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21.23 15 Apr 2017


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Fine Gael has moved ahead of Fianna Fáil in the latest Sunday Times Behaviour and Attitude Poll.

The poll was conducted between March 30th and April 11th when the water charges debate, the fake breath tests and Bus Éireann strike were dominating headlines.

Fine Gael returns to being the most popular party, gaining seven points to 29%.

That is just behind is Fianna Fáil, who is unchanged on 28%.

Sinn Féin dropped five to 18%, Labour is down one to 5%, with the Independent Alliance also losing one to 5%.

Elsewhere, the Greens and Solidarity/PBP are both unchanged on 2%, the Social Democrats gained one to 2%.

The Socialist Party gained one to 1%, with unaligned Independents up two to 10%.

In terms of satisfaction ratings, the Government went up eight points to 34%, while Taoiseach Enda Kenny had a similar increase.

However Mr Kenny is still behind other party leaders, with Michael Martin unchanged with 49%.

Sunday Times political editor, Stephen O'Brien, says Enda Kenny will be pleased with the results.

"Seeing Fine Gael in the doldrums, I guess, for several months - they've had a poor runs of results, some of which have helped to put Enda Kenny under pressure as Taoiseach and as leader of Fine Gael.

"But this month there's been somewhat of a turning of the tables: Fine Gael has jumped seven points in a single month to 29%, and has gone ahead of Fianna Fáil by a point for the first time since June 2016.

"It has been a very busy period in Irish politics - we've had a strike in Bus Éireann, we've had a number of controversies in An Garda Síochána - but superficially over the 12 day period when this poll was in the field, the water charges committee was busy at work and there was quite a bit of tug of war between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in that period".

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