In a second round of bad ratings, the Irish Times reports satisfaction with Mr Varadkar fell sharply by seven points in recent months to just 36 percent, according to figures by pollster Ipsos MRBI. The damning figure is the lowest since he became Ireland’s Prime Minister in 2017. It is also the latest evidence of a continuing decline in his personal popularity compared to his predecessor Enda Kenny.
His government’s approval ratings also dropped seven points, own from 38 percent in March this year to 31 percent today.
This is the second time Mr Varakar’s ratings have slumped in six months.
Opposition party Fianna Fáil’s backing is up two percentage points.
This means the gap between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail is at its narrowest in two-and-a-half years at just three points.
Sinn Féin’s support has also dropped, while the Greens, Labour and Independents have increased.
The poll had 500 participants, with results tallied on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
The results come after Mr Varadkar apologised “unreservedly” for his handling of the serious concerns raised about mortuary services at University Hospital Waterford.
The Taoiseach has been heavily criticised for not treating allegations that facilities at the south-east Ireland hospice were failing.
Staff had claimed a lack of resources and refrigeration issues had resulted in dead bodies being left to decompose on trolleys at the hospital. In some cases the bodies had been left to rot for so long it led to closed-coffin funerals.
In a letter sent on March 26 to the South-West Hospital Group, four consultant pathologists stated their concerns about unacceptable mortuary conditions at the hospital.
They described “body storage on the floor of the mortuary” following a “surge in activity”.
However, in a statement issued on Saturday the Fine Gael leader retracted his comments and acknowledged his error of judgement.
Following a special Cabinet meeting, Mr Varadkar said: “This one I got wrong.”
The Irish Prime Minister insisted his previous remarks were made sure to hearing ”conflicting accounts”.
Sinn Fein has called for an independent inquiry into the claims.