By Political Editor Daniel McConnell
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is set to come under increased pressure to step down as a new opinion poll has shown a major slump in Fine Gael support.
The first Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll of the year shows the party has dropped four points to 25%, while Fianna Fail has jumped six points to 33%.
This eight-point gap reflects similar findings in other recent opinion polls which has shown Fianna Fail overtake Fine Gael
This is the highest rating Fianna Fail has recorded in the Sunday Independent poll since 2008.
The poll shows records Sinn Fein unchanged at 20%, the Labour Party down two points to 6%, the Independent Alliance unchanged at 5%, the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit up one to 3% and Social Democrats up one to 2%. Independent candidates are down two 4pc.
The opinion polls also finds more than half (53%) of voters believe Mr Kenny should resign as Fine Gael leader, while one in four (25%) said he should remain in place.
The damaging poll result is likely to lead to fresh calls for Mr Kenny to name his departure date as Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar today ramped up pressure on the Fine Gael leader to depart.
“Everyone is waiting to hear from the Taoiseach. The current situation is distracting and destabilising for the Government, the party and the country. I have full confidence in the Taoiseach to settle it,” he said.