Sinn Féin’s support has surged to its highest level in over a year in the latest Sunday Business Post/Red C poll.
The party is up by five points to 19 per cent at a time when it has been calling on Fianna Fáil to pull the plug on the government. It has also attracted attention for its campaign in the Northern Assembly elections.
Fine Gael has managed to stay at 24 per cent, despite the divisive preparations for a change of leader in recent weeks. It has also avoided any immediate fallout from the controversy over the setting up of the tribunal into the garda smear campaign against whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.
The focus in Fine Gael is now shifting to the contest to select a replacement for Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who has said he will announce details of his planned departure when he returns from his St Patrick’s Day visit to US President Donald Trump in the White House.
Fine Gael’s partners in government, the Independent Alliance, remain on 3 per cent.
Fianna Fáil is down by one point to 26 per cent, which will temper any desire in the party to consider an early general election at this point. However, it still has the largest support of any party.
The Red C tracking poll shows that support for Independents has fallen by four points to 10 per cent. The fortunes of Independents have fluctuated in recent polls, in a sign that there are floating voters who are switching back and forth from Independents to other parties.
The Anti-Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit grouping are up by two points to 6 per cent. Green Party leader Eamon Ryan will be content that his party is holding its support level at 4 per cent, but the same could not be said for Labour leader Brendan Howlin, whose party is down by one point to 4 per cent.
The Social Democrats are down one to 3 per cent, while Renua is unchanged at 1 per cent.
The poll of around 1,000 adults was taken by Red C Research between Monday and Thursday last week. The previous Sunday Business Post Red C poll was published last month, on Sunday January 29.
For a full breakdown and analysis see tomorrow's Sunday Business Post.
How they stand:
Fianna Fáil: 26 per cent (-1)
Fine Gael: 24 per cent (n/c)
Sinn Féin: 19 per cent (+5)
Independents: 10 per cent (-4)
AAA-PBP: 6 per cent (+2)
Green Party: 4 per cent (n/c)
Labour: 4 per cent (-1)
Independent Alliance: 3 per cent (n/c)
Social Democrats: 3 per cent (-1)
Renua: 1 per cent (n/c)
*(n/c is no change)