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Fine Gael maintains lead as Martin polls well

Opinion polls in two of tomorrow’s newspapers show Fine Gael with a healthy lead – but Micheál Martin’s the most popular leader.

FINE GAEL REMAINS the most popular party among Ireland’s electorate, according to two polls published in tomorrow’s Sunday Newspapers – but Micheál Martin is now Ireland’s most popular candidate for Taoiseach.

A Red C poll published in tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post shows Fine Gael maintaining its healthy leader over its nearest challenger Labour, with its 33 per cent support a full 12 points head of Labour, who sit second on 21.

Fianna Fáil seems to have been provided with a slight bounce by the resignation of Brian Cowen as new leader, with the party’s share up from 14 per cent in the most recent Red C poll to 16 in tomorrow’s.

That growth sees Sinn Féin’s impressive recent performances tempered to a still-strong 13 per cent, while the Green Party remains on 2 per cent, and independents and others occupying the remaining 15 per cent of support.

But when asked – irrespective of party preference – would make the most preferable Taoiseach, Martin polls best on 31 per cent, while Eamon Gilmore falls to second, on 26 per cent, and Enda Kenny sinks to 19 per cent. Gerry Adams scored the support of just 7 per cent of voters.

A similar poll, compiled by Millward Brown and published in the Sunday Independent, shows Fine Gael with a ten-point leader over Labour, with 34 per cent against 24 for Labour.

Fianna Fáil’s breathing space in third place is confirmed, with the party recording the support of 16 per cent of voters, while Sinn Féin’s share of the vote has subsided to 10 per cent.

The Greens enjoy the support of just 1 per cent of voters in the Millward Brown poll, while independents and others command a considerable 15 per cent share.

That poll, recording the satisfaction of voters with the performance of party leaders, shows Eamon Gilmore remaining the most popular leader on 48 per cent approval.

He is trailed by Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, on 28 per cent; Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny, on 26 per cent; and the Greens’ John Gormley, on 17 per cent. There was no measure of Micheál Martin’s performance in the Millward Brown poll.

Tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post/Red C polling results:
[Result from last Red C poll, for Paddy Power and published Jan 7, in square brackets]
(Result from last similar SBP poll, from Dec 19, in round brackets)

  • Fine Gael: 33 [35] (34)
  • Labour: 21 [21] (23)
  • Fianna Fáil: 16 [14] (17)
  • Sinn Féin: 13 [14] (14)
  • Green Party: 2 [4] (2)
  • Ind / others: 15 [12] (10)

Tomorrow’s Sunday Independent/Millward Brown polling results:
(Result from last similar poll, conducted for TV3 and released on Sept 23, in brackets)

  • Fine Gael: 34 (30)
  • Labour:  24 (35)
  • Fianna Fáil: 16 (22)
  • Sinn Féin: 10 (4)
  • Green Party: 1 (2)
  • Ind / others: 15 (8)

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