Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has seen his party’s support rise by three points despite opposition claims that he is more ‘style than substance’.
It is the first time Fine Gael has reached the 30 per cent support level since the run-up to last year’s general election. Varadkar is due to visit London on Monday to meet British Prime Minister Theresa May about the Brexit talks, while also taking part in the presentation of Ireland’s 2023 Rugby World Cup bid.
But Fine Gael’s gains are not at the expense of Fianna Fáil, who are up by two points to 26 per cent.
The Red C poll was carried out between last Monday and Friday and coincided with the return of the Dáil from its summer break.
Sinn Féin, which has faced a steady stream of bullying allegations from its own members, has dropped by two points to 16 per cent.
While the long summer with no Dáil sittings has benefited Fine Gael and to a lesser extent Fianna Fáil, the Independent Alliance with its four sitting ministers is down by two points to two per cent.
There is better news for Independent TDs, who have seen their support rise by two points to 10 per cent. They may have attracted back floating voters who had recently gone to Sinn Féin, or those who had been supporting the Independent Alliance.
Labour, which is currently running a national recruitment campaign in third level colleges, is down by around one point to 5 per cent in this poll.
It is being closely pursued by several other smaller parties, including the Social Democrats. They are up by two points to 4 per cent, which is a recovery to the support level the party has held in recent polls. The Solidarity-People Before Profit party is unchanged on four points in this poll. The Green Party is down in this poll by two points to 2 per cent. Renua is down by two points to 1 per cent.