FINE Gael TD Simon Harris is expected to become the party’s new candidate for the European elections in the Ireland South constituency.
The party has been conducting polling on potential candidates following the decision of former IFA President John Bryan to drop out of the race.
Fine Gael badly needs a candidate in the Leinster end of the constituency as both Mr Kelly and Ms Clune are based in Munster.
Mr Harris, a new Fine Gael TD from Wicklow, is understood to have performed far more strongly in the polls than his counterparts, Andrew Doyle from Wicklow and Michael D’Arcy from Wexford.
“He was ahead of all others. He’s doing well enough to be considered as a candidate,” a party source said.
Mr Harris is the youngest TD in the Dail and a member of the Dail Public Accounts Committee.
Fine Gael’s national executive meeting takes place either tonight or tomorrow night.
The party is seeking to win two seats in the Ireland South constituency.
Mr Kelly and Ms Clune were selected at a party convention 10 days ago.
Following Mr Bryan’s decision to drop out, party strategists set a deadline of sorting out the third candidate of this weekend, ahead of the party’s Ard Fheis on Friday and Saturday.