Sinn Féin’s rising support appears to have been halted following period of controversy over its handling of allegations by Belfast woman Maíria Cahill, who claims she was raped and subjected to a "kangaroo court" inquiry by the IRA.
Support for the party has dropped three points to 20% according to the latest Red C tracking poll, published in the Sunday Business Post, which highlights the growing anger over the introduction of water charges.
Opposition to the charges appears to have outweighed any boost the Government parties may have expected from its first post-austerity budget and improving economic conditions.
Support for Fine Gael dropped two points to 26% while support for Labour remains unchanged at 8%, leaving the party stuck in a rut below 10%, despite what many of its TDs believed was a good Budget for the party.
Independents and small parties’ support has risen five points to 28%.
A sizeable portion of the public — 35% — said they do not intend to pay the charges. This does not alter too much by social class.
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