A new opinion to be published tomorrow shows a dramatic surge in support for the Labour Party which has now overtaken Fianna Fáil to become the second most popular party in the State.

The Red C Poll for the Sunday Business Post shows a seven point increase for Labour, putting it marginally ahead of Fianna Fáil.

Red C questioned 1,000 voters around the country on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, at the height of the controversy over ministerial pensions, and after all the parties - with the exception of Fianna Fáil - had held their annual conferences.

The poll found Fianna Fáil support down one point to 23%, leaving the party in third place just days before the second anniversary of Brian Cowen's election as Taoiseach.

Labour are up seven points to 24%, putting the party in second place, which is the first time it has ever achieved that position in a Red C poll.

Fine Gael is down two points to 33%, but maintain a commanding lead as most popular party.

The Green Party is up one point to 6%, while Sinn Féin dropped four points to 6% support.

Independents and others are down one to 8%