Coveney launches his leadership campaign focusing on an 'honest, strong' government
“I don’t think that a family living in a hotel room this evening is looking for a Taoiseach with X Factor. They are looking for a Taoiseach who’ll solve their problems”
HOUSING Minister Simon Coveney has said he doesn’t believe a Taoiseach needs ‘X Factor’, saying they need to deliver.
Mr Coveney launched his bid for the Fine Gael leadership today with declarations from ministers Simon Harris, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Damien English and David Stanton.
His message will be built around “strong, positive government with big ideas”.
“As far as I’m concerned I’m fighting for the soul of this party,” he said.
Shortly after Mr Coveney’s media appearance at Fine Gael headquarters in Dublin city centre, Leo Varadkar’s team called a doorstep where nine of the party’s 19 senators declared their support for the Social Protection Minister.
Senator Catherine Noone said he was the “best man for the job”.
Mr Varadkar’s campaign also got an early boost as Education Minister Richard Bruton endorsed his bid – but the candidate has still to make a public appearance since Enda Kenny’s decision to stand down.
Mr Coveney said he believes the new leader should not just manage an economy but also focus on making people’s lives better.
He said his manifesto will be an attempt to “re-balance this country away from the dominance of Dublin so that rural people and rural parishes can believe in their futures again”.
Asked whether he has the X Factor, Mr Coveney said: “That depends on what you describe as the X Factor. For me it’s about honest, strong, deliver.
“I don’t think that a family living in a hotel room this evening is looking for a Taoiseach with X Factor. They are looking for a Taoiseach who’ll solve their problems.”
He refused to give any indication of what his future Cabinet might look like and even to guarantee Leo Varadkar a place in it.
“Leo’s a talented guy. He’ll be involved in the future of the party one way or the other. I’m not going to start naming Cabinet positions,” he said.
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.
|Richard Bruton -Minister||Simon Harris - Minister|
|Frances Fitzgerald - Minister||Damien English - Minister|
|Michael Ring - Minister||Dara Murphy - Minister|
|Eoghan Murphy - Minister||David Stanton - Minister|
|Sean Kyne - Minister||Marcella Corcoran Kennedy - Minister|
|Joe McHugh - Minister||Kate O'Connell - TD|
|Helen McEntee - Minister||Maria Bailey - TD|
|Charlie Flanagan - Minister||Sean Barrett TD|
|Paul Kehoe -Minister||Hildegard Naughton - TD|
|Patrick O'Donovan - Minister||Peter Fitzpatrick - TD|
|Regina Doherty - Minister||Tim Lombard - Senator|
|Mary Mitchell O'Connor - Minister||Jerry Buttimer - Senator|
|Paschal Donohoe - Minister||Paudie Coffey - Senator|
|Heather Humphreys - Minister||James Reilly - Senator|
|Pat Breen - Minister||Colm Burke - Senator|
|Catherine Byrne - Minister||John O'Mahony - Senator|
|Andrew Doyle - Minister||Paul Coghlan - Senator|
|John Paul Phelan - TD||Gabrielle McFadden - Senator|
|Noel Rock - TD||Deirdre 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|
|Enda Kenny - Outgoing Party Leader *||Martin Heydon - Party Chairman *|
|Michael Noonan - Minister||Michael Creed - Minister|
|Bernard Durkan - TD||Sean Kelly - MEP|
|Mairead McGuinness MEP|
* Outgoing leader Enda Kenny and party chairman Martin Heydon will not make an endorsement