A new opinion poll has found a considerable drop in support for the two Government parties, and a surge for independents and smaller parties.

The latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll puts Fine Gael at its lowest standing since 2003.

The poll was carried out on Monday and Tuesday of this week among a sample of 1,200 adults at 100 sampling points in all constituencies.

When undecided voters are excluded, the poll found a considerable slump in support for the Coalition parties, and a surge for independents.

When compared to the last Irish Times MRBI poll, taken in October, Fine Gael has slipped to 19% (down 5 points), while Labour is on 6% (down 3 points).

Opinion polls reveal drop in Coalition support

Fianna Fáil is on 21% (up one), Sinn Féin on 22% (down two) and independents and smaller parties on 32% (up nine points since October).

It is the highest rating independents have ever had in an Irish Times poll, and the lowest rating for Fine Gael in more than a decade.