Labour Party Leader Eamon Gilmore

Ireland's latest opinion poll shows that the Labour party have climbed a staggering 8% in an opinion poll, they are now the biggest party in the State for the first time in the States history.

Deputy leader Joan Bruton said that leader Eamon Gilmore will now be a "serious candidate to thinking voters as Taoiseach of this country".

The Ipsos MRBI poll was carried out on behalf of the Irish Times newspaper, it revealed that Ireland's ruling party Fianna Fail are at 17% (down 5%), Fine Gael, 28% (down 4%), Labour, 32% (up 8%), Sinn Fein, 9% (up 1%), Green Party, 3% (no change) and independents, 11% (no change).

Ireland's Prime Minister and leader of the Fianna Fail party has a satisfaction rating of 18% (down 8%), Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, 24% (down 7%), Labour leader Eamon Gilmore, 46% (no change), Gerry Adams, 31% (no change) and John Gormley, 21% (down 3%).

Bruton said Labour are had "been working intensely hard on" picking quality candidates for the next general election.

Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland she said, "It’s the job of the Labour party to give voters the opportunity we have to go the mile to give people the candidates so they can actually elect them".

Bruton said the political landscape had "changed beyond all recognition" over the last three years and she called on the media to allow Gilmore to take part in a three way leaders debate during the upcoming general election.

"The critical issue is whether or not the media will give the voting public in Ireland the opportunity to see each of the parties, to see each of the party leaders and then it’s for the voters to make a choice.”

Fianna Fail's MIchael Ahern described the result as "very dissatisfying" and said the Government would continue to take " correct actions to bring the economy back on even keel”.

Ahern said the Government decisions “are not easy ones and that is affecting our support in the country at the moment.”

Fine Gael's Kieran O'Donnell said, “For 25 of the last polls we have been consistently the largest party...this is a moment in time, it’s a good poll for Labour it’s a reasonable poll for us.”

"You can’t ignore the fact that Fianna Fáil are on 17 per cent and the two Opposition parties effectively very much in a majority situation so I think the public are sending out a message in terms of wanting an election.”