• 90 percent of polled Irish citizens dissastisfied with government
  • Support for Fine Gael jumps up 38 percent
  • Brian Cowen's approval rating down to 19 percent

Satisfaction with the Irish Government has plummeted to a new low of 10 percent, according to a new Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll.

A total of 90 percent of those polled said they were dissatisfied with the government, and 86 percent are unhappy with the performance of the coalition, which consists of Fianna Fail and the Green Party

Dissatisfaction is rife within coalition party supporters, with 63 percent of Fianna Fail supporters unhappy and a whopping 93 percent of Green Party supporters miffed with how the partnership is performing.

The big winners from the latest findings are Fine Gael, whose support has jumped up to 38 percent, their highest rating in 25 years, while satisfaction with Fianna Fail sank to 21 percent, the lowest since the Irish Times poll started in 1982.

"If the price of getting Ireland through this very tough situation is making tough decisions that court unpopularity then so be it," said former Taoiseach and Fianna Fail party leader Bertie Ahern, who led the government through the boom times.

"At this time of severe crisis, polls and elections are less important to Fianna Fáil than making the right choices to lay the right foundations so that when the upturn does take place we will benefit,” continued Ahern on RTE radio’s "Morning Ireland" current affairs show.

The news is most encouraging for Fine Gael before local and European elections in the country on June 5. Two Dail (Parliament) by-elections will also take place on the same day. This will be the first nationwide elections held during Cowen's term as Taoiseach.

When polled on who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow, voters came in with Fianna Fáil at 21 percent (down 1 point from a similar poll carried out in February); Fine Gael 38 percent (up 6 points from the last poll); Labour 20 percent (down 4 points ); Sinn Féin 9 percent (no change); Green Party 3 percent (down 1 point); and Independents/others, 9 percent (no change).

The Taoiseach’s rating has taken another knock, down to 19 percent, as has that of Green Party Leader John Gormley, now down to 25 percent. Enda Kenny, leader of Fine Gael, has seen a 3 percent rise in support, while Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore’s satisfaction rating has risen 7 points to 51 percent.

Sinn Fein’s leader Gerry Adams' satisfaction rating has gone up 2 points to 34 percent.

2,000 voters were polled in face-to-face interviews over three days this week at 200 sampling points over all 43 constituencies in the country. There is a 2 percent margin of error.