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Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald.

Poll: McConville arrest no impact on Adams as Labour collapses

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Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald.

A new opinion poll shows that Sinn Fein has joined Fine Gael as the most popular party in Ireland and Gerry Adams is the only party leader to show an increase in support despite his recent arrest.

The Red C opinion poll for Paddy Power shows Sinn Fein is up to 22 percent, which is on a par with Fine Gael’s popularity, while independents are up to 32 percent and the junior coalition party, the Labour Party has slumped to 4 percent.

Gerry Adams is the only party leader to show an uptick in popularity from 26 percent to 34 percent. Prime Minister Enda Kenny is on 37 percent and Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin is on 32 percent.

Sinn Fein and independent candidates did particularly well in May’s elections. The party’s massive success was all the more surprising as it came despite the fact that Sinn Fein’s president Gerry Adams was arrested in connection with  the 1972 kidnapping and murder of Jean McConville.

In fact, his questioning by police only seemed to improve his popularity.

Both Sinn Fein and independent candidates gained from the backlash as Irish voters seem ready to vote against mainstream political parties. The Labour Party has borne the brunt of this, as can be seen in the new Red C poll. Their popularity has dropped to four percent among voters.

Last week the Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore announced that he will step down from him position. The poll also showed that Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton is the clear favorite, at 55 percent, to take over as the leader of the Labour Party and Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister).

The poll shows that support for the ruling party, Fine Gael, is down to 22 percent. This is the lowest showing since they came to power in 2011. Fianna Fail’s popularity dropped by three percent, leaving them at 18 percent.

Meanwhile, the Green Party has sunk to two percent. Twelve percent of voters are undecided.

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