Micheál Martin’s leadership under pressure as FF’s support plummets in poll

Pressure on Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s leadership of Fianna Fáil intensified over the weekend with some of his TDs questioning the party’s ability to survive unless “drastic” action is taken.

A number of parliamentary party members have grown increasingly unhappy with Mr Martin’s management style recently, and this culminated in some very vocal criticism at its meeting last week.

The party’s poor performance in a Red C opinion poll published in the Business Post on Sunday, which put support for Fianna Fáil at just 10 per cent, has heightened concerns among TDs and Senators.

The party came in well behind coalition partner Fine Gael (35 per cent) and Sinn Féin (27 per cent) and has seen its popularity fall by five points since Mr Martin became Taoiseach in May.

One party member said they hoped the poor showing might serve as a wake-up call as to how bad things are. “It’s very serious for Fianna Fáil. The public have made up their minds on Micheál Martin as Taoiseach.”

The Covid-19 crisis has put paid to any immediate threat to Mr Martin’s leadership, and one TD suggested the party’s misfortunes could be overturned with “good pandemic control”.

However, another warned that things could change, and that in about six months there could be a challenge from “a number of contenders”.