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Varadkar's approval rating on the rise as voters back government on Brexit

The government’s approval rating has risen from from 31% in May to 42%, according to a new poll.

A NEW OPINION poll suggests that support for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the government has jumped with voters strongly backing its handling of Brexit. 

The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll shows that the government’s approval rating has risen with 42% of those polled satisfied with its performance, up from 31% in May. 

The jump in support comes with a general election on the horizon and as negotiations ramp up in Brussels in the hope of securing a Brexit deal by 31 October. 

The poll indicates that 60% of voters approve of the government handling of Brexit while 54% said the government is doing a good job handling the economy. 

Today’s poll suggests that voters are also evenly split when it comes to compromising on the backstop, a sticking point in negotiations with Boris Johnson’s government. 

Yet Fine Gael maintains only a marginal lead over Fianna Fáil as the government contemplates the possibility of a pre-Christmas, post-deal general election. 

Support for Fine Gael stands at 29% with Fianna Fáil declining marginally by one point to 25%. 

Ratings

Support for Sinn Féin, meanwhile, has fallen to 14%, its lowest level since the 2016 general election, while there’s been a significant increase in support for the Green Party which doubled from 4% to 8% since the last poll. 

The approval rating for the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin rose slightly, from 35% to 38%. 

Varadkar’s personal rating jumped by 15 points, ending an 18-month long period of decline.

Over half of voters polled (51%) said they’re satisfied with Varadkar’s performance as Taoiseach, his best rating in a year.

Support for Labour has dropped one point to 6%. 

The state of the parties – when undecided voters are excluded – is:

  • Fine Gael – 29% (no change);
  • Fianna Fáil – 25% (down one);
  • Sinn Féin – 14% (down two);
  • Labour -6% (down one);
  • Independents/others – 18% (no change);
  • Greens – 8% (up four).

As for the smaller parties and Independents, the latest poll shows Solidarity-People Before Profit at 1% (down one) among voters declaring a preference, Social Democrats are at 1% (down one), Independents4Change are at 2% (no change), the Independent Alliance is at less than 1% (no change), non-party Independents are on 10% (down two), and other groups and parties are on 2% (down one).

The poll was conducted last week and used a sample of 1,200 eligible voters, and also surveyed the popularity of the political parties by asking people how they’d vote in a general election.

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