Ireland

Sinn Féin establishes clear lead as Ireland’s most popular party – poll

SINN FÉIN HAS established a clear lead as the most popular political party in Ireland, according to a new Irish Times poll.

The party reached its highest ever approval rating in the poll conducted by Ipsos MRBI, released this evening.

Sinn Féin have increased their share of the vote by three points, putting them at 31% of the vote, well ahead of their nearest rivals Fine Gael, down three points to 27%.

Fianna Fáil have improved their standing, rising six points, but remaining some way behind the others on 20%.

Support for the Green Party and Labour was unchanged at 6% and 3% respectively.

The Social Democrats dropped a point to 2%, while People Before Profit saw the opposite effect, up one point to 2%. Independents and others were down six points to 13%.

Despite Government parties struggling, approval for their handling of the pandemic has risen substantially in recent months.

The Government’s approval rating has jumped by 10 points since February, with more than half of voters, 53%, saying they are satisfied with the coalition.

Fianna Fáil will point to their six-point gains as proof of a “vaccination boost”, while Micheal Martin has enjoyed a seven-point increase to his personal approval rating, a new high of 49%.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has seen his personal approval rating jump four points to 53%, as he remains the country’s most popular leader.

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Despite her party’s strong performance, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has seen her approval rating drop by three points to 42%.

Meanwhile, Green party leader Eamon Ryan has dropped nine points, to 26%.

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