Irish Republican News · December 23, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Adams is South’s most popular political leader

The latest opinion poll in the 26 Counties places Gerry Adams as the most popular political leader, and Sinn Fein as the second most popular party in the state.

The Behaviour and Attitudes opinion poll for ‘The Sunday Times’ showed a substantial slump for the Coalition parties, Labour and Fine Gael, and a boost for the opposition.

The poll, taken after the latest austerity budget announcements, showed Sinn Fein overtaking Labour and Fianna Fail to become the second biggest party. Sinn Fein is now almost twice as popular as the Labour party.

The survey shows support for the coalition parties down 11pc. The figures showed Fine Gael on 30pc, down seven points, Sinn Fein on 21pc, up two, Fianna Fail on 20pc, up five, Labour on 11pc, down four, Independents on 15pc, up two, and the Green Party on 3pc, also up two.

The Sinn Fein share of the vote is up seven per cent on their showing in the general election in February.

Fianna Fail also enjoyed a large rise, while Labour lost one in three of its supporters since the last poll.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore have also taken a hit in their popularity, while Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams topped the leaders’ satisfaction ratings for the first time.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny’s personal satisfaction rating is down 14 points to 44pc, and Mr Gilmore is down 11pc to 35pc. Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin rose four points to 40pc, while Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams comes tops at 48pc.

The coalition government’s savage budget cuts and hated new household charge and other taxes were blamed for the dramatic slump in support.

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte claimed it was the unusual pre-budget speculation in the media -- including leaks from the German parliament -- which had “irritated” people.

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© 2011 Irish Republican News