A surge in support for Labour has driven Fianna Fáil into third place in the latest opinion poll.

The tnsMRBI poll in tomorrow's Irish Times also shows that satisfaction with the Government and the Taoiseach has fallen again.

The poll was carried out on Monday and Tuesday, with a sample of 1,000 voters around the country.

It shows Fianna Fáil support down 5% to 22%, behind Fine Gael, 32%,and Labour, up 10% to 24%.

Sinn Féin is up 1% to 9%, the Greens unchanged at 4%, and Independents and others down 4% to 9&.

Just 14% are satisfied with the Government's performance, with 82% dissatisfied.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has the lowest satisfaction rating of all the party leaders, down 2% to 24%, while Labour's Eamon Gilmore has the highest, up 6% to 44%.

A spokesman for the Taoiseach said that the challenges and the tough decisions facing the government are unprecedented, so it was not surprising that the poll figures are unprecedented.

He said Labour have the luxury of sitting on the fence and being populist, while the Government have to act in the national interest.

Mr Cowen's spokesman added that in unprecedented times, it is not about popularity or politics, it is about doing the right thing.

He added that the poll won't deter the Government from taking the right decisions for the country, and that while the Taoiseach realises that these decisoins could affect the party in the future, it was not now about Fianna Fáil, but about Ireland.