Fianna Fáil has tied with Fine Gael in popularity the latest opinion poll shows, the first time in five years Enda Kenny's party has not come out ahead in the top spot.
Both parties have 26 percent support among the Irish electorate, according to the latest Red C poll for the Sunday Business Post
Fine Gael, which continues to implement austerity measures and struggles with high unemployment rates, has dropped in popularity by two points, TheJournal.ie reports.
Support for the lead coalition party has fallen dramatically since January from 36 percent to 26 percent, while support for Fianna Fáil, which managed to obtain only 17 percent support at the beginning of 2013, has risen steadily. The latest poll shows another one point jump, bringing Micheál Martin’s party in line with Fine Gael at 26 percent.
Support for the Labour party has remained stagnant at 11 percent. Neither has Sinn Féin seen any change, remaining at 16 percent. Independent and other small party members would receive 21 percent of the first preference vote.
Red C compiled the survey from a sample of 1,003 adults over the telephone between 20 and 22 May. The calls were made as the row between Minister Alan Shatter and a number of TDs was making headlines.