Monday 18 December 2017

Fine Gael may not be largest party after General Election, admits Minister for Health

Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Arthur Carron
Minister Leo Varadkar. Photo: Arthur Carron
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Health Minister Leo Varadkar has said Fine Gael may not be the largest party after the General Election following a series of dismal opinion poll results.

Speaking after the latest opinion poll showed Fine Gael dropping two points to 26pc, Mr Varadkar said it cannot be assumed his party will return with the most seats after next week’s election.

“It is an election, the election is competitive. I think certainly it was never the case in Fine Gael but there was an assumption by people in the media that no matter what would happen Fine Gael would emerge as the largest party. That might not be the case,” Mr Varadkar told RTE Radio One’s ‘Morning Ireland’.

The Health Minister’s comments come amid growing panic within Fine Gael over a series of opinion polls results which show Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s party is extremely unlikely to return to government with Labour after the nation votes.

Fine Gael hoped the party’s opinion poll rating would improve as the election date nears but instead it is steadily declining.

The latest Red C poll for the Irish Sun newspaper showed Fine Gael down two points to 26pc, Labour up one to 9pc, Fianna Fail up one to 19pc and Sinn Fein down three to 17pc.

Independents and smaller parties jumped three points in the poll and now control 29pc of the vote, according to the poll.

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