LEO VARADKAR and Fine Gael continue to garner support across Ireland, according to a newly-published opinion poll.
The latest Red C survey for the Business Post found that 35% of the electorate polled would give the ruling party their first preference vote.
Sinn Fein received 22% of the vote ahead of Fianna Fáil on 14% with Independents (8%), Greens (7%), Labour (3%), Social Democrats (3%) and Solidarity-PBP (2%) further back.
It represents a major turnaround for Fine Gael, who gained 20.9% of first preference votes in Ireland’s general election last February, behind both Sinn Féin (24.5%) and Fianna Fáil (22.2%).
That represented a record for the largest decline in public support for a ruling political party.
The opinion poll results have sparked speculation Mr. Varadkar could look to call another election with talks over the formation of a new government continuing to stall.
However, a new government is still likely to be required in order to introduce Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe’s new €6.5bn business support stimulus package, which will require new legislation.
Under the current system, a caretaker government cannot introduce laws.
Even so, Mr Varadkar could yet be installed as the new Taoiseach of any new coalition government, if the findings of the Red C survey are to be believed.
According to the poll, the majority want Leo Varadkar as the new Taoiseach rather than Micháel Martin, according to a new opinion poll.
The Red C survey for the Business Post shows 39% prefer the Fine Gael leader in any coalition.
Martin, by comparison, garnered just 14% if the support.
The shift in popularity comes as Mr .Varadkar and the government continue to earn praise for their handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, the Taoiseach unveiled a comprehensive five-step plan for easing Ireland out of the current lockdown.
Mr Varadkar has also played an active role in the fight against COVID-19, having re-registered as a doctor to support frontline staff.
Last week he was pictured helping administer tests for coronavirus, door-to-door in Dublin.