Support dips for Irish PM's party ahead of election: poll

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 30, 2016 1:37 PM

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Support for Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny's party fell for the second time in a row in one of the country's main opinion polls on Saturday, weeks ahead of a general election, but his junior coalition partner posted its best result since September.

The poll leaves the coalition several percentage points shy of the numbers needed to secure a majority of seats, leaving the country facing the relative instability of a minority government, an unstable broad coalition dependent on independent deputies or an election re-run.

Kenny's Fine Gael secured the support of 29 percent of respondents to the Sunday Business Post-Red C poll, down from 30 percent a week ago and 32 percent in December, but it remains comfortably the most popular party in the country. Junior coalition partner Labour was up 1 point to 10 percent.

Center-right Fianna Fail fell 2 points to 17 while left-wing challenger Sinn Fein was unchanged on 19.

Kenny, who has until early April to go to the electorate, is widely expected to call the poll for late February.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Stephen Powell)