News Politics

Sunday 23 July 2017

Coveney confident Kenny and undeclared six will vote for him

Housing Minister Simon Coveney was at the launch of a campaign for the Tenancy Protection Service on Suffolk Street in Dublin with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown chairman Cllr Cormac Devlin; Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr; South Dublin Mayor Gus O’Connell; and Fingal Mayor Darragh Butler. Photo: Conor McCabe
Housing Minister Simon Coveney was at the launch of a campaign for the Tenancy Protection Service on Suffolk Street in Dublin with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown chairman Cllr Cormac Devlin; Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr; South Dublin Mayor Gus O’Connell; and Fingal Mayor Darragh Butler. Photo: Conor McCabe
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Simon Coveney boldly predicted he expects to win over the support of the Fine Gael TDs who have not publicly stated their voting intentions in the party's leadership race.

Mr Coveney did not name individuals, but those who have not yet declared include Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

In total, seven Fine Gael parliamentary party members remain undeclared.

Mr Coveney refused to comment on whether he was still working on securing the vote of Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, who has not stated his voting intentions and is the only other Cabinet minister from Cork.

Speaking before a campaign rally in Cavan, Mr Coveney said: "Michael Creed isn't the only person who has done that. There are a number of others as well and I think I will do pretty well among that group of TDs who have decided to keep their voting intentions to themselves."

Read more: 'People responded to pressure by backing who was ahead' - Simon Coveney

The Housing Minister also predicted he would win the support of the membership by beating Leo Varadkar in all four leadership debates due to take place in the coming days.

Private

He said he was having private conversations with TDs and senators who have pledged to vote for Mr Varadkar, but refused to give the names of those he has spoken with.

"I think I need to win back some of them but I'm not going to start naming names publicly and then start putting them under the spotlight of huge pressure, that wouldn't be a very clever strategy from my point of view," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Coveney received a much needed boost as undeclared Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness attended his leadership rally.

Ms McGuinness arrived late to the event and sat in the audience listening to contributions from Mr Coveney and his supporters.

Mr Coveney thanked the MEP for attending and joked he would not praise her too much as he would be accused of canvassing her.

Ms McGuinness later addressed the crowd saying she would not be declaring before the leadership hustings later this week.

Current Health Minister Simon Harris told the event that pundits who are writing off Mr Coveney's chances are the same people who said Brexit would not happen and Hillary Clinton would win the US presidential election.

Fine Gael parliamentary party endorsements for leader

The Fine Gael parliamentary party makes up 65pc of the total electorate.

That makes each of the 73 members' votes worth 0.9pc of the total ballot.

Of the remaining electorate, 230 party councillors account for 10pc, while the remaining 25pc is rank and file members.

Leo Varadkar
Simon Coveney

Total: 45

Total: 19

Ministers: 17

Ministers: 5

TDs: 16

TDs: 5

Senators: 11

Senators: 8

MEPs: 1

MEPs: 1

Richard Bruton -MinisterSimon Harris - Minister
Frances Fitzgerald - MinisterDamien English - Minister
Michael Ring - MinisterDara Murphy - Minister
Eoghan Murphy - MinisterDavid Stanton - Minister
Sean Kyne - MinisterMarcella Corcoran Kennedy - Minister
Joe McHugh - MinisterKate O'Connell - TD
Helen McEntee - MinisterMaria Bailey - TD
Charlie Flanagan - MinisterSean Barrett TD
Paul Kehoe -MinisterHildegard Naughton - TD
Patrick O'Donovan - MinisterPeter Fitzpatrick - TD
Regina Doherty - MinisterTim Lombard - Senator
Mary Mitchell O'Connor - MinisterJerry Buttimer - Senator
Paschal Donohoe - MinisterPaudie Coffey - Senator
Heather Humphreys - MinisterJames Reilly - Senator
Pat Breen - MinisterColm Burke - Senator
Catherine Byrne - MinisterJohn O'Mahony - Senator
Andrew Doyle - MinisterPaul Coghlan - Senator
John Paul Phelan - TDGabrielle McFadden - Senator
Noel Rock - TDDeirdre Clune - MEP
Tony McLoughlin - TD 
Alan Farrell - TD 
Michael D'Arcy - TD 
Tom Neville - TD 
Josepha Madigan - TD 
Pat Deering - TD 
Jim Daly - TD 
Brendan Griffin - TD 
Ciaran Cannon - TD 
Colm Brophy - TD 
Peter Burke - TD 
Fergus O'Dowd - TD 
John Deasy - TD 
Joe Carey - TD 
Neale Richmond - Senator 
Catherine Noone - Senator 
Paddy Burke - Senator 
Martin Conway - Senator 
Michelle Mulherin - Senator 
Maura Hopkins - Senator 
Ray Butler - Senator 
Frank Feighan - Senator 
Maria Byrne - Senator 
Joe O'Reilly - Senator 
Kieran O'Donnell - Senator 
Brian Hayes - MEP 
Undeclared
Enda Kenny - Outgoing Party Leader *Martin Heydon - Party Chairman *
Michael Noonan - MinisterMichael Creed - Minister
Bernard Durkan - TDSean Kelly - MEP
Mairead McGuinness MEP  

* Outgoing leader Enda Kenny and party chairman Martin Heydon will not make an endorsement

Irish Independent

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