Micheál Martin has played down another poor opinion poll in which his party dropped to just 14% support.
The Irish Times - Ipsos MRBI survey shows a huge boost for Fine Gael, which is up 17 points to 37% support.
Satisfaction with Leo Varadkar's performance is up an unprecedented 45 points to 75% support.
Micheál Martin will replace Varadkar as Taoiseach at the end of this month if the programme for government he has negotiated passes.
The Fianna Fáil leader says he is not overly worried about the poll.
“I’ve never been governed by polls since I became leader of the party,” he said. “And we’ve had good polls and bad polls.
“But we are in a very unusual situation and a very surreal situation with Covid-19.
“Government has had enormous visibility, understandably because of the crisis.
“We haven’t had that visibility as a party, again given the impact of Covid. So that’s how I would react to that.
“But our focus is on the job at hand, to facilitate the formation of a government.”
The poll has shown he satisfaction rating for the outgoing government is up 51 points to 72%, while Mr Varadkar's personal satisfaction rating has soared 45 points to 75%.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin remains unchanged on 25% and the Greens are up 4% to 12%.
The poll also shows little support for the proposed new government, with just 36% of voters surveyed saying it was their preferred option.
It also found that 27% would favour a different combination, while a third wanted to see another election.
Mr Martin has faced down unrest in his party over going into power with Fine Gael and the Greens, insisting “the country needs a government now”.