Health Minister Leo Varadkar is the overwhelming favorite among the public and Fine Gael supporters to be the next leader of the party.
A poll for The Sunday Times shows 34 percent of people would like to see Varadkar, who came out as a gay in January, take over from Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“It’s always nice to get positive feedback from the public, but there is no vacancy. Enda is the leader and I have my hands full in health and a lot of work to do,” Varadkar said.
The poll shows independents are up five points to 31 percent, a record high. Fine Gael were unchanged in the poll with 24 percent. Fianna Fail were down three points to 18 percent, Sinn Fein were down two to 17 percent. Labor was down one point to eight and the Greens were down a point to one per cent.
Recently-formed political alignments were too new to be included as separate groups in the poll and were counted with the independents.
They included the Social Democrats launched last week with three Independent TDs (members of Parliament) as joint leaders. One of them is Roisin Shortall, a former junior minister who resigned from government in 2012 when she also resigned from the Labor Party.
The other new party is Renua Ireland, whose leader is Lucinda Creighton, who also resigned as a junior minister and from Fine Gael when she voted against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.
Both the Social Democrats and Renua have said they will run candidates in every constituency in the next general election which will be held within a year.