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Sinn Féin moves into second place ahead of Fine Gael, new opinion poll says

Fianna Fáil come out on top in yet another opinion poll with only a week to go until the general election.

Varadkar and McDonald clashed in two leaders' debates this week.
Varadkar and McDonald clashed in two leaders' debates this week.
Image: Niall Carson/PA Images

SINN FÉIN HAS jumped ahead of Fine Gael and only trails Fianna Fáil by two points, according to a new opinion poll. 

The Panelbase poll for The Times has Fianna Fáil at 23%, Sinn Féin on 21% and Fine Gael on 19%.

This poll of 1,000 voters follows on from previous polls in this general election campaign that see Fianna Fáil leading the way. 

It’s the first time, however, that Sinn Féin is ahead of Fine Gael in an opinion poll this campaign.

Across two seven-way debates this week, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar sought to persuade the electorate that his party was the only one that could be trusted on the economy and Brexit.

Sinn Féin and Fianna Fáil, on the other hand, have sought to attack the government’s record on health and housing and pinpoint what they’d do to try solve these crises.

Elsewhere in the poll, independents and others were on 11% and the Green Party were on 10%.

The Social Democrats, Labour and Solidarity-PBP were all on 5%, suggesting that there’s all to play for as the smaller groupings try to maximise the number of seats they win.

Voters who said they didn’t know who they’d vote for (13%) were excluded from the poll. The margin of error was 3%. 

The poll was conducted between 24-30 January. 

The Irish public will go to the polls a week today on Saturday 8 February.

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Sean Murray

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