Opinion poll shows massive drop in support for Independents

The poll shows increases for Sinn Féin, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil compared to their general election results

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There has been a massive drop in support for Independents, according to a new opinion poll.

The Millward Brown survey for the Sunday Independent shows significant increases for Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.

The poll was carried out between June 18th and 29th - and so includes some of the aftermath of Britain's vote to leave the EU.

Fine Gael is on 30% support - up four points from the general election result - while Fianna Fáil goes up two points to 26%.

Sinn Féin support goes up six points to 20%. Labour remains unchanged on 7%, despite new leader Brendan Howlin taking charge.

The biggest change is in support for Independents and smaller parties - down from 27% at the general election to 14%.

Within that the Social Democrats are on 2% - down a point from the election result. The Greens are unchanged on 3%.

AAA-PBP are also unchanged on 4% and it is independents (including the Independent Alliance) that go from 18% to 8%.

Speaking to Midlands 103, the Longford-Westmeath Independent Alliance TD Kevin Boxer Moran says they are proving their worth in Government.

"We're making tough and hard decisions, but we're also delivering," he said. "I believe that if we get time we'll prove to the country that Independents have a role in Government."

Philip Ryan, journalist with the Sunday Independent, says there were a number of factors contributing to the drop in support for Independents.

"There seems to be quite a dramatic shift from Independents back to the more established party, as the country looks at the outcome of the election and the government formation talks.

"[It] looks at possibly how 'new politics' is currently working in Leinster House, and how everything seems to take an age to get anything done," he added.

The poll also shows that almost 30% of people are satisfied with the Government's performance, while Micheál Martin's satisfaction rating has surged to 43%.