A new opinion poll suggests that Fianna Fáil has opened up a 12-point lead on Fine Gael.

The Sunday Times/Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll suggests Fianna Fáil's support has increased by five points to 32%, while that of Fine Gael has dropped by seven to 20%, which is the party’s lowest standing in this survey.

The survey was largely completed before the General Election was declared, but during the height of the row over the proposed commemoration of the Royal Irish Constabulary.

The poll of 923 voters, which has a margin of error of 3.3%, also suggested that Sinn Féin support is down 1 to 19%, while the Green Party is up 1 to 7%.

Labour is down 2 to 4%, the Independent Alliance is up 1 to 3%, Solidarity/People Before Profit is down 1 to 2%, the Social Democrats are unchanged at 1%, Renua is up 1 to 1%; while Independents and others are up 1 to 10%.

Further polls will be published later this week, but the campaign continues in earnest today.

Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar has said today's opinion poll demonstrates that "there is a real risk and a real danger" that Fianna Fáil will lead the government after the election.

Mr Varadkar said he would "really the hate to see that happen" because he said "it would mean the country falling backwards".

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Fianna Fáil's Marc MacSharry said that "the only poll that counts is on election day".

Labour's Alan Kelly branded the RIC commemoration as an "incredibly stupid" idea, but argued that the Sunday Times poll was not an "election poll" as most of the field work was conducted before the election was called.

Louise O'Reilly of Sinn Féin said that the poll showed "Fine Gael was out of touch", but she also criticised RTÉ for holding a leaders' debate that did not involve her party leader Mary Lou McDonald.

She said it was "ludicrous" there would be a debate between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin when they "agree on everything".