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Poll shows Irish government riding high

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — The coalition government has bounced back in the polls with the popularity of both the taoiseach and the tanaiste sharply rising since they hit low levels in June, when the government was beleaguered by a series of controversies.

The satisfaction rating for Bertie Ahern jumping 13 points to 66 percent — two points short of his high of 68 percent — and Mary Harney has staged an even more spectacular comeback with an increase of 18 points to 56 percent.

The two leaders appear to have almost completely recovered from the political shambles that focussed on the nomination of former Chief Justice Hugh O’Flaherty to a top EU bank job.

Overall satisfaction with the government is up 10 points to 54 percent and 57 percent want the government to remain in office rather than opt for an early general election.

The Irish Independent/IMS poll suggests the core vote for Fianna Fail is 39 percent and the Progressive Democrats are on 3 percent — this would not be enough for them to govern without the support of Independents.

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With Ahern recovering his mantle as the Teflon Taoiseach, the poll results are dismal for the opposition.

Fine Gael’s John Bruton’s satisfaction rating remains unchanged with a 40 percent satisfaction rating and Labour leader Ruairi Quinn has dropped two points to 51 percent.

The party ratings show Fine Gael at 19 percent, Labor at 10 percent, Sinn Fein at 5 percent and the Greens at 4 percent.

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