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Leo still more popular than Micheál Martin but 1 in 5 think neither would do good job as Taoiseach

Last month, Varadkar’s approval rating fell to its lowest level since he became Taoiseach.

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ALMOST ONE IN five people don’t think that either of the men leading the two biggest parties in the Dáil would make a good Taoiseach, but more people think the current man occupying that role is doing a better job than his main rival on the opposition benches, a new poll has found.

A Red C poll of 1,000 Irish adults conducted last month asked people – when they put aside their own party preference – whether they thought Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar or Fianna Fáil’s Micheál Martin would do a better job as Taoiseach.

43% of people said Varadkar, 29% said Martin while 19% said neither of them. A further 9% said they didn’t know, when asked. 

The poll, conducted in March, came before the latest controversies around CervicalCheck that has seen the government come under heavy criticism.

That scandal has the potential to become a further headache for the government this week, with Health Minister Simon Harris due before an Oireachtas committee to face questions about his decision to offer free repeat smears last year. 

It also comes after a separate poll last month saw Varadkar’s approval rating fall to its lowest level since he became Fine Gael leader.

The Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll found that Varadkar’s satisfaction rating has dropped to 43%, down eight points from 51% last October

Despite remaining the most popular party leader, today’s figure is the lowest satisfaction rating he has ever received during his time as head of Fine Gael. 

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That same poll also saw Micheál Martin’s approval rate dropping, by 4% to 35%. 

With reporting from Christina Finn

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Sean Murray

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