The Irish Labour party is now the largest party in Ireland a sensational new poll has revealed.

It is the first time in the history of the state that Labour has polled as the largest party.

The Irish Times poll shows that Labour are on 32 per cent, up eight from the last poll in January, Fine Gael are on 28 per cent down four points and Fianna Fail are back on 17 per cent, their lowest showing ever.

Labor's surge is down to party leader Eamon Gilmore who is far more popular than either Prime Minister Brian Cowen or Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny.

Gilmore is at 46 per cent approval, while Kenny is at just 24 per cent and Cowen is on 18 per cent.

If the current trend were followed in a national election, Labour wold sweep into power and Gilmore would be the first ever Labor leader elected Prime Minster.

Other parties results showed a small rise for Sinn Fein to nine per cent, the junior party in the government the Greens at 3 per cent, and independents around seven per cent.

The combined government vote is now just 20 per cent which appears to make it unlikely the government can last through to 2012 when the life of the current parliament will be over.

Indeed, Fine Gael have a motion of no confidence in the government laid down for Tuesday.

It is considered unlikely to succeed.

Fine Gael, which have long been considered the government in waiting will be bitterly disappointed with this poll result.

It will raise further questions about party leader Enda Kenny who has fallen dramatically in popularity between polls