THE MOST recent opinion poll aiming to reflect the intentions of voters ahead of Ireland's General Election on February 8 has revealed a worrying trend for the current government.
The poll, which was undertaken by The Irish Times in partnership with global market and opinion research specialist company Ipsos MRBI, shows a six point drop for the incumbent Fine Gael.
Of the 1,200 voters in 120 locations surveyed for the poll, 25% said they intended to vote for Fianna Fáil (unchanged), 23% for Fine Gael (down 6) and 21% for Sinn Féin (up 7).
Labour were down one point at 5% and the Green Party held it's 8% share, with 18% of voters opting for Independents and smaller parties.
Fine Gael can take solace in the fact that this poll, which has a margin of error of 2.8%, is a slight improvement on the recent Sunday Times opinion poll which indicated that 32% would vote for Fianna Fáil against 20% of people who would vote for Fine Gael.
When asked about their satisfaction with the government and party leaders for the Irish Times poll, only 27% of people indicated satisfaction with the current government.
Leo Varadkar, meanwhile, suffered significant losses-- from 51% in the last poll in October to 35%.
All of the main party leaders suffered losses in the satisfaction poll, with the exception of Mary Lou McDonald, whose satisfaction rating rose 4 points to 34%.
There are 19 days remaining until the General Election takes place.
Much of Irish media are focusing on a head-to-head between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, but with the incumbent government continuing to drop in popularity and the third-biggest political party, Sinn Féin, continuing to rise, there could be massive changes by the time voting takes place.