, Mr Kenny will also emphasise that the country is not "flush with money", and the Government will still have to pursue sound economic policies. The Cabinet will meet this morning to discuss its new economic plan for the rest of the decade.

The poll was taken on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

The previous comparable poll was taken on September 26.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the IMF will maintain an office in Dublin.

This will continue to be the case despite the bailout exit as the IMF continues to carry out "post-programme monitoring".

The Taoiseach said he is going to thank people for their "exceptional sacrifices" in his State of the Nation speech to mark the exit from the bailout.

Mr Kenny's address will be broadcast after the RTE Nine O'Clock News on Sunday.

Mr Martin, Mr Adams and a leader from the Technical Group will be given two minutes each on live TV.

hnews@herald.ie


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