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Fine Gael open up 7 point lead, Sinn Féin leads with renters and Mary Lou Appeals to the left.

Our latest state of the parties poll for the Irish Daily Mail shows Fine Gael on 33%, Fianna Fáil on 26%, Sinn Féin on 16%, Labour on 6%, Solidarity-People Before Profit on 3%, the Green Party on 2%, the Social Democrats on 2%, and the remaining Independents and Others totalling 12%.

Based on our series of polls we may conclude that Fine Gael have opened up this 7 point lead on the basis of successes in brexit negotiations. This is the largest figure we have recorded for the party since the General election and is in line with estimates made this time last year about the potential for a Leo Varadkar-led Fine Gael.

It is notable that Fine Gael leads Fianna Fáil among those with higher levels of education and those that hold a mortgage. It is also notable that Sinn Féin perform particularly well among those in the growing private rental sector and among those in the 18 to 34 age bracket.

We also asked voters whether they were willing to support Sinn Féin on the basis of their Mary Lou MacDonald becoming leader of Sinn Féin. Supporters of Solidarity-People Before Profit and Social Democrats are more likely to switch allegiances, perhaps because these parties do not have longer loyalties, existing as they do for only a number of years. It is noticeable that very few Sinn Féin supporters would no longer support the party with Gerry Adams leaving.

Ireland Thinks interviewed a random sample of 1,144 adults aged 18 and over by telephone between Thursday December 14 and Friday December 22.

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