The poll, taken on Tuesday and yesterday, doesn't fully reflect the impact of the banking reports released yesterday.
Eamon Gilmore has the highest satisfaction rating of 46%, while satisfaction with Brian Cowen is down 8% to 18%, while Enda Kenny drops 7% to 24%.
- FF 17-5
- FG 28-4
- Lab 32+8
- Greens 3
- Sinn Fein 9+1
- Others 11
Satisfaction with the Government is also down since January, by 7% to 12%, while 83% say they're dissatisfied.
This poll has created a stir in media and political circles tonight. However it is important to remember that the next general election is 2 years away.
There is no possibility that FF would secure only 17% in a general election. Many of its supporters will lie to pollsters. In the privacy of the ballot box they will continue to vote FF. Much of that rise in Labour support will evaporate in the course of a general election campaign as it consists of FF voters ashamed to admit that they would vote for FF. There is no possibility of Labour securing 32% in a general election. Just wont happen.
Joan Burton-Labour Finance Spokesperson- has been a star performer in recent weeks whilst Richard Bruton has been strangely quiet. It is of course correct that Labour has skilfully avoided spelling out what harsh decisions that it would take if elected to government. It has benefited accordingly. Herein lies the danger for Labour. The party in the course of a general election campaign will have to spell out where it stands on the various issues without fudging.
It is fair to say that in relation to FG people such as Richard Bruton need to up their game. Much of the FG front bench has been anonymous as far as I can see. I exclude Leo Varadkar from that. There has been a tendency amongst FG politicians to assume that power will just fall into their laps. This poll is an eye-opener for the party.
The core vote for the parties (before undecided voters are excluded) compared with the last Irish Times poll was: Fianna Fáil, 16 per cent (down one point); Fine Gael, 21 per cent (down three points); Labour, 22 per cent (up five points); Sinn Féin, 8 per cent (up one point); Green Party, 3 per cent (up one point); Independents/Others, 7 per cent (down one point); and undecided voters, 23 per cent (up one point).
It is important to remember that 23% of voters were undecided. These votes were reallocated. I have grave doubts that Labour is really on 32%.
However people are very angry.