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Varadkar wants to stay FG leader if in opposition

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael candidate Gabrielle McFadden during a canvass at  Sheraton Shopping Centre in Athlone, Co West Meath. PA Photo

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael candidate Gabrielle McFadden during a canvass at Sheraton Shopping Centre in Athlone, Co West Meath. PA Photo

PA

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael candidate Gabrielle McFadden during a canvass at Sheraton Shopping Centre in Athlone, Co West Meath. PA Photo

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar intends to continue leading Fine Gael from the opposition benches if voted out of office this weekend.

Mr Varadkar's party is facing an uphill battle to retain power after the latest opinion polls suggested Fine Gael is on course for one of its worst election results in history.

While the Taoiseach believes his candidates still have time to turn the tide, he accepts that life on the opposition benches could be looming for his party.

In an interview on 'Sky News', Mr Varadkar said that he wants to stay in politics and lead Fine Gael regardless of the outcome in the election.

"If my party wants me I'll continue to be leader of the party and if needs be leader of the opposition.

"I've energy for this, I've a hunger for it.

"We've started so many things that I really want to see through.

"Let's be honest, what would happen if Fianna Fáil or Sinn Féin lead the next government - certainly with Fianna Fáil every time in my lifetime that they've got into power there'll be a boom and bust and Fine Gael will be here to pick up the pieces, but please let's not make that mistake again," he said.

"Even if we end up in a scenario where Fine Gael is not part of the next government, assuming I hold my seat I'll still be a constituency TD for Dublin West and it's a huge honour to represent the area that I grew up in and I want to continue to do that at the very least," the 41-year-old added.

The latest Red C poll published in yesterday's 'Business Post' recorded a surge in support for Sinn Féin heading into the final week of campaigning - with the party level with Fianna Fáil and ahead of Fine Gael for the first time.

Fianna Fáil is on 24pc (down two points) as is Sinn Féin (+5), with Fine Gael on 21pc (-2).

Among the other parties, Labour is on 5pc (+1), the Greens are on 7pc (-1) and Independents on 12pc (-2).

Irish Independent


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