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Monday 15 September 2014

Joan Burton expresses 'full confidence' in Eamon Gilmore as polls predict vote collapse

Published 19/05/2014 | 12:32

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18/05/2014. Pictured are Minister Joan Burton, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore and Labour MEP, Emer Costello at the launch of her seven point plan for Dublin in the Deaf Village, Cabra. Photo: El Keegan
Minister Joan Burton and Eamon Gilmore

SOCIAL Protection Minister Joan Burton has insisted Eamon Gilmore has her full confidence despite a massive drop in support for the Labour Party.

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Recent  opinion polls show the party will struggle to secure a seat in the European Parliament in Friday’s election and the number local authority seats it holds will also be dramatically reduced.

Speaking at a campaign event for sitting MEP Emer Costello, Ms Burton acknowledged the opinion poll figures were bad but said Mr Gilmore had her full support.

“The Labour Party has a democratically elected leader chosen by the members of the party – we are possibly unique among parties in doing it as democratically as we do,” she said.

“I was also elected democratically as deputy leader by members of the labour party.”

She added: “The leader of the Labour Party has my full confidence.”

Ms Burton said she was hopeful Ms Costello would retain her seat in Europe.

The Minister also criticised Sinn Fein and independent candidates for preaching “fantasy politics”.

In the old arithmetic one and one made two but we have a new arithmetic from a lot of the independents and some of the parties including Sinn Fein,” she said.

“I see them holding up so called costed budgets – they are not costed because they are offering everything, all kinds of everything."

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