Sinn Féin most popular party as 'trend of bad polls' continues for Fine Gael

Rise in three points to 15% for Fianna Fáil will ease some pressure on the Taoiseach
Sinn Féin most popular party as 'trend of bad polls' continues for Fine Gael

Sinn Féin has maintained its position as the most popular party in the country in the latest opinion poll.

Sinn Féin has maintained its position as the most popular party in the country in the latest opinion poll.

Unchanged at 33% of first-preference support, Sinn Féin leads the Business Post/RedC poll from Fine Gael, which sees its support down three points to 22%. 

That loss is gained by coalition partners Fianna Fáil, with the party up three points to 15%.

The Social Democrats are down one to 5%, the Green Party up one to 5%, Labour down one to 4%, People Before Profit down one to 2% and Aontú unchanged at 2%. 

Independents and others are at 12%.

The poll will make for uncomfortable reading within Fine Gael, with one source saying that it is "another in a trend of bad polls". 

Slide in polls

Leo Varadkar's party has not led a poll since late June, when it was at 30% of support, a point ahead of Sinn Féin.

However, while there is frustration with the polling, sources said there is no move against Mr Varadkar's leadership, with many confident that the party can arrest the slide in polling. 

Within Sinn Féin, the numbers have increased optimism that the party can and a will lead the next government. 

The party has been actively seeking candidates in a bid to run 80 people in the next election. That bid was given a boost last week when Councillor Denis Hynes, who represents the Castlecomer Electoral Area on Kilkenny County Council, defected to Sinn Féin from Labour. 

Mr Hynes is being positioned as a running mate for Kathleen Funchion as Sinn Féin targets two seats in the five-seat constituency.

A rise in a poll taken between November 19 to 26 will ease some pressure on Taoiseach Micheál Martin within Fianna Fáil.

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