Thursday 8 December 2016

Tanaiste discusses General Election date with Taoiseach - and is 'very confident' in holding her seat

Published 12/01/2016 | 16:13

Tánaiste Joan Burton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Tánaiste Joan Burton and Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Tánaiste Joan Burton has said that she has held discussions with Taoiseach Enda Kenny over the date of the General Election.

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Ms Burton hinted that the election will not be called until the period after the Labour Party Ard Fheis, which is due to be held in Mullingar on Saturday, January 30.

Mr Kenny yesterday said he has settled on a date, which many Fine Gael figures believe is February 26, and that it will be revealed in a “very public fashion”.

Asked about the issue today, Ms Burton told reporters:

“We’ve had some discussions. But the date will be finalised and I’m sure you’ll all be the very first to know.”

Pressed on whether Mr Kenny has “shared” the date with her, the Labour Party leader replied:

“We’ve had some discussions.”

Meanwhile, Ms Burton has said she is “very confident” of holding on to her seat in Dublin West after one of her constituency rivals predicted that she will be defeated.

Independent Alliance candidate David McGuinness, who recently quit Fianna Fail, said he believes Ms Burton is in “serious trouble” at the poll.

Dublin West will be a hotly contested constituency and includes several high profile candidates such as Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar, Ms Burton and Ruth Coppinger of the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA).

Fianna Fail councillor Jack Chambers and Sinn Fein councillor Paul Donnelly are also in contention.

Reacting to the claim by Mr McGuinness that her seat is at risk, Ms Burton said she is alsoways prepared for an election battle.

“In every election I face a battle and I think to be honest , every candidate in every election faces a battle. All I can say I am very confident certainly from the response I have been receiving over the last couple of years,” she said.

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