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Leo Varadker's approval rating has jumped 7% to 60% and is the highest of any Taoiseach since the heyday of Bertie Ahern in 2007. Satisfaction with the government is also up 3% to 44%. This is in response to what was seen as a robust performance in phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations and the improving economy which is now growing at. c. 5-6%.

It is also against the backdrop of a gathering storm around the forthcoming referendum to remove the constitutional prohibition on abortion and introduce legislation allowing unrestricted access to abortion in the first 12 weeks, and more restricted access in particular circumstances thereafter.

Leo Varadker has reserved his position until the final wording of any constitutional amendment and accompanying legislation has been agreed although it is expected he will then row in behind the liberalising proposals.

The improvement in his popularity is impressive in the context of ongoing controversies regarding the government's handling of scandals in the national police force, a public housing crisis and hospital services waiting lists and capacity constraints.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 25th, 2018 at 04:30:46 PM EST

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