Poor poll results will "fire up" Fine Gael, says Taoiseach

Ipsos MRBI/Irish Times poll shows bad news for Fine Gael, but gains for Fianna Fáil

The Taoiseach says the latest opinion poll will "fire up" the Fine Gael party.

Fine Gael will not be complacent in assuming it will win the general election, Enda Kenny told reporters today as he reacted to a new opinion poll showing falling support for his party.

A new Ipsos-MRBI poll in the Irish Times reveals that the 2016 general election is a wide open race.

There is bad news for the coalition as Fine Gael are down two points at 28%, while Labour remains unchanged at 7%.

Fianna Fáil are up two to 21%, while Sinn Féin are down two at 19%.

There is also good news for Independents, support for whom has risen to 25%.

The poll of 1,200 voters was carried out on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Mr Kenny says Fine Gael is taking nothing for granted.

While speaking in Waterford this morning, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin said polls will come and go and the only one that matters takes place on February 26th.

And Labour leader Joan Burton says she is very confident there will be a boost in the polls for her party in the last week of the election.

Ms Burton says people will want to see stability and support for the coalition partners will increase closer to polling day.

Enda Kenny confirmed yesterday that voters will go to the polls on Friday February 26th from 7.00am to 10.00pm.

"I don't you can run an election campaign by hiding the Taoiseach away", Newstalk.com's political editor Shane Coleman says.

"It has echoes to me of the opening shots of the 2007 general election when Bertie Ahern was hamstrung in those early days...of course, he had the issues about his personal finance, he didn't want to really take questiosn fromthe media and that campaign got off to a very bad start".

"We know that campaign ultimately proved successful for Fianna Fáil - so it is very early days yet".

"This poll, though, it is a worry for the coalition, there's no doubt about it".