Friday 18 August 2017

Labour: Gilmore insists he could be Taoiseach

Fiach Kelly and Shane Doran

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore insisted last night he could still become Taoiseach and that his party could win more than 50 Dail seats.

But the latest Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne poll indicates that Labour is set to fall short of this target, with about 45 seats from 24pc of the vote.

Labour has not benefited from the swing to the left and its support remains at 24pc.

Furthermore, the poll indicates that the party is losing ground to Sinn Fein, which appears to be picking up the protest vote.

Mr Gilmore's personal popularity has dropped by two points to 46pc, with new Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin just two points behind in his first personal-satisfaction rating.

But despite losing ground in recent polls, the Labour leader claimed that he could still beat his Fine Gael rival Enda Kenny to the Taoiseach's office as his party workers began erecting 'Gilmore for Taoiseach' posters around the country.

The party is running 68 candidates across the 43 constituencies and is aiming for a minimum of one TD in each.

"It is our objective to bring about a government led by Labour," Mr Gilmore said.

"It's the first time in the history of the State that there is an alternative to Fianna Fail and Fine Gael for the leadership of the government.

"We have 25 days to decide the future of this country, probably for the next 25 years, because the decision we will all make as voters on polling day will be a decision about change.

"We're going to reform our political system... and our public services because we believe in public service. We respect public servants."

He also defended recent policy changes, such as the decision to drop the proposal for a 48pc tax rate on those earning over €100,000 and stretching out the timeframe to bring the deficit in the State's finances down to 3pc of GDP.

Mr Gilmore said the party had not changed its position to protect Labour from Sinn Fein.

Irish Independent

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