President Mary McAleese has received a big endorsement in an opinion poll, which shows that almost nine out of every ten voters are satisfied with her performance over the last seven years.

The TNS/MRBI poll, published in today's Irish Times, indicates that 75% of those questioned would vote for her, against just 10% for her most likely challenger, Labour's Michael D Higgins.

The latest poll figures, while far from conclusive, give an indication of the task facing any potential challenger to President McAleese.