Almost half of voters want Mary Lou McDonald as Taoiseach, according to new poll
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Almost half of voters want Mary Lou McDonald as Taoiseach, according to new poll

A NEW poll which asked Irish voters how they feel about the leaders of the three main parties has shown massive support for Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The poll, undertaken by Amárach research on behalf 0f Irish media outlet Extra.ie, interviewed 1040 adults on February 16th 2020-- and while the official election exit poll showed a three-way tie between the parties at 22% each, the Amárach poll indicates there is a much higher preference for Ms McDonald.

Of those surveyed, 42% of people said they would like Mary Lou McDonald to be the next Taoiseach of Ireland, followed by 26% in support of Micheál Martin and just 18% choosing the incumbent Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

14% answered that they would not like any of the three to be Taoiseach.

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We saw in the official election poll that Sinn Féin received 30% of the total number of votes by young people aged between 18-24, but this new Amárach poll shows even higher support, with 52% of under-35's saying they would like to see Ms McDonald in power.

In contrast, the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael polled just 18% and 15% respectively with younger voters.

According to Extra.ie, the Sinn Féin leader again proved most popular with voters aged 35-44, and 45-55, and was also the most popular choice among the survey's higher and lower social classes.

Micheál Martin was the most popular choice for voters over the age of 55, however, with 36%, with Ms McDonald came in second with 30%, and Mr Varadkar trailing behind with 23% of votes.

The three leaders went head-to-head in a live debate before the election (RTÉ)

Gerard O'Neill of Amárach research says the results of the poll indicates that the country wants to see Ms McDonald in power, and the electorate expects their votes to bring Sinn Féin into government.

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He said:  "Our research for Extra.ie suggests that many Irish voters have “loaned” their votes to Sinn Fein in the recent election. Therefore expectations for a new government, especially one comprising Sinn Féin, will be very high indeed.

"This implies that failure to deliver on electoral promises could see a sharp reversal in political fortunes at the next election.’"

You can read the full results of the survey here.