A new opinion poll to be published in tomorrow’s Irish Sun newspaper shows a majority of voters want a general election before the end of the year.

The poll shows Eamon Gilmore as the most popular choice for Taoiseach, although his popularity has fallen significantly from a comparable poll taken five weeks ago.

The poll, conducted by RED C for the Irish Sun, finds a 59% clear majority want a general election in 2010, a finding which tallies with other recent opinion polls.

The desire for an election is even greater among women, at 62%, versus men at 55%.

Among 25 to 34 year olds, the population cohort in the state most affected by unemployment, 69% say they want a general election before year end.

Researchers also asked respondents who would be the best Taoiseach after the election.

18% answered Brian Cowen, 27% said Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, while 33% opted for Mr Gilmore, making him the most popular choice.

But a comparable poll conducted by RED C for the Sunday Business Post five weeks ago put Mr Gilmore as the choice of 40% for Taoiseach, indicating his popularity has faded somewhat.

22% of those who responded to this latest Red C poll say they do not want any of the main party leaders as Taoiseach, or have no opinion.