Voting will be held across the country on February 8.
Fianna Fáil is currently enjoying a small lead over main rival Fine Gael as the latter has experienced a drop in support, according to the first Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll of the general election campaign.
This is the first time in three years that Fianna Fáil has surpassed its rivals since their rise to power some three years ago.
Both parties have relentlessly attacked the other since campaigning began just last week – with pointed election videos posted to social media accounts as well as accusations of “buying the election” after a large government advert appeared on the front page of a Sunday newspaper yesterday.
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Childcare costs are crippling young families. Under Fine Gael: - Childcare costs are €1,300 per month. - 56% of childcare workers earn less than the living wage. - Creches close their doors due to crippling insurance costs. Fine Gael have failed families. #AnIrelandForAll
Sinn Féin also performed very strongly in the poll, following a substantial seven-point jump in support since October. This support hails from all regions but the party are still performing weakly in Dublin.
The Green Party seems to be directly profiting from the Greta Thunberg effect with a myriad of new supporters, while Independents look like they will be the ones falling by the wayside.
In terms of party leaders, the poll has reflected that only Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald has seen her personal approval rating rise from 30 per cent to 34 per cent.
Leo Varadkar's personal approval rating dropped from 51 per cent in October to 35 per cent today, Micheál Martin’s from 38 per cent to 33 per cent, while Labour’s Brendan Howlin falls from 20 per cent to 17 per cent.
In addition, satisfaction with the Government has dropped sharply from 42 per cent in October to 27 per cent today.
The poll was conducted between Thursday and Saturday of last week by way of face to face interviews with 1,200 adults at 120 locations in every constituency.
The accuracy level, according to the Irish Times, is estimated at plus or minus 2.8 per cent.
Excluding undecided voters and those unlikely to vote:
- 25 per cent of respondents said they would vote for Fianna Fáil
- 23 per cent for Fine Gael
- 21 per cent for Sinn Féin
- 5 per cent for Labour
- 8 per cent for the Green Party
- 18 per cent for Independents and small parties
Main image by @fiannafail