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More than half of voters have no confidence in Fine Gael Government – poll

More than half of voters do not trust the week-old minority Fine Gael Government to run the country.

An opinion poll in the early days of the new partnership warned that 52% of voters have no confidence in it and almost half do not believe it will survive longer than a year.

Despite the shocking report card for Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s administration and the protracted political talks over the past 10 weeks most of the electorate are unlikely to change their ballots if asked an election was held in the next day.

The survey, carried out this week by Red C for PaddyPower, found voters stick within a margin of error from the February election result.

Fine Gael retain a small lead over Fianna Fail – 27% compared with 25% – with a small gain for Sinn Fein to 16%, about 2% ahead of their actual numbers in the election, and Labour at 5% are 2% below what they achieved.

Almost half of all voters (48%) believe Mr Kenny should quit as Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach, with Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar the favourite to succeed him ahead of Simon Coveney.

Support for Independent candidates has taken the largest dent, falling by 4% to 9%.

The other smaller parties, which played no part in Government talks – t he Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit, Greens and Social Democrats – made gains in the two-and-a-half months since the election.

Other headlines show Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin’s ratings fall from the highs of the election campaign but he still comes in first.

Half of those polled would also prefer to see him as Taoiseach.

Mr Kenny is on a par with Independent and Transport Minister Shane Ross, who was considered for the first time, and Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams sees his satisfaction ratings at their lowest level for some time, with the survey taken in the wake of his controversial use of the N-word in a tweet.

The poll was carried out by interviews with a random sample of 1,015 adults across the country by phone from Monday to Wednesday this week.

Among the other findings was that 61% believe that Irish Water should be abolished now, with those in younger age groups and Sinn Fein supporters most likely to feel this.

Some 71% believe that people who paid their water charges should be refunded and a third think non-payers should be pursued through the courts for payment.

Despite this, more than half of voters – 59% – suggest that they would pay water charges in the future if they were to be re-introduced.

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Elsewhere, 62% of voters agree g ardai should be armed to protect themselves and citizens against “mob violence” and 60% agree that schools should be refused state funding if they refuse admission to a child on religious grounds.

Some 56% of voters also believe the lack of a government has been harmful to the economy.

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