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POLL: Support Dips For Irish PM’s Party Head Of Election

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.

Centre-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.

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