Fine Gael has seen its support plummet by five points in the wake of the controversy over the National Broadband plan, in the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll.
With voters due to go to the polls on Friday for the local council and European elections, there is heightened political engagement due to the level of canvassing and postering.
However, Fine Gael is down to 28 per cent which is the party’s lowest Red C poll rating since November 2017.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his ministers have been repeatedly quizzed in the past two weeks about the value for money of the national broadband plan, which is going to cost the state up to €3 billion.
Red C Research chief executive Richard Colwell said the drop in support for Fine Gael suggests that the local elections “may not be so positive for the party”.
Fianna Fáil is up by one point in this poll to 24 per cent, which has reduced the gap between the party and Fine Gael to just four points.
There is a very strong showing for the Green Party which is up by four points to seven per cent, at a time of growing voter concern over climate change. Independents , who are running in the council and European elections in large numbers, are down by two points to 14 per cent.
Sinn Féin’s support is down by one point to 13 per cent.
Labour and the Social Democrats will be disappointed about their national support which is unchanged at 5 per cent and 2 per cent, despite active campaigns by their council candidates.
However, there is a boost for former Sinn Féin TD Peader Toibín’s new party Aontú, which is running 70 candidates in the local elections, as its national support goes up one point to 2 per cent.
Solidarity-People Before Profit has seen its support recover after a series of recent disappointing polls. It is up by one point to 2 per cent. The Independent Alliance remains unchanged on 2 per cent, while Renua is up by one point to 1 per cent.
The Red C poll was conducted using a random sample of 2,000 adults aged over 18 by telephone and online between May 6 and May 16 last. For full analysis of the poll, plus an exclusive poll on which candidates are likely to win seats in the three European election constituencies, read tomorrow’s Sunday Business Post.