Thursday 23 March 2017

Gilmore gale fades to gust in dying days

Aine Kerr and  Shane Doran

LABOUR leader Eamon Gilmore yesterday warned against presuming the outcome of the election, insisting it was still all to play for with just one day of canvassing left.

The party ramped up the pressure on Fine Gael last night with a series of new billboards that stated: "A balanced Government -- It's only fair."

But the results of the latest Irish Independent/Millward Brown Lansdowne poll show the party's hopes of sweeping along voters in the 'Gilmore Gale' have not materialised.

The party can expect to double the number of its Dail seats and has put clear water between itself and Fianna Fail.

But after a lacklustre election campaign by the party -- and Mr Gilmore in particular -- support for Labour has stabilised at 20pc just two days out from the general election.

Over the course of the campaign, Labour has become embroiled in a series of high-profile policy disputes with the party it is now likely to partner in the next government.

But on the results of this poll, Labour and Mr Gilmore have clearly come off second best in the exchanges with Fine Gael.

Despite the findings, Mr Gilmore insisted the election campaign was "far from over".

"Nobody has cast their votes yet and, according to the opinion polls, in the order of 30pc of the electorate are either undecided or open to changing their mind before Friday.

"There's some people who have written the script as if this election is already over and the winners are declared and so on. This election does not finish until 10pm on Friday evening."

The Labour leader hasn't given up on winning a record number of seats countrywide, insisting that all 68 candidates are still in play for seats in constituencies where it has never before made a breakthrough. "We don't give up," Mr Gilmore said.

Irish Independent

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