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Fine Gael enjoys a Leo Varadkar bounce as Sinn Féin drop slightly in new poll

In the first poll since Leo Varadkar was re-elected as Taoiseach, Fine Gael’s support has increased two points to 25 per cent.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald© PA

Philip RyanSunday Independent

Fine Gael and the Green Party have seen their public support increase, despite backlash over the worst winter hospital trolley crisis on record, according to the latest Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks opinion poll.

Fianna Fáil support has fallen slightly, but Micheál Martin is by far the public’s favourite to lead his party into the next general election.

Sinn Féin remain the most popular political party in the country, but has seen support fall two points to 32pc since the last poll in December.

In the first poll since Leo Varadkar was re-elected as Taoiseach, Fine Gael’s support has increased two points to 25pc and the Greens are up one to 4pc, while Fianna Fáil’s dropped one point to 16pc.

The poll was taken against the backdrop of reports of up to 900 people a day being forced to wait on trolleys for treatment in overcrowded hospitals.

The state of the other parties are: Solidarity-PBP 4 (+1), Aontú 3 (-1), Social Democrats 3 (-2), Labour 3 (=), and Independents/Other 10 (+1).

Micheál Martin remains the country’s most popular political leader, with his approval rating increasing to 4.7pc out of ten. Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald’s popularity dropped slightly to 4.0/10 while Leo Varadkar remains unchanged on 3.9/10.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan’s popularity increased, but remains low at 2.3 out of ten. Amid the ongoing overcrowding crisis in the country’s hospitals, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly’s approval rating is 2.5/10.

Meanwhile, more than one in three people (36.5pc) believe Micheál Martin should lead Fianna Fáil into the next general election. Among Fianna Fáil supporters, 56.7pc of those polled said he should lead them into the next election.

Mary Lou McDonald© Getty Images

Just over one in ten of the population (11.7pc) believe Michael McGrath should be Fianna Fáil leader when the country next goes to the polls, with this increasing to 15.5pc among party supporters.

Jim O’Callaghan is the choice of 7.1pc of citizens asked who should lead the party into the next election, though this drops to 4pc among Fianna Fáil voters.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien’s support to lead Fianna Fáil is just over 1pc among the public and party supporters.

Fianna Fáil supporters rate other potential leaders as follows: Jack Chambers 3.8pc; Barry Cowen 3.6pc; Dara Calleary 2.7pc; Norma Foley 1.2pc; James Lawless 0.7pc.

The poll of 1,104 respondents was taken between January 5 and 6. The margin of error for the results is 3pc.

For full poll coverage and expert analysis by Jody Corcoran and Kevin Cunningham see tomorrow’s Sunday Independent and Independent.ie

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