Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald is now a more popular party leader than Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin, according to a new opinion poll.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar remains the country's most popular party leader.

The latest Sunday Independent/Kantar Millward Brown opinion poll shows satisfaction with Ms McDonald's leadership of Sinn Féin increased seven points since the last opinion poll just after her appointment in February and is now polling at 46%. 

Mr Martin's popularity dropped four points to 44% in the same period.

It is the first time in three years that Mr Martin's satisfaction rating has fallen behind a Sinn Féin leader.

Since the 2016 General Election, satisfaction with Mr Martin's leadership remained ten points ahead of Gerry Adams while he was Sinn Féin president.

In the overall standing of the parties, excluding the 'don't knows', Fianna Fáil stands at 27%, five points ahead of Sinn Féin at 22%.

Fine Gael is at 34% while the Independent Alliance is at 5%.

Labour is also at 5%, the Green Party is at 3% and Solidarity/People Before Profit is at 1%.

Mr Varadkar remains the country's most popular leader but his satisfaction rate has dropped two points to 56%.

Satisfaction with the Government has dropped one point to 46%, with dissatisfaction going up a point to 46%.

The poll was taken between 18-30 April in the middle of the cervical cancer controversy. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1%.