A new opinion poll shows a significant improvement in ratings for the Government, the Taoiseach and Fianna Fáil.

The Millward Brown/IMS poll, which is published in today's Irish Independent, gives the Government parties an eight-point lead over a possible coalition of Fine Gael, Labour and the Greens.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's ratings are up six points to 61%; support for Fianna Fáil is up five points to 42%; and satisfaction with the Government is up six points to 51%.

Support for Fine Gael is down three points to 20%; Labour is down one at 12; Sinn Féin down one at nine; the Greens are unchanged at 5; the PDs are down one at 3; and support for Others is up one point at 10%.

Satisfaction with PD leader Mary Harney is down three at 52%; Labour's Pat Rabbitte is down one at 52; Fine Gael's Enda Kenny is up one at 46; Green Party leader Trevor Sargent is down six at 35; and Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams is down 20 at 31%.