Varadkar confident Coalition can win back support

The Coalition parties will recover their support before the next general election, Leo Varadkar, the transport and tourism minister, has said.

He was reacting to the latest opinion poll showing a continued slide in support for Labour and a steady recovery for Fianna Fáil.

A negative public reaction to the budget seems to have had a bigger impact on Labour, whose support dropped three points since November to 11% this week — its lowest since 2008.

Support for Fine Gael remains unchanged at 28%, as does Fianna Fáil’s support at 21%, according to the Red C Poll. Sinn Féin’s support has risen two points to 19%. Independents and others remain at 21%.

Mr Varadkar said: “Taking the two parties together — Fine Gael and Labour — seven out of 10 people who supported us in the election still do. And I’m confident that, over the next two years, we can recover the lost support.”

Meanwhile the former taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has received an apology from the Mail on Sunday for publishing a photo of him at a lecture at Stanford University in California.

The newspaper also made it clear Mr Cowen “paid for the course entirely out of his own resources and that no public funding at all was involved”.

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