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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
State of the Nation

Enda is the most popular leader in the country, but it's not all good news for him

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in Irish politics right now…

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Everyone’s talking about…

23/9/2015 Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD is pictured with Mark Stedman Enda Kenny at the National Ploughing Championships yesterday. Mark Stedman

Talk of a November election has been doing the rounds for some time now, but the latest opinion poll may quieten those murmurs for now.

Today’s Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll shows that while support remains steady for Fine Gael, the party has failed to hit the important 30% mark.

When undecided voters are excluded, Fine Gael stands at 28% (no change); Labour has 8% support (up one point); Fianna Fáil is on 20% (no change); Sinn Féin has 19% (down two); and independents or others is up one to 25%.

Satisfaction with the government is at 30% and Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s rating is at 31% – the highest rating of any party leader.

In terms of other leaders, Micheál Martin polls at 30%, with Joan Burton and Gerry Adams on 29% and 26% respectively.

8/5/2014 Sinn Fein European Elections Campaigns Gerry Adams

When the independents/others category is broken down, it shows support for both People Before Profit/Anti-Austerity Alliance and the Independent Alliance is on 3%.

Independents who are not in any group have 5% support, while Renua is on 2% and the Social Democrats and the Green Party polled 1% each.

A separate Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research poll found that found that 52% of respondents said ‘No’ when asked the question: ‘Do you think this government has done a good job?’. Three in ten people said the Fine Gael-Labour coalition has done a good job while 17% said they didn’t know.

Recent economic improvements haven’t given the coalition the boost in support it may have hoped for. These findings are likely to strengthen Kenny’s resolve to hold off until early 2016, when people will start to feel any Budget benefits in their pockets, before calling an election.

The agenda

  • Arts Minister Heather Humphreys will answer questions at 9.30am.
  • The health committee will discuss maternity services in Ireland and babies born to mothers with substance abuse issues from 9.30am.
  • The Good Friday Agreement committee will discuss legacy issues in Northern Ireland from 9.30am.
  • The Public Accounts Committee will focus on the finances of Galway Mayo Institute of Technology at 10am, before turning its attentions to the consultation process on a technological university for the south-east (noon) and the 2014 financial statements of the Higher Education Authority (2pm).
  • More discussion on the Marriage Bill will take place in the Dáil at 10.45am.
  • A motion will be moved in the Seanad shortly after the Order of Business at 11.30am to initiate a by-election process, following yesterday’s resignation of Labour Senator Jimmy Harte.
  • Leaders’ Questions will kick off at noon.
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan will co-chair all-party talks at Stormont in Belfast.
  • Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins will travel to New York to participate in the UN Sustainable Development Summit which is set to agree the Agenda 2030 Goals – the successors to the Millennium Development Goals. Before he gives a speech at the UN tomorrow, Kenny will travel to Connecticut where he will visit Quinnipiac University’s Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum and receive an honorary degree.

Inside Leinster House

Tributes were paid to Labour Senator Jimmy Harte after he resigned from the Seanad. In November 2013, he sustained a serious head injury after falling in Dublin.

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton said Harte has had “an outstanding career as a public representative”.

Labour has previously said that Harte has been “making good progress” in his recovery.

What the others are saying

  • The government is to consider putting pre-nuptial agreements on a legal footing after farmers raised concerns over the transfer of land to younger generations, according to the Irish Examiner.
  • The Irish Daily Mail reports that Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said domestic homes offered by members of the public to house Syrian refugees will soon be assessed for their suitability.
  • The Irish Times quotes Labour TD for Dublin South Central Eric Byrne as saying “gurriers” desecrated two national movement in the Dublin and Wicklow hills.

In case you missed it…

  • Opposition TDs criticised the €30 million government scheme to help rural areas, with Mattie McGrath calling it “insultingly cosmetic”.
  • Lucinda Creighton said a criminal investigation may be needed to establish what was in the black bags outgoing Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan had destroyed when he left office.
  • The Department of Transport released figures that show that since the beginning of 2014 Ireland has allowed 1,122 civilian planes carrying weapons to land on our territory or fly over our airspace.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Taoiseach and a number of ministers at government buildings.
  • Irish Water’s head of asset management Jerry Grant told the Seanad 755,000 meters have been installed across the country.
  • Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan spoke publicly for the first time about his private battle to give up alcohol.

In case you missed it…

Good day for…

Cormac Devlin: The Fianna Fail councillor will be happy to hear his party is now unlikely to order members in Dún Laoghaire to pick a female candidate for the general election.

Bad day for…

Micheál Mac Donncha: The Sinn Féin councillor’s claim that the people who run Irish rugby are ‘West Brits’ was condemned in the Seanad.

On the Twitter machine…

Ciaran Cuffe got involved in the Volkswagen debate.

Originally published: 9am

Read: This political giant is coming to Ireland for the first time today

Read: Micheál Martin says a gun was put to Martin Callinan’s head

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