A second national opinion poll has indicated a big increase in support for the Taoiseach and for Fianna Fáil in the wake of the payments controversy of recent weeks.

The poll in today's Sunday Tribune indicates a corresponding drop in support for the Opposition parties, and their hopes of offering voters an alternative government in the next election.

Millward Brown IMS, who conducted this poll for the Sunday Tribune, found people evenly divided on whether they believed the Taoiseach's explanation for those payments, although a majority – 55% - though he was wrong to accept the money.

But two thirds said he should not have resigned over the controversy.

Asked who they wanted as Taoiseach, 56% chose Mr Ahern, an increase of six points in five weeks, while less than half that, 25%, opt for Enda Kenny, a fall of four points.

The same message comes through in party support: Fianna Fáil has the backing of 42%, an increase of five, while Fine Gael is at just 20%, a fall of six; Labour is down two to 10%, the PDs are unchanged at 4%; the Greens are up one at 6%; Sinn Féin are unchanged at 8%; and Independents and Others are up one at 10%.