Support for Fianna Fail is way up according to the latest Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll.
The party has risen two points to 24% after December's budget, while Fine Gael has fallen four points to 26%. Labour is down one to 11% while Sinn Fein has risen five points to 19%
Party leader Micheal Martin's rating is up to 48%, an eight point increse from 42% in November. His current rating is five points clear of Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and nine points ahead of the taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.
The survey was conducted by telephone on January 15-21 among 916 eligible voters. The poll has a 3.3% margin of error.
“The single most significant factor influencing public opinion during the course of fieldwork for the poll will have been the measures introduced in the 2013 budget,” said Ian McShane, the managing director of Behaviour and Attitudes, the market research company.
“While a drop of four points in party support is significant, Fine Gael will take some comfort from the fact that its support among white-collar and professional workers, as well as within the Dublin region, remains unchanged since our last poll.
“The growth in Fianna Fail’s support continues apace, most notably among males, those aged over 55, blue-collar workers and those whose household relies on state benefits.”
Meanwhile, government satisfaction has fallen four points to 22%, its lowest level so far, showing that nearly 3 out of 4 voters are dissatisfied with the government's performance.
One-third of voters have said they are undecided as to which party or independent candidate they would vote for in the event of an election, suggesting that the electorate remains volatile, and that ratings are likely to ebb and flow as events unfold throughout 2013, with much depending on government efforts to secure relief on the country’s massive debt burden.