Fianna Fáil leads Fine Gael in new poll

Earlier, the Taoiseach was forced to put out a statement insisting there would be no coailition with Sinn Féin in the future

Fianna Fáil has opened up a lead on Fine Gael in an opinion poll for the second time in a week.

The survey for tomorrow's Sunday Business Post has Fianna Fáil on 27%, with Fine Gael on 24%.

This is the first Red C / SBP poll of the year, and is comparable to their last poll at the end of November.

Fine Gael drops a point to 24%, as do their coalition partners the Independent Alliance from 4% to 3%.

Fianna Fáil - going up three points to 27% - means following on from last weekend's Sunday Times poll, two surveys now show them with a lead over Fine Gael.

Sinn Féin drop two points to 14%, with non-aligned independents going up 2% to 14%.

Labour's unchanged on 5%, the People Before Profit Anti Austerity Alliance drops one to 4%, the Greens go up 1 to 4% and the Social Democrats are unchanged on 4%. Renua goes up 1 point to 1%.

Pressure on Kenny

This poll will heap further pressure on Enda Kenny hours after the Taoiseach was forced to put out a statement earlier insisting there would be no coailition with Sinn Féin after appearing on Thursday to open the door for such a partnership after the next election.

In the statement he said: "The Fine Gael Party position is, has been and will remain, not to enter into coalition government with Sinn Fèin.

"As I have stated many times previously I don't believe the parties to be in anyway compatible, in particular on economic issues where Sinn Fein policy would lead to massive job losses and seriously undermine business and investment.

“My focus and that of the government I lead is to manage the nation's affairs in the interests of its citizens."