Sinn Féin tops latest election poll

Sinn Féin tops latest election poll
Sinn Fein Party leader Mary Lou McDonald, on a canvas with election candidate Donnchadh O'Laoghaire and (left) Cllr Henry Cremin in Greenmount, Cork City on Thursday.Reporter Sarah O'Dwyer, The Echo .Picture: Larry Cummins.

Sinn Féin has moved into first place in the Irish general election race, a poll published in the last hour suggests.

The party could earn the support of a quarter of all likely voters, according to the latest /Ipsos MRBI survey.

Fine Gael, the party which has led coalition Governments for almost a decade, was predicted to finish third, with the backing of a fifth of the electorate.

Rivals Fianna Fáil are set to capture 23% of the popular vote.

The findings of the poll — which was conducted on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week — would suggest that a major change is on the cards as Ireland grapples with problems such as housing and healthcare.

The news will offer a timely boost to Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald as she prepares to take part in tomorrow night’s RTÉ Prime Time Leaders Debate.

The broadcaster today opted to extend an invitation to Ms McDonald following calls for the party to be involved, given their recent performance in opinion polls.

In a statement, RTÉ said that it “is very mindful it has a duty to the public to reflect events as they unfold”.

The station said that it has also taken into consideration the “notable change in the dynamic of the campaign on the ground” over the course of the campaign.

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